Giants load up on lefties at trade deadline

The Giants are all in on this even-year run, so much so that they went ahead and steamrolled the fanbase with a final-minute stunner.

Two deadline transactions may have placed an unexpected shift within the clubhouse: The Giants lost Matt Duffy and a flurry of top prospects for two left-handed pitchers — one a reliever, the other a starter. Yep, Matt Duffy isn’t a Giant anymore — a harsh reality made possible by a harsher trade market.

The Giants made it very clear once trade talks started to heat up that they were looking for more bullpen help. Though the bullpen has improved to a 3.76 ERA, inconsistency (18 blown saves) forced Bobby Evans and Co. to go all in on Brewers LHR Will Smith.

Smith is a “swing-and-miss” guy the team was looking for. His strikeouts per nine innings peaked to 12.0 last season and sits at 9.0 today, well above the MLB average. Smith’s given up more than one run once this year: he allowed four to the Cubs on July 24.

The 27-year-old did sustain an odd knee injury this Spring while taking off his cleats, so the lefty already fits the Jeremy Affeldt mold.

Tampa Bay’s Matt Moore provides depth in back of the rotation, probably slated to replace either Jake Peavy or Matt Cain.

He’s young, 27, and will be under the Giants’ control for the next three years. His contract holds team options for 2017, ’18 and ’19 for $7 million, $9 million and $10 million, respectively.

The Moore hook, it seems, is consistency; he’s gone at least six innings in his previous 10 starts as a Ray.

The Giants knew they’d have to give up a boatload to the Tampa Bay Rays for Moore (or anyone) — it was clear they were looking for a roster player.

Duffy was on the DL with an achilles strain, and apparently was seen as expendable. Eduardo Nuñez provides immediate help at the hot corner. Ehire Adrianza will return from injury this week and Kelby Tomlinson is sitting in the wings.

The tipping point, it seems, was Christian Arroyo‘s performance with the Richmond Flying Squirrels. He’s seen increased playing time at third base and is batting a career .298 in the minors. The 21-year-old is the future of the Giants’ prized homegrown infield–Nuñez gives him a few more years to grow.

The Giants farm system was essentially wiped, having to give up their biggest prospects other than Arroyo and Tyler Beede.

They lost RHP Phil Bickford, international prospect Lucious Fox and Michael Santos along with proven catcher Andrew Susac.

Once the dust settles from that atomic bomb, Giants fans upset over their losses will see that Bobby Evan patched up every chipped spot needed to go at a fourth title.


Shayna Rubin is SFBay’s San Francisco Giants beat writer. Follow @SFBay and @ShaynaRubin on Twitter and at SFBay.ca for full coverage of Giants baseball.