5 potential OF trade targets for the Giants

March 9th, 2019

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The Giants remain interested in adding another outfielder following their failed pursuit of superstar Bryce Harper, and they are likely to seek out an upgrade before Opening Day.

President of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi said Thursday that he currently views the trade market as a more realistic avenue to an acquisition and indicated that he would prefer a right-handed hitter to help balance out the club’s left-handed-heavy lineup.

“I would say the outfield in particular is an area where we’re still open to making additions and still monitoring the market,” Zaidi said. “I think that’s an area where we’re going to continue to work through Opening Day to try to make sure we have a good and competitive group.”

With that in mind, here’s a look at five right-handed-hitting outfielders who could be potential trade targets for the Giants.

Castellanos, 27, was mentioned often in trade rumors throughout the offseason, as he is coming off his best offensive campaign and is slated to hit free agency at the end of the 2019 season. Castellanos is considered a below-average defender in the outfield, but he’s proved to be a very good middle-of-the-order bat as he batted .298 with an .854 OPS, 23 home runs and 89 RBIs in 157 games for Detroit last year.

Jose Martinez, Cardinals

A late bloomer, the 30-year-old Martinez emerged as one of the Cardinals’ best hitters last year, batting .305 with an .821 OPS, 17 home runs and 83 RBIs over 152 games. But he isn’t projected to have an everyday role with the Cardinals, making him a potential trade chip. Martinez comes with defensive limitations and a degree of cost certainty, as he recently signed a two-year extension that guarantees him $3.25 million through 2020. He won’t be eligible for free agency until after the 2022 season.

, Padres

The Giants are certainly familiar with Myers, who has spent the last four years in the National League West with San Diego. The emergence of fellow corner outfielders Hunter Renfroe and Franmil Reyes has made Myers somewhat expendable for the Padres, who would also love to move the $64 million remaining on his contract, which runs through 2022. Myers, 28, was an All-Star for San Diego in 2016, but he is coming off a bit of a down year in which he batted .253 with a .763 OPS, 11 home runs and 39 RBIs over 83 games.

, Phillies

The Phillies have a surplus of outfielders after landing Harper, so they could look to clear their logjam by swinging a trade before Opening Day. Altherr, 28, hit .272 with an .856 OPS, 19 homers and 65 RBIs over 107 games in 2017, but his performance declined considerably last season, when he batted .181 with a .628 OPS, eight homers and 38 RBIs over 105 games.

A brilliant defender at all three outfield spots, Altherr is also out of options and has three years of team control remaining.

, Blue Jays

Pillar has been a defensive stalwart in center field since breaking into the Majors, but the Blue Jays could be willing to part with the 30-year-old veteran as they’re rebuilding in the competitive American League East. Pillar batted .252 with a .708 OPS, 15 home runs, 59 RBIs and 14 stolen bases over 142 games with Toronto last year. He is under team control for two more years.

Rupp flipped to Detroit
The Giants announced Friday that they traded catcher Cameron Rupp to the Tigers in exchange for cash considerations. Rupp, who signed a Minor League deal over the offseason, had a tough path to the Opening Day roster with the Giants, as he appeared to be behind Aramis Garcia, Rene Rivera and Stephen Vogt on the catching depth chart.

Latest cuts
The Giants continued to pare down their roster on Friday, optioning right-handers Merandy Gonzalez and Logan Webb and re-assigning outfielder John Andreoli, right-hander Jandel Gustave, infielder Ryan Howard and catcher Hamlet Marte to Minor League camp.

Up next
Dereck Rodriguez will make his third start of spring when the Giants host a Cubs split squad at Scottsdale Stadium on Saturday at 12:05 p.m. PT. Rodriguez has a 3.86 ERA in 4 2/3 innings through his first two Cactus League outings.