The San Francisco Giants were only 2.5 games back of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Arizona Diamondbacks for first place in the NL West during the All-Star Break. By the end of July, the Giants were in sole possession of second place and were only 2.5 games back of the Dodgers.
Then the Dodgers got red hot in the month of August while the Giants drifted in the other direction. Los Angeles went 17-3 in its first 20 games of August while the Giants went 7-12 in the same timeframe. Now the Giants find themselves back in third place, 12 games behind the Dodgers with fewer than 40 games remaining.
It;s starting to become desperation time for the Giants, who currently are not in a playoff position and have the ninth-hardest remaining strength of schedule. San Francisco is scrambling for all the help it can get, which has led the team down a path straight to the MLB scrap heap.
Dodgers fans should love the Giants signing Paul DeJong from the scrap heap
Paul DeJong was just designated for assignment by a true playoff team, the Toronto Blue Jays, just days before the Giants signed him to a major league contract. Toronto traded for DeJong at the deadline and he then put together one of the worst stretches of offense in the entire league.
DeJong went 3-44 (.068 batting average) during his 13-game tenure with the Blue Jays. It took Toronto all of 13 games to realize that DeJong was a sunk cost and not worth an MLB roster spot despite the team trading for him just two weeks prior.
It's not like DeJong was doing very well before the trade, either. In 81 games with the St Louis Cardinals before the trade, DeJong was slashing .233/.297/.412 with more strikeouts than he had hits and walks combined. In 2022 he had a .530 OPS. In 2021 he had a .674 OPS. You get the picture.
This is not a case of the Giants taking a risk on a good big-league hitter who's in a downswing. This is a desperation signing as the team can feel the season slipping away, and it's not the first desperation move the Giants have made in August.
San Francisco signed former Dodger Yoshi Tsutsugo to a minor-league deal shortly before inking DeJong to a major league deal. Before that, the Giants acquired Sean Newcomb in a trade (since he hasn't been on a 40-man roster this season) from the Oakland Athletics. The former standout lefty had an 8.78 ERA last season with a 3.15 ERA in the minors this season.
The Giants even made a desperation play at the deadline as the team's only trade was to acquire another former Dodger in outfielder AJ Pollock. Pollock was having a down year for Seattle (.173 average in only 49 games) and hasn't had any impact on the Giants. Pollock has been hurt (stop me if you've heard that before) and is 0-6 for the Giants in his five appearances for the club.
Things aren't going so well for the Dodgers' bitter rivals in the Bay Area as they desperately look to find some kind of help that can stop this late-summer slide (even though DeJong boosted them in his team debut ... but then promptly went 0-for-12). Seven of the Dodgers' last 11 games are against the Giants and by then, those games might not even matter.