Giants eyeing Seattle righty Iwakuma?
SAN FRANCISCO — A high-ranking Seattle Mariners talent evaluator followed the Giants here from San Diego. Given the proximity of the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline, I highly doubt that this gentleman is comparing the quality of the concessions at AT&T Park and San Diego’s Petco Park.
More likely, the M’s scout is pondering which Giants might be worth asking for in a trade involving right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma, who’s said to be available in the right deal. The 34-year-old is among the Mariners’ most attractive commodities available in trade — which would suit the Giants as they strive to add a reliable starter to their rotation.
Iwakuma, who has missed most of the season with a strained lat muscle behind his right shoulder, has looked healthy lately. He has accumulated 20 2/3 innings in his last three starts while allowing only four earned runs (ERA in this stretch: 1.74), walking four and striking out 18.
Here’s what doesn’t fit: The Giants typically avoid “renting” players who are poised to become free agents. Iwakuma, who’s earning $7 million in the final year of a three-year deal, would be affordable for the rest of the season. But any club acquiring him would do so while knowing that he very well could be just a short-term asset. For the Giants, who have grown accustomed to winning, a brief boost might be all they want.
— Chris Haft