A funny and incredibly Giantsy thing happened to the San Francisco Giants this year. After signing Austin Jackson to a two-year deal in the offseason, the team’s new center fielder struggled, struggled, and struggled some more.
The Giants traded him in a salary dump, where he was subsequently waived, picked up by the New York Mets, and magically morphed into Mike Trout.
It was funny, albeit a bit morose. Ha ha, look at the Giants, we all laughed nervously. But then a peculiar thing happened, after a few weeks of Jackson’s Troutian ways - he returned to being a not very good baseball player, forcing us to reconcile some of our everything the Giants touch turns to barf narratives. Turns out Jackson just wasn’t very good.
Since I wrote about how well Jackson was doing in a Mets jersey (when he was doing well in a Mets jersey), it seemed only fitting that I touch on how things ended for him. And while I’m here, I might as well check in on the other traded Giants - the ones who were traded during the season, or over the offseason (sticking to MLB players here).
2017 with Giants: 135 PAs, .192/.244/.304, .548 OPS, 45 OPS+, 43 wRC+, -0.4 rWAR, -0.6 fWAR
2018 with Rays: 59 PAs, .264/.339/.396, .735 OPS, 105 OPS+, 106 wRC+, 0.2 rWAR, 0.2 fWAR
Arroyo played well in injury-limited MLB action this year, though struggled pretty mightily in AAA. It remains to be seen just how much the Giants gave up in talent in the Longoria trade, but....checks notes..... that probably won’t stop us from critiquing it.
2017 with Giants: 32.1 IP, 28 Ks, 17 BBs, 1.21 WHIP, 3.90 FIP, 3.06 ERA, 0.4 rWAR, 0.1 fWAR
2018 with Pirates: 59.1 IP, 62 Ks, 23 BBs, 1.15 WHIP, 3.24 FIP, 2.43 ERA, 1.4 rWAR, 0.9 fWAR
I was hesitant that last year’s performance could hold, but Crick managed to improve on it. His walk rate is slowly shrinking, and he’s doing an excellent job limiting baserunners. Still, the Giants bullpen is in pretty dandy shape, so as well as Crick has pitched, the team probably isn’t losing sleep over turning he and Bryan Reynolds into Abiatal Avelino, Juan De Paula, and a fun season of Andrew McCutchen.
2018 with Giants: 30 IP, 31 Ks, 13 BBs, 1.53 WHIP, 4.86 FIP, 4.20 ERA, 0.1 rWAR, -0.3 fWAR
2018 with Rangers: 21.1 IP, 20 Ks, 6 BBs, 0.89 WHIP, 3.63 FIP, 2.53 ERA, 0.8 rWAR, 0.3 fWAR
2018 with Athletics: 6 IP, 2 Ks, 2 BBs, 2.00 WHIP, 3.99 FIP, 6.00 ERA, -0.1 rWAR, 0.0 fWAR
It’s always hard to know what to make of Gearrin, but the fact that he’s back in the Bay Area and playoff-bound should put a smile on your face.
2018 with Giants: 165 PAs, .242/.309/.295, .604 OPS, 69 OPS+, 67 wRC+, -1.2 rWAR, -1.0 fWAR
2018 with Mets: 201 PAs, .247/.289/.347, .636 OPS, 79 OPS+, 77 wRC+, -0.7 rWAR, 0.0 fWAR
Jackson hit three home runs with the Mets, and none with the Giants. Otherwise, he was essentially the exact same player, and the Giants are happy to not have him under contract for next year.
2018 with Giants: 568 PAs, .255/.357/.415, .772 OPS, 113 OPS+, 115 wRC+, 2.0 rWAR, 1.9 fWAR
2018 with Yankees: 104 PAs, .247/.433/.494, .926 OPS, 149 OPS+, 157 wRC+, 0.8 rWAR, 0.7 fWAR
McCutchen has been on fire since shaving his beard, walking like it’s the hip thing to do, and taking advantage of a hitter-friendly park to the tune of five home runs. And he’ll be in the playoffs. The Giants made a necessary trade, but he is missed.
2017 with Giants: 174.1 IP, 148 Ks, 67 BBs, 1.53 WHIP, 4.75 FIP, 5.52 ERA, -0.3 rWAR, 1.0 fWAR
2018 with Rangers: 98.1 IP, 82 Ks, 40 BBs, 1.69 WHIP, 5.37 FIP, 7.05 ERA, -1.4 rWAR, -0.1 fWAR
It was arguably a risk for the Giants to trade Moore over the offseason, in what really amounted to a salary dump. Moore was coming off his worst season, wasn’t owed much money, and the Giants had a rather....errr......giant hole in their rotation. Bouncing back to be a decent option wasn’t out of the picture.
It’s safe to say they made the right move. Moore got even worse this year, and was ultimately moved to the bullpen, which didn’t help matters other than to limit his innings. Do you know how impressive it is to amass 95+ innings with an ERA over 7? It takes a truly bizarre conglomeration of potential talent, inability to tap into said potential, and horrendous team.
2017 with Giants: 542 PAs, .272/.329/.427, .756 OPS, 99 OPS+, 101 wRC+, -1.1 rWAR, 1.1 fWAR
2018 with Rays: 173 PAs, .238/.364/.385, .749 OPS, 110 OPS+, 114 wRC+, 0.9 rWAR, 0.6 fWAR
2018 with Mariners: 321 PAs, .278/.333/.444, .778 OPS, 117 OPS+, 115 wRC+, 1.1 rWAR, 1.0 fWAR
Span, perhaps not surprisingly, had a bounce back season. The Giants, not surprisingly, didn’t want to pay for it. The Giants, ever more not surprisingly, salary-dumped him in a move that left them with a much worse contract.
So it goes.