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Olney: Running in place, Giants need to start tearing down

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Kurkjian: Bumgarner the top trade deadline candidate right now (1:15)

Tim Kurkjian and Eduardo Perez take an early look at Major League Baseball's top trade deadline candidates this season. (1:15)

If the San Francisco Giants had slogged along to the All-Star break with a record around .500, not really in contention but not really out of it, then Farhan Zaidi, the team's new head of baseball operations, would have faced difficult decisions. He might have been compelled to play out what was probably a losing hand and perhaps hang on to Madison Bumgarner and other veterans for a playoff push, in Bruce Bochy's final year as the team's manager.

But the Giants are lousy in 2019, with 23 losses in 40 games, and they're already 8½ games out of first place, bearing one of the game's worst run differentials. This is more of the same from a team that lost 98 games in 2017 and 89 games a year ago, and Zaidi can now operate untethered from the illusion the core of ring-bearing champions might generate one more run at the playoffs.

Zaidi can get serious about the business of a reconstruction, and the perception of other teams is that the Giants are open for offers, for Bumgarner and others. Right now.