Lots of folks are asking the question today, in the aftermath of Scott Cousins needlessly ending Buster Posey's season, if it would make sense for Washington Nationals GM Mike Rizzo to make a phone call to San Francisco Giants GM Brian Sabean to gauge his interest in trading for Pudge Rodriguez or Jesus Flores.
No less an expert than Jim Bowden suggested the very same idea on Twitter.
I certainly buy the idea that the Giants might be looking for some outside help. Posey's injury paves the way for Eli Whiteside to become the Giants starter. Whiteside is a 31-year old with a grand total of 128 Major League games. He's a lifetime .231/.283/.366 hitter. He didn't hit in the minors, either (.244/.288/.393 in nine seasons), so it's not like there's any outside promise of him flourishing with a starting job.
But you know what? As bad as those numbers are, they're still better than what Pudge and Jesus are putting up this season.
If you can, for a moment, take out of the equation all of the intangibles that Rodriguez is a sure-fire Hall of Famer, defensive stalwart, guru to Wilson Ramos, and like a spare coach on the bench. Look at this realistically: he's a 39-year old catcher hitting .205/.256/.342.
And poor Jesus Flores? The dude has missed the better part of two seasons -- including all of 2010 -- trying to recover from two surgeries on his throwing arm. In 104 plate appearances in AAA, where he's just learning to hit upper-level quality pitching again, he's hitting .248/.260/.386. He's walked twice in 104 appearances. In Triple-A. He needs another 100 at bats before even considering whether he's ready for Major League pitching again.
With their pitching, the Giants are a legitimate contender and Posey was one of their best offensive players. It's possible they feel so desperate for help that they might actually consider a deal for either one of these players. But can we please temper our expectations for what the return might be, considering what the Nationals actually have to offer?