The San Francisco Giants have made their second trade of the bizarro 2020 MLB season, sending the infamous cash considerations to the Chicago White Sox in exchange for outfield prospect Luis Basabe. To make room for Basabe on the 40-man roster (and likely in the 60-person player pool, though the Giants don’t make those numbers public), they placed right-handed pitcher Jordan Humphreys (the player acquired in their first trade of the season) on the Restricted List.
OFFICIAL: The #SFGiants have acquired OF Luis Basabe from the Chicago White Sox in exchange for cash considerations. Basabe will report to the Alternate Training Site. To make room on the 40-man roster, the Giants placed RHP Jordan Humphreys on the Restricted List.— SFGiants (@SFGiants) August 9, 2020
Basabe will report directly to the Alternate Training Site in Sacramento, where he’ll get to reunite with his cousin, fellow outfield prospect Luis Matos.
And in keeping with the family ties, we should specify that this is Luis Alexander Basabe. His twin brother, Luis Alejandro Basabe is a second baseman in the Arizona Diamondbacks organization. Which means there’s a chance that someday in a future NL West game, Luis Alejandro Basabe hits a baseball that lands somewhere in between his cousin and his twin.
Anyway, to the actual baseball. Luis Alexandre Basabe is a 6’0, switch-hitting 23-year old. He had a not-great 2019 in AA, hitting .246/.324/.336 in 291 plate appearances. But he was a bit better in AA in 2018 (.251/.340/.394 in 270 plate appearances), which followed a strong run to start the year in high-A (.266/.370/.502 in 245 plate appearances). He’s had a good walk rate at every level, and we know how the Giants feel about that. If you want to get excited, here’s a video of him hitting a 102 mph fastball over the fence in the Futures Game:
Fangraphs is low on his hitting ability, giving him 35/45 grades in both hitting and game power. But the other elements of his game are interesting, with Fangraphs giving him 60/60 grades for both speed and throwing, 50/50 for raw power, and 40/45 for fielding. The end result is a future value of 40. He was listed as the number 24 prospect in the White Sox organization, whil MLB Pipeline is a fair bit rosier, listing him as Chicago’s number 11 prospect.
Basabe had been designated for assignment by the White Sox, allowing the Giants to pick him up without giving up much.
As for Humphreys — whom the Giants acquired from the New York Mets last week in exchange for Billy Hamilton — it is reported that he is dealing with a family matter.
Humphreys, acquired from the #mets in the Billy Hamilton trade, is dealing with a family matter. Basabe is a 23-year-old switch-hitter who was DFA by the White Sox on Tuesday. #sfgiants https://t.co/737HD08hoz— Henry Schulman (@hankschulman) August 9, 2020
The Restricted List — which Buster Posey is on — is essentially for players who opt out of the season (they can opt back in if they choose) or who are deemed at high risk for the coronavirus. Humphreys stays in the Giants organization, but will not be paid. If he decides to come back this year, the Giants would need to clear room for him on the 40-man roster.
Hopefully everything is okay with him and his family.