Giants trade Conor Gillaspie to White Sox for Jeff Soptic

1,000 words - Jennifer Hilderbrand-US PRESSWIRE

Conor Gillaspie, the first player from the 2008 draft to make the majors, was traded to the White Sox for Jeff Soptic, an A-ball reliever.

Conor Gillaspie was out of options, so he couldn't go to the minor leagues. The Giants didn't really want Conor Gillaspie on the 25-man roster. That combination meant that it was time to see if any of the other 29 teams were willing to put him on their roster, and if so, if they were willing to give up anything in trade.

The White Sox obliged. From the official press release:

The San Francisco Giants have acquired right-handed pitcher Jeff Soptic from the Chicago White Sox in exchange for infielder Conor Gillaspie, club Senior Vice President and General Manager Brian Sabean announced today.

Soptic is a 21-year-old reliever who last pitched in Low-A. His numbers aren't especially encouraging:

Year Age Lg Lev ERA G IP H HR BB SO
2011 20 APPY Rk 0.00 3 2.2 2 0 2 2
2012 21 SALL A 5.40 27 43.1 26 1 29 36
2 Seasons 5.09 30 46.0 28 1 31 38

Okay, let's see, positives. Dig that home-run rate! And he's 6'6", 210, and that probably counts for something. Also, every other year, he posts a 0.00 ERA, which could be useful.

But, really, this was about getting anything at all for Gillaspie, who was almost certainly going to be lost on waivers at the end of March. The Giants saw a big, projectable arm as a good return, and now they're going to work their voodoo on him.

And, not to toot my own horn, but this was from a week ago ...

Gillaspie wins the "Most Likely To Be Traded For A 22-Year-Old Reliever In A-Ball Before The Season Starts " award, which is a pretty horrible award.

Soptic is 22 in less than two months! That counts! I'm calling it, that counts! Tooooot toooooooot toooooooooooot!

I do take back the part where the award is horrible, though. Gillaspie kind of wins out now that he has a shot to make the White Sox bench, and the American League is probably better for him, considering his fielding is pretty rough. And by "rough", I think the phrase that we settled on was "he throws like Johnny Damon wearing boxing gloves", and it's not like he showed off soft hands in his brief appearances.

Still, he might start hitting one of these days. There was so much promise in this pick! Alas, he went the way of most supplemental first-rounders. I guess the 2008 draft just isn't going to pan out, folks.

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