Th Giants parted with a lot of well known names in the organization over the last week, culminating with two big deals before Monday's 1 PM trade deadline. While I don't think they got away with any steals this summer, I'm leaning toward liking two of the three deals, but only time will tell how they really play out.
First the one I thought was a little too much for a little, well, too little. The Giants gave up Andrew Susac, an aging, albeit still valuable catching prospect, but also their top pick from 2015 and a guy who's looked it in his brief stint in pro ball in Phil Bickford for a middle reliever. Now, granted, that middle reliever has been one of the best in the game the last few seasons and should give the Giants exactly what they needed most in that bullpen, the price was a little too steep for my liking. I would have preferred more of a 2nd rate pitching prospect with Susac, someone along the lines of a Chris Stratton or Kyle Crick (who still has upside but has fallen in prospect ranks a bit recently). Instead the Giants parted with a guy some (including myself) believe to be their very best pitching prospect (yes over Beede because of age) for a middle reliever and that's a bit crazy when you really think about it. However, the Giants have a window they see of about 3-5 more seasons where they'll have this core group in-tact and in their relative primes and with that championship window open so it was clearly a go-for-it-now move and it did meet a need. Also, it gives the Giants get a top of the line LH reliever who will stick around for cheap through 2019 which I think was the selling point for Bobby Evans. He figures with the money saved in this move the Giants may be able to sign an international prospect who can come in and take right over for Bickford, but again, only time will tell.
As for the Matt-for-Matt trade, in which the Giants sent infielder, fan favorite and reigning ROY runner-up Matt Duffy along with top-10 pitching prospect Lucious Fox to Tampa for a guy who just two seasons ago was looking like he was becoming a premiere left-handed starter in this league, Matt Moore. At first, I was extremely bummed they had to give up Duffy, and I still am. I like him, I think he's a good player and does have the capability to be a solid major league regular like we saw in 2015, for years to come. However, we didn't see that this year, as he's been one of the worst offensive 3rd basemen all year long. Not too mention, the Giants just added a guy who needs to be in the starting lineup daily and really didn't have a spot with Pence and Panik both making returns. Nunez brings more pop and speed than Duffy but the ladder is the better defender (although Nunez hasn't looked too shabby in his brief stint here thus far) and had the knack for the clutch hit, especially in '15. I like that the Giants had a back-up plan in place for Duffy and probably will upgrade now at third base for the stretch run and have Nunez under contract for 2017 as well. Duffy, however, would have been under team control through 2019.
As for Matt Moore, as I said above, this guy was considered a rising star back in 2012/13 before getting injured. In fact, he went 17-4 with a 3.29 ERA with the Rays in 2013 (despite missing all of August), earning himself an All-Star appearance. However, he had to undergo the dreaded Tommy John Surgery in 2014 which essentially took away much of his last two seasons. He's looked liked he's rebounding nicely this year though and he's been respectable, although not the 2013-type successful. A move to the NL West and AT&T Park will be a huge positive for him and I'd be surprised if he didn't emerge as the Giants #3 starter down the stretch. He has that kind of potential. Also, he too is under team control with team options through 2019 that will pay him significantly less than others in his class would get. I mean if this guy were to become a FA after this year and finishes say, 13-13 with a 4.05 ERA and 1.26 WHIP, like he's basically on pace for, he'd easily get a deal similar to what Jeff Samardzija just signed, if not more because he's only 27. And the Giants will have him for 8,9 and $10M over the next three seasons as long as he doesn't blow his arm out or something like that. So when you combine Moore's potential not only this year but into the future and at that cheap price along with the fact the Giants upgraded from Duffy with Nunez at third before hand made Duffy expendable this trade looking better than I originally thought upon first hearing it.
So in summation of the three deals, I do like the Nunez deal, although it took me a second to come around, sort of like the Moore deal, I give that deal a B- for the Giants. I like that they got Will Smith and certainly needed a competent left handed reliever but I hate that they gave up Bickford for him so that deal I give a straight C for. Finally, the big one, the Duffy for Moore deal, it too took a moment to digest but when taking all things we've mentioned into account, I'm leaning more in favor of it than I originally was. I give that one a B-/C+. If Moore goes on to be Barry Zito while Duffy becomes an all-star in Tampa, it's gonna suck. But Duffy, while always hitting for a nice average, was never a dominant minor leaguer and was really a surprise last year on an average team but this year the league seemed to catch up to him at the plate. Plus, with Cain and Peavy each a couple bad starts from being relieved of their starting duties down the stretch and Samardzija struggling, you can see why they wanted someone with Moore's capabilities.
Anyway, Let me know what you guys think down in the comment box! Did the Giants do enough to keep fending off the Dodgers, who themselves got a lot better on Monday, or could they have done better, different moves, or done nothing at all? I think this deadline was slim pickings so prices where high. Considering that, the Giants got themselves guys who aren't just rentals and should be around to help them win ballgames for the foreseeable future!
Here's a cool video on Matt Moore
showing in-depth highlights in a recent start back in June. As you can see by evident of the 94 mph heater, the big hook and fall-off-the-table change-up, the guy can be really good and appears fully recovered from Tommy John. And again, coming from an AL East that features predominantly hitter-friendly yards to the NL West which offers quite the opposite.