Giants, A’s need more than this |

Giants, A’s need more than this

Trades without waivers stipulations will expire for baseball Wednesday night.

With both the A’s and Giants still in contention for either league titles or wild card berths, time is running short to make moves that will turn the teams from pretenders to contenders.

Neither team is there yet.

Pitching once again is a strong suit for the A’s, though Mark Mulder and Tim Hudson have not been as dominant as they were a year ago. The A’s have played musical chairs with the fifth starting slot, a moot point if the A’s make the playoffs.

To get there, however, the A’s could use a position player or two to serve notice come September, when they face Seattle six times.

The A’s could certainly strengthen its lot at catcher and first base. A catching rotation of Greg Myers and Ramon Hernandez is great, if you have a thing for hitters who average .225 and are on pace to knock in a combined 55 RBIs. A month ago, it was mentioned the Rangers might be willing to cut loose Ivan Rodriguez in a move that would help them afford their other Rodriguez, Alex.

Though first baseman Jim Thome has expressed time and again he wants to stay in Cleveland (really, it is true), the Indians are another team cutting salary in a big way.

Adding Thome or Rodriguez is unlikely as the deadline nears, but dangling pitching prospect Aaron Harang and second baseman Mark Ellis might be enough incentive to make either team dump their big ticket item. Both players could be free agents next season. Both have the right to veto trades. And both Thome (lower back) and Rodriguez (herniated disc) have had injury troubles this season.

The Giants always seem a pitcher or position player away from getting the job done. They are currently trying to survive an epidemic of position player maladies, from catcher Benito Santiago’s eye sty to enough fried legs in the outfield to open a deli.

The Giants can close their eyes and hope everything makes nice-nice by the time they play Arizona five times and LA six times in September, or they can make a move now to keep them in the race.

And Sunday’s acquisition, Kenny Lofton, is not nearly enough.

Bonds has a history of amazingly quick recoveries, and the Giants will need a full one for his hamstring this year if the Giants are to have any chance at all.

But even a healthy Bonds and/or Reggie Sanders won’t be enough. The Expos have been trading like contenders instead of a team whose years may be limited. If the Giants can pry recently acquired outfielder Cliff Floyd or workhorse starter Bartolo Colon from them, there certainly could be hope for a NL playoff berth.

Provided Bonds is healthy.

Ditto for Sanders and Jeff Kent.

And the players don’t strike.

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