When I emailed Grant about this Q&A, he had one stipulation: I couldn't mention the Giants' bad season or the Dodgers' good season in any of the questions. As a result, here are his answers to my questions that dance around that stipulation...
DAVID: Last time we spoke, you said Madison Bumgarner was the team's Cy Young. Do you still think that's true?
GRANT: He would get the first-, second-, and third-place votes. This Giants season has been miserable for a lot of reasons, but the main one is the pitching. They have the lowest ERA+ in the NL. Matt Cain has done more harm than good, Tim Lincecum bounced back to merely acceptable instead of good, Ryan Vogelsong has been awful, and the previously useful Barry Zito has been a wreck.
GRANT: Bumgarner has been outstanding. Without him, they probably don't lose 100 games, but they come awfully close.
DAVID: You also said Buster Posey is the team's MVP. Still true?
GRANT: By the raw numbers, yeah, but he's having a rough second half. The first half was so good that he's still been worth more to the Giants' win total this year than any other player, even if Brandon Belt is catching up.
DAVID: What was your reaction to hearing Brian Wilson had agreed to a deal with the Dodgers?
DAVID: Do you think Yusmero Petit's near perfect game is a sign of things to come? Do you think he can be a dominant starter in the future?
GRANT: He already was dominant. In A-ball. And at times in Triple-A. But, no, he has a 15-percent chance of becoming a poor man's Bronson Arroyo, and an 80-percent chance of being out of the league by 2015.
GRANT: He sure looks good right now, though.
DAVID: What do you think was the biggest mechanical or mental difference between Barry Zito last year and this year?
GRANT: You know, I really don't know. I had this big pet theory about how his curveball was responsible for his mini-turnaround last year, but it didn't play out like that this year. His arm strength is just gone, and he's losing miles on his fastball that he didn't have to lose.
DAVID: Who should the Giants go after this offseason? It can be via trade or free agency.
GRANT: Masahiro Tanaka. I'm in the tank for him. It'll be a high-risk move with a strong potential for weaponized Zito. But they need pitching, and he'll be the best available.
GRANT: If not the home run, I'm okay with a high-upside signing like Phil Hughes or Josh Johnson.
DAVID: Should the Giants have done more at the trade deadline?
GRANT: Eh, maybe. But there's a very real public-relations cost to a September lineup with Roger Kieschnick and Mike Kickham instead of Hunter Pence and Tim Lincecum. The vast majority of ticket buyers -- for any team, really -- don't know the intricacies of the trade deadline, or what it means to exchange a pending free agent for six years of potential control. A sell-a-thon doesn't translate to prudence for those folks. It translates to "losers" and "cheap."
GRANT: If the Tigers were offering Nick Castellanos for Pence and the Giants turned them down, okay, they were being silly. But if the Tigers were offering a B-prospect and nothing more, the PR and extra chance to sign Pence were worth more than that.
DAVID: Do you think San Francisco will try and re-sign Tim Lincecum?
GRANT: Yes. Though I don't know how keen Lincecum will be on the idea. Think of how much head-against-wall there's been with the Giants and Lincecum, trying to fix everything over and over and over, trying new things, trying old things. Maybe Lincecum's just tired of it.
DAVID: Series prediction?
GRANT: Joaquin Arias hits two homers against Clayton Kershaw. Or fails to make contact. One of those two, or possibly something in between.