So maintaining the current roster was fine with Sabean, the Major Leagues' longest-tenured GM, who wouldn't have parted with Pence or Lopez unless the Giants received a top prospect whose relative lack of experience would leave him contractually obligated to the club for multiple years. Such performers are baseball's most valued commodities, so the Giants' inactivity wasn't overly surprising.
For example, the Giants were said to want right-hander Danny Salazar from the Cleveland Indians, who coveted Lopez. Salazar, 23, was ranked Cleveland's sixth-best prospect by MLB.com and has 121 strikeouts in 88 innings at Double-A and Triple-A this year. Predictably, Cleveland balked at the Giants' proposal.
"Ironically, we were in a position to have some leverage and we used the leverage," Sabean said in a conference call with reporters. "We set the bar high and we had a specific return in mind and people missed the mark. People didn't even approach or come close to the mark."
Despite the Giants' slide into last place in the National League West, Sabean demonstrated his tendency to avoid changing the roster for change's sake.
"We became more and more comfortable with ... if we stood pat, then we stood pat," he said. Referring to Pence, Lopez and right-hander Tim Lincecum, another potential free agent who was briefly a subject of trade talk, Sabean added, "We still have all our assets in the bank, still in the organization, and we've retained three guys that we want to re-sign. I'm actually pleased with the outcome."
So were Pence and Lopez.
"They know where I stand and I know where they stand," said Pence, who has expressed a desire to stay with the Giants -- or even re-sign with them in free agency if he were traded. "I know they heard what I had to say. It's nice to be wanted."
"The Giants were the only place where I want to play," said Lopez, who entered Wednesday having allowed one home run in 133 1/3 innings since joining the Giants at the 2010 Deadline. "Today's a good day."
Now that the non-waiver Trade Deadline has passed, deals involving players on the 40-man roster cannot be made unless the players already have cleared waivers. In other words, the player must be offered to the other teams in reverse order of the standings, and if he is claimed by one of the teams, he cannot be traded. The club that placed the player on waivers can either withdraw the request and keep the player, or let the player go to the claiming team, which would then have the rights to the player.