The San Francisco Giants (55-45) have gone 9-2 since the All-Star break. They are only a half-game behind the Los Angeles Dodgers for the NL West lead and hold the second wild-card spot by 2.5 games over the Chicago Cubs. Trade rumors suggest the club is looking to upgrade in one specific area.

Adding another starting pitcher has seemingly become a priority for the Giants in the past week or so. It's been said they're making a big push for Philadelphia Phillies' ace Cole Hamels, but they may not have enough resources to land the left-hander. Is there another option?

The San Diego Padres are looking to sell after their disappointing first half and they need to unload some big contracts to lower the franchise-record payroll. They've been shopping James Shields for a while now and he could be a fit in San Francisco, according to the latest rumors.

"Is it possible they could move him to some place like the Giants?" ESPN's Jayson Stark said on the Baseball Tonight Podcast. "I've heard a little speculation on that one. I was told [the Padres] did not want to trade him within the division and didn't want to trade him to the Giants in particular, but if that's their only taker, it might be one to watch ...

"I've been told repeatedly the Giants are looking for starting pitching, but only if it's somebody who can pitch Game 2 after Madison Bumgarner pitches Game 1," he added. "I'm not sure who that is exactly. If it's not Cole Hamels, and I don't get the sense the Giants and Phillies really match up [in a trade], that's why somebody like Shields could conceivably make sense if the Padres would deal him."

Shields is owed $65 million from 2016-2018, but the Giants have nearly $50 million coming off the books this offseason and taking on that money wouldn't be an issue. He is 8-4 with a 3.77 ERA, 1.30 WHIP and 148 strikeouts in 22 starts (133 2/3 innings) this season and those numbers could get better if he's put in a more favorable situation because, quite frankly, the Padres have been a mess this season.

"San Diego's James Shields? He's not necessarily considered a major upgrade. Anyway, the Giants signed Jake Peavy instead of Shields in the offseason," John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle writes.

Well, the Giants made an offer to Shields in the offseason and he rejected it, so it's not like the team was never considering him. Also, San Francisco was not expecting their rotation to be this problematic in 2015. Peavy and Matt Cain have missed most of the season thus far with injuries and neither has been entirely effective when taking the mound. Ryan Vogelsong was moved to the bullpen, Tim Lincecum is dealing with a hip issue and Tim Hudson has a 4.80 ERA, which, if it stands for the rest of 2015, will be the second-worst of his career.

Bumgarner and Chris Heston have been carrying the rotation, but it's likely the front office isn't too thrilled with the idea of relying on Bumgarner to have another historic postseason run in 2015.

Many clubs have called the Padres, but their interest is in Tyson Ross, who is under club control at a bargain price through 2017. While Shields is not a cheap option, he would provide some stability in the Giants rotation for the next few years. Lincecum, Vogelsong and Hudson are free agents after this season and Peavy is a free agent after 2016. Cain is under contract through 2017 and has a team option for 2018, but it's unknown how effective he'll be after dealing with troublesome elbow issues last season and in the beginning of 2015.

Shields has a reputation as an innings-eater and, unless the Giants feel confident they can land one of the top starters on the market in the offseason (David Price, Johnny Cueto, Jordan Zimmermann, Jeff Samardzija, Scott Kazmir and others), he could be a good fit to help San Fran for the foreseeable future.

Whether they're in on Shields or not, expect the Giants to add another starting pitcher before Friday's deadline.

UPDATE: FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal says the Giants are "fading" in the race for Hamels, which increases their chances of pursuing a different starter.