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Goodbye Duffman, Hello Matt Moore, and What About The Logjam?

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Five prospects and one big leaguer went away. Three very useful big leaguers came back. A reliever who has been one of the game's dominant lefties for a while; a utility infielder who blossomed into an All-Star this year with a power/speed profile that reminds you of, well, last year's Matt Duffy; and a 27-year-old lefty starter who, until Tommy John surgery, was one of the game's phenoms, and now a year post-surgery seems to be on the rebound.

The odes to Duffy are plentiful this morning, and well deserved. I'll add a hankie-wave here, hold back a couple sniffles, and wish him all the best. But I really want to speculate about the next brick to fall: what happens when Matt Moore joins the starting the rotation.

He'll take the slot of Peavy or Cain. Cain or Peavy. Unless Bobby Evans has a mind-blowing Jeff Samardzija post-waiver move up his sleeve. After the last six weeks of watching Samardzija throw 95 MPH right down the middle, I don't blame you for kinda sorta hoping the Giants dump him. The radar gun and stuff scream "Scherzer," but the results mumble "Van Landingham." But let's entertain that fantasy for a moment. Without Samardzija, the Giants would have a Bum-Cueto-Moore-Peavy-Cain rotation the rest of the year and, knock on maple, into the playoffs.

Looking ahead to 2017, it means Bum-Cueto-Moore-Cain under contract, with perhaps a spot for a youngster from the minors like Ty Beede or Clayton Blackburn. (But not Adalberto Mejia, now a Twin, whom some considered the nearest in MLB-readiness.)

Looking ahead to 2018, it means Bum, Moore... perhaps Cueto but perhaps not because, remember, he can opt out after two years. Those are a lot of rotation slots to fill even when a farm system is producing hot arms by the bushel. In other words, a Samardzija in the hand is probably better than a Samardzija in the bush.

Sorry, I should have picked a better aphorism. But you know what I mean. The Giants aren't about to give up on a guy so quickly. Although the last time it happened, the guy also had an unspellable last name with a "z" in the middle. Just sayin'.

Here's my guess: No shocking roster cuts. No six-man rotation. Moore slots in behind Cueto or Samardzija, Albert Suarez is sent down to Sacramento, and Matt Cain -- who, as Mike Krukow points out ad nauseum during broadcasts, is still building up arm strength -- becomes the long man with a special assignment: Be ready on Peavy day. Cain will be the "piggyback," allowing Bochy to yank Peavy after four or five, just like he did Saturday against Washington, with Cain greased up to go two or three more.

The Rockies tried a broader rotation piggyback experiment a few years ago, and it ended the way everything else Rockie-and-baseball-related ends: In a mile-high dung heap.

But I don't see Peavy becoming the long man, and I don't see him getting DFA'd either. (And certainly Cain won't get cut.) Turning Matt Cain into this year's Yusmeiro Petit isn't optimal, but being the long man with a little predictability seems like the best solution to the logjam the Giants just created.

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