Ever since Farhan Zaidi took over as San Francisco Giants President of Baseball Operations, the team’s transactions page has read like a copy of War and Peace. That’s not some weird symbolism I’m trying to evoke, just . . . both are made up of a lot of words.
We’ve got more than a week left in January, and the team already has 28 items listed on their transactions page for the month. Admittedly that’s semi-standard fare this time of year, when transaction pages are filled with minor league signings and spring training invites. But still. It’s a lot.
The fun thing about a team making transactions with all the frequency of opposing managers issuing intentional walks to Barry Bonds is that you get to see trends take place.
This year’s trend? The Los Angeles Angels.
In mid-December, the Giants made a trade with the Angels. San Francisco gave up a player to be named later (pitcher Garrett Williams) in exchange for third baseman Zack Cozart and middle infielder Will Wilson. Or perhaps more accurately, the Giants gave up Garrett Williams and the $12.7 million owed to Zack Cozart, a not good player, for Will Wilson, the 10th-best prospect in the Angels system, per MLB Pipeline.
Then, a week or so ago, the Giants officially ate the money on Cozart’s contract, designating him for assignment. They did so to make room on their 40-man roster for Jake Jewell, a pitcher from, you guessed it, the Angels system. Jewell was claimed off waivers.
That didn’t last long. On Monday the Giants saw something so enticing in right-handed pitcher Luis Madero - placed on waivers by, yes, the Angels - that they dumped Jewell and added Madero into the fold.
So if you’re keeping track at home, the Giants added two Angels, then got rid of one of those Angels to make room for another Angel that they got rid of to make room for a different Angel.
And in the end, they ended up with a 21-year old ranked 7th in their farm (per Fangraphs), and a 22-year old ranked 19th. All for the price of Garrett Williams, some expendable cash (not my money!), and one very silly dance with Anaheim.
This might be more fun than the actual season.