SAN FRANCISCO -- Creating an opportunity for slugger Chris Shaw to deliver on his promise, the Giants traded right fielder Andrew McCutchen on Friday to the New York Yankees.The Giants received Minor Leaguers Abiatal Avelino, an infielder, and Juan De Paula, a right-hander, from the Yankees, who will have McCutchen
SAN FRANCISCO -- Creating an opportunity for slugger Chris Shaw to deliver on his promise, the Giants traded right fielder Andrew McCutchen on Friday to the New York Yankees.
The Giants received Minor Leaguers Abiatal Avelino, an infielder, and Juan De Paula, a right-hander, from the Yankees, who will have McCutchen available in the postseason by beating Friday's deadline to acquire players and have them eligible for October rosters.
But from San Francisco's perspective, the deal was largely about getting a better look at Shaw, the organization's top power-hitting prospect who made his Major League debut in Friday night's series opener against the Mets at AT&T Park.
Manager Bruce Bochy said the left-handed-batting Shaw, who has hit 24 home runs in back-to-back seasons in the Minors, will become San Francisco's everyday left fielder for the rest of the year. Austin Slater, another outfielder who's striving for consistency, likely will play both center and right during the season's closing weeks.
News of the swap broke Thursday, one day after the Giants' 3-1 loss to Arizona dropped them seven games out of first place in the National League West. Had the Giants won Wednesday's series finale, which would have trimmed their deficit in the division race to five games, the timing of the McCutchen deal might have been different -- if it would have happened at all.
"Simply put, we were hoping to sweep Arizona. We didn't," executive vice president of baseball operations Brian Sabean said. "The odds became taller. It [the trade] was the prudent thing to do. Three teams ahead of us and we're running out of games.
"... We don't like to surrender."
Thus, the Giants' hierarchy decided the season's remaining 27 games can best be spent by taking a keener look at Shaw.
"He's got the power. He's got the swing," said Giants outfielder Gregor Blanco, who spent much of the season as Shaw's teammate with Triple-A Sacramento. "He's a great, great kid. He listens. He works hard."
Shaw also amassed 144 strikeouts in 394 at-bats this year.
"He definitely needs to get better at that, and I think he will. He has all the tools," Blanco said.
Sabean didn't rule out pursuing McCutchen in free agency this offseason.
"I wish there were more McCutchens in baseball," said Sabean, adding that he hopes the 31-year-old wins a World Series ring with the Yankees. Acquired on Jan. 15 from Pittsburgh for right-hander Kyle Crick and outfielder Bryan Reynolds, McCutchen hit .255 with a team-high 15 homers andd 55 RBIs in 130 games. Sabean praised McCutchen's production "in a lineup that literally wasn't much help to him personally."
Avelino, 23, hit .287 with 15 homers and 66 RBIs while dividing his season between Double-A Trenton and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
"Career-wise, he's been more of a defensive player with plus speed and arm strength and the ability to play in the middle of the field," Giants general manager Bobby Evans said. "... His game is his ability to play all over and the fact that he's athletic and that he's had a good year offensively is a good sign for us. But it's not exactly the core part of his game."
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De Paula, who's in his fourth professional season despite being only 20, was 2-2 with a 1.71 ERA in 10 games (nine starts) for the Yankees' affiliate in the Class A Short-Season New York-Penn League.
"For us, he'll continue to progress as a starter in our system," Evans said. "Plus fastball, athletic, has a solid breaking ball and changeup."
Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast.