Henry Schulman's Beaten Giants talking trade says a deal is "50-50". The Indians have supposedly scouted us and we have supposedly scouted Victor Martinez and Ryan Garko. Freddy Sanchez and Nick Johnson warrant a mention as "oft-mentioned," and we are not to discount Marco Scutaro or Aubrey Huff. Jesus Guzman gets his name in print alongside "hot" and "could get another look." That sounds like plan I can get behind.
Victor Martinez sports a career .832 OPS (118 OPS+). He's 30.
Ryan Garko is 28. His career OPS is .806 (109 OPS+).
Freddy Sanchez is 31 and his career OPS is .758 (99 OPS+).
Nick Johnson is good for an .820 OPS (120 OPS+) and is 30.
Marco Scutaro is 33. His career OPS is .720 (91 OPS+)
Aubrey Huff's career OPS is .819 (114 OPS+) at age 32.
At least we have some names. The question, of course, is "what are those names worth?" Who are you willing to give up to get one of those guys in our lineup? I'm intrigued by Martinez, but in terms of WAR, he's in Matt Cain country, and we aren't going to do that. He's a middle-of-the-order bat, and a catcher. What would you ask in return? Cleveland is 12 games back--they are sellers at this point. Martinez is a free agent this year with club option for 2010. Nick Johnson might be the best bet, and the most affordable at 1.5 WAR. He might be had for Jonathan Sanchez and change. He's a free agent at the end of this season, though. Ryan Garko may be the most realistic--he's younger and cheaper and would be under control longer. Sanchez, Huff and Scutaro don't pique my interest, but I could listen to a good counter-argument.
So--do we go after one or more of these guys?
UPDATE: I spent some time with wOBA (explained here and here). Victor Martinez and Ryan Garko come in a .361, better than everyone on the Giants except Pablo Sandoval (.390). Nick Johnson is .366. The next best Giant is Aaron Rowand at .340. Take a look at the leaderboards for perspective. There are 15 guys below .300 wOBA (bad, very bad)--two of them are Giants (Molina and Renteria). You could make a case that Edgar Renteria is the worst full-time player in baseball.