The San Francisco Giants traded a fan favorite on Saturday as they deal with an increasingly crunched roster. A few hours before their morning game against the St. Louis Cardinals, the Giants announced that they had traded utility player Mauricio Dubón to the Houston Astros in exchange for catcher and first baseman Michael Papierski.
Papierski, a 26-year old switch-hitter, will report to AAA Sacramento.
The #SFGiants and the Houston Astros completed a trade today, with C/1B Michael Papierski joining the Giants organization in exchange for IF/OF Mauricio Dubón. Papierski will report to Triple-A Sacramento.— SFGiants (@SFGiants) May 14, 2022
From a strict value-for-value standpoint, it may not be the best move for the Giants. Dubón has been a valuable part of the roster this season, playing all over the outfield and infield with plus-defense, and has been a proven hitter against left-handed pitchers, sporting a career .844 OPS and 126 wRC+.
Papierski on the other hand, has yet to make his MLB debut, and has hit below league average in his two years at the AAA level.
But Dubón is out of options, so a move felt inevitable at some point. He’s fallen behind Thairo Estrada on the depth chart, and Luke Williams, Luis González, and the recently-acquired Donovan Walton (who takes Dubón’s spot on the active roster) all have options.
With Tommy La Stella set to rejoin the roster soon, something had to give. That something was Dubón, who grew up a Giants fan, came over to the Giants in the Drew Pomeranz and Ray Black trade, and endeared himself to the fanbase immediately with his great energy. He’ll presumably get a chance to play more frequently on a very good Astros team.
Kapler had a good talk with Dubón; as someone traded several times himself, he emphasized to Dubón that what it really means is a really good team wanted him. He notes how much Dubón has grown and improved so much over the past year.— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) May 14, 2022
I can say now I made one of my dreams come true and said I played for the San Francisco Giants— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) May 14, 2022
Thanks for everything, Dubi.
As for Papierski, you can see why the Giants are intrigued. Despite the mediocre batting lines (he’s hitting .211/.324/.278 with a 59 wRC+ this year, and hit .246/.379/.375 with a 98 wRC+ last year) he’s shown some interesting things, particularly with his plate discipline. He’s drawn 14 walks to just nine strikeouts this season, in 108 plate appearances, and had a 15.6% walk rate last year, with just a 20.7% strikeout rate. That’s very Giantsy.
AAA Sacramento already has some AAAA catcher depth in the form of Jhonny Pereda, as well as an exciting prospect in Ricardo Genovés. It will be interesting to see what they do now with a third catcher being added to the fold.