Why Farhan Zaidi says there's ‘strategic advantage' to Giants-Dodgers trade


The Giants are 17 games back of the NL West-leading Dodgers, and the calendar just hit June.

They're not catching their longtime division rivals. That's been obvious for months, perhaps even before the season began.

But might they trade with them?

Woah. Wait a second. That's not cool. The hate is too strong, right?

Since 1958, the Giants and Dodgers have teamed up on just three trades. But in a radio interview Thursday, Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi explained why fans shouldn't rule out the possibility of a fourth deal.

"There is an interesting point here,” Zaidi said on KNBR's "Tolbert & Lund" show Thursday. “If we do end up in a position where we’re selling and looking to get some future talent, you actually want to be trading in the division because you want to weaken your rivals in future years, and you want them to push more chips into the present. In a way, it actually benefits you more."

If anyone knows what the Dodgers have in store for the future, it's Zaidi, who spent the previous four seasons as Los Angeles' general manager. Now on the San Francisco side of the rivalry, Zaidi understands why fans might not be wild about the idea of trading with the Dodgers.

"I understand there’s all kinds of emotional baggage going with that,” Zaidi conceded. “Maybe the Dodgers are a special case, and I think most fans would say it’s not maybe, they just are a special case. But in general, I actually think trading in the division has a strategic advantage."

Aside from the strategic advantage, the Giants might have more reason to consider trading with their division rivals after two major free agents signed with teams Thursday. The Cubs landed closer Craig Kimbrel, and the Braves reportedly agreed to terms with starter Dallas Keuchel. For the teams that missed out on those two veterans, Zaidi expects to be hearing from them soon.

"[Those two being off the market] does show the teams that were in on those guys — it kind of identifies who the buyers are going to be in the starting-pitcher market and the relief market,” Zaidi said. “Certainly for the teams that did not land those players, they’re going to be looking elsewhere to try to fill those needs. So I expect there’ll be a lot more phone calls between GMs these next couple weeks."

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Zaidi also issued a reminder that, because of a recent rule change, teams have more reason to start trade talks sooner rather than later.

"Again, without trade waivers this coming August, it’s going to put more pressure on teams to get their business done before July 31,” he said.

The Giants most certainly will be sellers. They clearly can't compete with the Dodgers in the present. But if a trade with Los Angeles can help them do so down the line, it's something worth considering.

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