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Giants and Rays swap prospects

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Who is Joe McCarthy? What do the Giants want with him?

MLB: Tampa Bay Rays-Media Day Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

After the 1pm Pacific trade deadline passed, we all thought, That’s it? And then we got a flurry of announcements. Really, an overwhelming number of moves (which Kenny will roundup for us soon). To the point that this very minor prospect for prospect swap very much got lost in the initial shuffle:

McCarthy is a left-handed hitting 25-year old left fielder and sometimes first baseman who was drafted by the Rays in the fifth round of the 2015 draft (the Giants drafted center fielder Ronnie Jebavy eight picks later) has had a down year (.192/.319/.372 in 43 games) seemingly due to injury (he was in the IL from April 1st until June 3rd), but had an .800+ OPS in four prior minor league seasons.

He doesn’t hit for power (.416 career slugging), but he has a little speed (62 stolen bases in 376 minor league games), and has a 14.2% walk rate and just an 18.5% strikeout rate. That’s the bat control and strike zone judgment desired by the new front office, even if the rest of the skill set doesn’t strictly profile to his two main positions.

Now, McCarthy was on the Rays’ 40-man roster, meaning he’ll need to be added to the Giants’. With the losses of Melancon, Black, Pomeranz, Dyson, that leaves the 40-man at 37, so, there would seem to be room, even if the Giants wind up adding back Travis Bergen and Johnny Cueto before the year ends.

Meanwhile, 21-year old lefty Jacob Lopez takes his 2.42 ERA in 67 minor league innings over the last two seasons over to the Rays. Lopez was a 26th round draft pick just last year. Kevin wrote of him:

26th (#766) Jacob Lopez, LHP, College of the Canyons (JC) - 1.62 ERA in 14 starts, 88.2 IP, 70 H, 26 BB, 128 K. 86-90 4-seam fastball with life and command. 84-88 2-seam fastball. 68-73 MPH curve needs work, 74-77 slider. A scout indicates he could be either a starter or situational lefty in the future. Here’s the best Scouting Report of any of these draftees.

In exchange for a fringe prospect, the Giants netted the mighty Rays’ #28 prospect (according to MLB Pipeline). Farhan Zaidi might not have moved the big names for big returns, but outside of that, he did exactly as most fans of his hoped he would when he took over control of baseball operations.