The San Francisco Giants are trading present talent for future talent in a trade that will make many fans happy for a variety of reasons. According to a report from Kiley McDaniel and Jeff Passan of ESPN, the Giants are sending right-handed reliever Sam Coonrod to the Philadelphia Phillies, in exchange for fellow right-handed pitcher Carson Ragsdale.
Sources tell @JeffPassan and I: the Giants have traded RHP Sam Coonrod to the Phillies in a deal for RHP Carson Ragsdale— Kiley McDaniel (@kileymcd) January 9, 2021
Though they’re both right-handed pitchers, Coonrod and Ragsdale are at different stages in their career. The Giants are sending out a 28 year old with two MLB seasons under his belt, and receiving a 22 year old who was drafted just seven months ago. Even if Coonrod were good (more on that later), it’s a sensible move by the Giants to bolster the farm depth. They don’t figure to be good enough this year that they need to be worrying too much about the fifth arm out of the pen.
Ragsdale was a fourth-round pick by the Phillies in June after playing college baseball at South Florida. In four starts in 2020 he had a 2.84 ERA, a 1.000 WHIP, and 37 strikeouts to 7 walks in 19 innings. He was ranked as the No. 146 prospect on McDaniel’s pre-draft big board, with a future value of 40.
Coonrod — whom the Giants selected in the fifth round in 2014 — had a rough year in many ways. He had an ERA of 9.82, and was worth -0.7 Wins Above Replacement, per Baseball-Reference. He also suffered a lat injury late in the year.
But he’ll most be remembered for two things: giving up a come from behind rally that culminated in a walk-off home run in the final series of the season, when the Giants were fighting for a postseason spot, and being the only member of the Giants or Los Angeles Dodgers who didn’t kneel during an Opening Day ceremony supporting racial equality and equity.
You can see why the Phillies are intrigued — pitchers who throw 100 mph don’t grow on trees, even in this era of baseball. But, for all the reasons above, I think it’s safe to say many Giants fans will be pleased with this move.