The Giants sent some of their Raiders money to the Diamondbacks in exchange for reliever Jake Barrett, a hard-throwing right-hander who has had an unremarkable major league career so far. In 93.1 innings across three seasons, he’s struck out 88, walked 45, and allowed 42 earned runs (4.05 ERA / 4.76 FIP).
Here’s a scouting report on the lad from a person I should probably hire:
Giants acquired RHP Jake Barrett (27.6Y, 6’2” 240) from AZ for cash. He was a 2012 3R pick by AZ out of Arizona State. He has 93.1 IP in the majors (82H 45BB 88K 92ERA-). 94-97 FB, with a good slider, control issues.— GPT (@giantsprospects) February 5, 2019
Video (2017): https://t.co/7Y0amhgtDO
Even before I saw this report, his slider numbers in Statcast are what stood out to me, so it’s good to know that my remedial knowledge of reading the stats is correct at the moment. Despite an averagey spin rate on his slider (more spin means more movement means greater chance of swinging and missing), he’s had a Whiff Rate (swing and miss rate) of 40.9% on the pitch last season, 47.4% in 2017, and 54.7% in 2016.
He averaged 94.1 mph with his fastball last season in just 7 innings, but when I looked at the Statcast reliever velocity leaderboard, I saw that his placement (#181) was just below Bryan Shaw’s. They have a comparable set of skills — above average velocity and a wipeout secondary pitch. In Shaw’s case, a fantastic slider, too.
Shaw was drafted by the Diamondbacks and made his debut with them in 2011. His slider whiff rate has been around 40% the past two seasons, albeit with a much greater spin than Barrett’s. Before cratering in Colorado last season, Shaw had a 3.11 ERA / 3.45 FIP in 358.2 IP across five seasons for Cleveland. He was a sturdy, dependable back of the bullpen arm.
Am I saying the Giants have found the next Bryan Shaw? Nah. Chances are even that he’s DFA’d or traded in another move or cut sometime during Spring Training, but setting Barrett’s bar at Shaw’s performance seems like a sensible thing to do if we’re to consider every move the Giants make to be intentionally meager in the hopes that it leads to something greater.
Farhan Zaidi really wants us to understand that every move he makes will be imperceptibly small. In his mind, the remote control to the Giants is broken, so he can’t just punch in the channel he wants. Instead, he has to flip through every channel until he finds what he’s looking for. Meanwhile, we get to sit next to him on the couch eating chips and trying not to scream at him for taking too long or stopping to watch a repeat of Storage Wars.
In the move, the recently acquired John Andreoli was designated for assignment and will now become the answer to the most difficult Giants trivia game you’ll ever play.