Giants retool, but keep Bumgarner, Smith in fold

Zaidi on keeping his ace: 'When he's on your side, you always feel like you have a chance'

August 1st, 2019

PHILADELPHIA -- The Giants completed a flurry of transactions ahead of Wednesday’s 1 p.m. PT Trade Deadline, executing five trades involving 13 players. But perhaps their most notable moves were the ones they didn’t make.

Despite rampant trade speculation, remains a Giant. So, too, does All-Star closer . That both are still around is a testament to the remarkable resurgence the Giants have enjoyed in July, when they went a MLB-best 19-6 to catapult themselves back into the thick of the National League Wild Card race.

Even after trading Sam Dyson to the Twins, Mark Melancon to the Braves and Drew Pomeranz and Ray Black to the Brewers, the bulk of the Giants’ roster remains intact, giving them a shot to continue their push for the playoffs in Bruce Bochy’s final season as manager. Some offensive help is also expected to arrive Friday in the form of second baseman , who was acquired from the Reds in exchange for cash considerations or a player to be named later.

“We value the present,” first-year president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi said in a conference call with reporters. “We have a lot of faith in this group's ability to continue playing well, as we have recently. We had to be open minded. ... There's a balancing of present and future.”

The Giants parted with a few key relievers in Dyson, Melancon and Pomeranz, but they feel they have enough bullpen depth to fill the voids and remain competitive. They recalled Dereck Rodriguez, Andrew Suarez and Jandel Gustave from Triple-A Sacramento to replace the trio ahead of Wednesday night’s game against the Phillies.

“They’re really good guys, good teammates, so they’ll definitely be missed, for sure,” Smith said. “But we always thought our bullpen was a strength from the very beginning. We lost really good arms, but I still feel like we’re going to be OK down there.”

Bumgarner was in the weight room when the Deadline passed and said he was never approached about any potential deals that would have required him to waive his partial no-trade clause. He is now guaranteed to finish the 2019 campaign with the Giants, though his future with the organization is still unclear since he will be eligible for free agency at the end of the season.

“I feel the exact same, honestly,” Bumgarner said. “I feel like I did a good job of not letting any of that creep into my head. I never expected to be somewhere else until that happened.”

While the Giants continued to listen on Bumgarner in the days leading up to the Trade Deadline, their recent climb up the standings made them less inclined to deal their franchise pitcher and World Series hero.

“When he's on your side, you always feel like you have a chance,” Zaidi said. “If you're an underdog, if you're a Wild Card, if you're eight games back in the standings or two games back in the standings. When you have a guy who's done what he's done, and led the way he has led, he makes you feel like you always have a chance. I know the guys are excited that he's still got that uniform on his back.”

Bochy admitted that he’s also thrilled to keep Bumgarner in his rotation down the stretch.

“I’m happy,” Bochy said. “There’s no getting around that. He's still here. He means so much to me. To have him here the rest of my tenure here, it's pretty cool. That makes me feel really good to have him beside me. You never know when you get in this situation, what's going to happen, but the fact that he's still here. No question. That's good news for me.”

Gennett, 29, earned his first career All-Star nod last season after batting .310 with an .847 OPS and 23 home runs for the Reds, but he’s been limited to 21 games this year due to a right groin strain. He didn’t make his 2019 debut until June 28 and is batting .217 over 69 at-bats in his final season before free agency. Gennett’s arrival will have implications for incumbent second baseman Joe Panik, another left-handed hitter who has struggled to provide consistent production this season.

In exchange for Pomeranz and Black, the Giants landed middle-infield prospect Mauricio Dubon, who was ranked the Brewers’ No. 3 prospect by MLB Pipeline. A right-handed hitter, Dubon was batting .297 with an .809 OPS and 16 homers for Triple-A San Antonio and debuted with the Brewers earlier this month. The 25-year-old native of Honduras also plays shortstop and has some experience at third base.

Melancon had to waive his no-trade clause to join the Braves, who sent right-handed reliever Dan Winkler and No. 17 prospect Tristan Beck, a right-handed starter, to the Giants to complete the deal. Zaidi said the Braves are assuming the full $18 million remaining on Melancon’s contract through next season.

“I had about 12 seconds to figure that out,” said Melancon, who signed a four-year, $62 million deal with the Giants in December 2016. “I don’t even know what went through my mind. It’s a winning team, and they got a lot of young talent, a lot of upside there. It just came down to the opportunity there.”

Dyson was called into Bochy’s office shortly after the Trade Deadline passed to learn of his trade to the Twins. The Giants acquired three prospects -- right-hander Prelander Berroa, outfielder Jaylin Davis and right-hander Kai-Wei Teng -- in exchange for Dyson, who had been one of the key cogs in the club’s bullpen this season.

Davis, 25, is the closest to Major League-ready of the group, as he’s batting .331 with a 1.112 OPS and 15 home runs in 41 games for Triple-A Rochester this season.

The Giants also agreed to a minor deal with the Rays, acquiring outfielder Joe McCarthy in exchange for left-hander Jacob Lopez. McCarthy, 25, is hitting .192 with a .698 OPS in 41 games for Triple-A Durham this year.

Of the Giants’ newly acquired players, only Gennett is expected to be added to the 25-man roster in the coming days. Dubon, Davis, Winkler and McCarthy are expected to report to Triple-A Sacramento, while the rest of the prospects will be assigned to other affiliates within the organization.