Giants deal Moore to Rangers for Minors arms

Righties Wolff, Cruz acquired; GM Evans says move frees up payroll for 'other opportunities'

December 16th, 2017

SAN FRANCISCO -- Striving to increase their talent surplus and payroll flexibility, the Giants announced Friday night that they traded left-hander Matt Moore and $750,000 in international signing bonus pool money to the Texas Rangers for a pair of Minor League right-handers.

Moore was slated to earn $9 million in 2018 -- not an exorbitant amount, but perhaps enough to help the Giants accommodate the salary of a proven hitter, which has been their top offseason goal.

"This frees us up to pursue some other opportunities," Giants general manager Bobby Evans said.

The Giants reportedly attempted to trade for Baltimore third baseman Manny Machado and are said to have expressed varying levels of interest in free agents J.D. Martinez, and . They've inquired about Pittsburgh's and Milwaukee's , who are said to be available in trade. Earlier this offseason, the Giants' attempts to obtain , Shohei Ohtani and fell short.

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The Giants acquired Moore in the Aug. 1, 2016, deal that sent infielder and two Minor Leaguers to Tampa Bay. Moore helped the Giants secure a National League Wild Card postseason berth that year by winning four of his final five starts.

Moore couldn't sustain that momentum last season, finishing 6-15 with a 5.52 ERA in 32 appearances (31 starts). His ERA was a career high and he tied for most losses in the National League.

Hungry for starting pitching, the Rangers were willing to ignore Moore's statistical lapse. From the Giants' perspective, Moore's departure will leave another spot at the back of the rotation open for competition among Chris Stratton, , and Andrew Suarez, among others.

Israel Cruz and Sam Wolff were the prospects San Francisco received for Moore. Cruz, 20, has not pitched above Rookie ball in four professional seasons. He has 127 strikeouts in 150 innings while bouncing between starting and relieving in 43 appearances (24 starts).

Wolff, 26, is recovering from flexor tendon surgery and won't resume pitching until June. He divided last season between Texas' Double-A and Triple-A affiliates, recording 59 strikeouts and 19 walks in 43 innings spanning 40 games. Wolff posted a 4-5 overall record with a 2.93 ERA in 2017.