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Giants trade Darin Ruf for J.D. Davis, prospects

A good Giant.

Darin Ruf wearing a warm up Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

After all that, the San Francisco Giants did make a trade deadline deal, though it didn’t involve Carlos Rodón or Joc Pederson. Instead, it involved right-handed slugger Darin Ruf.

The Giants traded Ruf to the New York Mets at the deadline, receiving J.D. Davis and three prospects in return.

After blistering the baseball in 2020 (.887 OPS, 142 OPS+, 141 wRC+) and 2021 (.904 OPS, 142 OPS+, 144 wRC+), Ruf signed an extension with the Giants through 2023. But he’s had a down year, registering just a .701 OPS, a 98 OPS+, and a 105 wRC+.

He’s still been crushing left-handed pitchers, as he has a .886 OPS in 132 plate appearances against lefties. But the Giants had to play him more against righties due to injuries, and they’ve been looking for ways to shore up their defense. So cutting ties with Ruf always made some amount of sense, even if we have to say goodbye to a very lovable Giant.

The return is quite nice for San Francisco. Davis, a 29-year old right-handed corner infielder, is under contract through the 2024 season. He’s having a down year, with just a .683 OPS, a 96 OPS+, and a 102 wRC+, but he was very good in 2019, 2020, and 2021, where he posted 4.2 fWAR in 893 plate appearances.

In addition to Davis, the Giants three Minor League players. Thomas Szapucki, a 26-year old left-handed starting pitcher (who recently has been pitching out of the bullpen more) who Fangraphs gives a 40 FV to, has a 3.38 ERA and a 3.36 FIP in AAA this year, with more than 12 strikeouts per nine innings. Nick Zwack, a 24-year old left-handed starting pitcher, who also has a 40 FV, has a 1.84 ERA and 2.68 FIP, with more than 10 strikeouts per nine innings and fewer than 2.3 walks in High-A. And Carson Seymour, a 23-year old right-handed starting pitcher, has a 3.68 ERA, a 4.05 FIP, and 11.4 strikeouts to just 2.1 walks per nine innings in High-A.

Thanks for the memories, Darin. Welcome to the squad, new dudes.