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Giants can’t let go — but at least they’re interesting

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The Giants trading for Evan Longoria was a sign that current leadership doesn’t see much value in playing the long game. (Will Vragovic/Tampa Bay Times/TNS)

A season after they lost 98 games, the San Francisco Giants are making many wonder why they’re adding a player like former All Star Evan Longoria and not committing to the long process of starting from scratch.

That’s just not in the DNA of Brian Sabean, who I believe was the mastermind behind the trade on Tuesday. He came on 95.7 The Game and admitted the Giants aren’t rebuilding — they’re retooling the roster.
Meaning, the Giants aren’t done wheeling and dealing.

“The next shoe to drop will fill a need in the outfield,” Sabean said on the Greg Papa show. “If it’s a center fielder, there you go. Or if it’s more of an accomplished bat or run producer, that would be the move.”

Could that be outfielder Jay Bruce, who hit 36 homers to go along with 101 RBI and a .808 OPS? Major League Baseball columnist for USA TODAY Sports, Bob Nightengale, is reporting that the “Giants have formally reached out to Bruce but nothing is close at this time.”

Giving him a long-term deal might not be the wisest move for this franchise that’s already carrying a hefty payroll at $178 million — a mere $19 million below the competitive balance tax — and Longoria, who’s 32-years old with five years left on a deal that’ll net him $86 million.

It’s easy to see where Sabean and Bobby Evans’ plan could go awry. And they’re trying to keep pace with the National League West — a division that’s loaded with young stars. But again, this is the way Sabean has operated since he joined the franchise in 1993.

Gutting an already weak farm system and giving up the promising 22-year-old Christian Arroyo can haunt this franchise for many years to come, but for the Giants, it’s about now.

Would you rather have a player in Longoria or a former first-round selection who looked lost in the majors last season, hitting .192/.244/.304 with three home runs in 34 games?

Fans may not like all the reshuffling of the coaching staff and shift in philosophy when it comes to managing the farm, but I respect the heck out of this front office.

And if the Giants are in position to make the playoffs come trade deadline time, Sabean and Evans will continue to deal.

Sure, not all of their moves have worked out (does the name “AJ Pierzynski” ring a bell?), but wouldn’t you rather have a front office that goes for it as opposed to rooting for the Miami Marlins as they slash payroll every chance they get?

The Giants will continue to go for it all. And that’s not a bad thing.

Because however this offseason ends for the Giants, it already has been an interesting one.

Bonta Hill of 95.7 The Game can be heard from noon to 3 p.m. on the Greg Papa Show. Born and bred in San Francisco, he is a sports junkie who loves to sit in the lab (home), eats breakfast food for dinner, and has a newfound love for tequila. Follow at your own risk on Twitter @BontaHill.

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