The Giants confirmed Friday that they have traded right fielder Andrew McCutchen and cash to New York in exchange for two prospects — middle infielder Abiatal Avelino and right-handed pitcher Juan De Paula, ranked Nos. 23 and 26, respectively, in the Yankees minor league system.
They’ve additionally purchased the contract of minor-league left fielder Chris Shaw, who will wear No. 26, and take McCutchen’s spot on the roster.
Shaw batted .260 with 24 home runs for Triple-A Sacramento this season, but has had a problem with strikeouts, notching 144 in 422 plate appearances.
The rookie said that he was getting breakfast in the clubhouse Friday morning as he and his fellow River Cats prepared to board the team bus for their season finale against the Mets Triple-A affiliate in Las Vegas when his manager pulled him aside to inform him he would instead be meeting the actual Mets in San Francisco:
“I kind of broke down it’s something that you dream about your entire life and to finally have that vision, that dream come to fruition was — I still can’t even put it into words.”
Manager Bruce Bochy spoke highly of McCutchen’s impact on the Giants this season, wishing the right fielder all the best with the Yankees in the playoffs:
“He’s just a pleasure for a manager to have because he shows up every day and gives you all he’s got and never asks for a day, he just likes playing. So I thank him for all he did here.”
“Obviously we were hoping that this year would go a little bit better than what it did and he would be a huge part of it, but it didn’t quite happen. I hope it goes well for him over there in New York, I really do.”
The Giants skipper also said the organization is not counting out the possibility of re-signing ‘Cutch’ this winter if things work out. He said that he, for one, would be “ecstatic” to have him back next season.
One upside of the McCutchen trade is that it gives the Giants the opportunity to give Shaw a long look in September. Bochy said that Austin Slater will primarily play in right field, and Shaw will be out in left:
“[Shaw] will get a lot of playing time out there. He’s a bat that we think is gonna play here at some point on a regular basis, and so he’s gonna get a chance to show what he can do up here in September.”
Veteran outfielder Grégor Blanco, who was recalled Wednesday after Steven Duggar sustained a season-ending shoulder injury, said he’s spent a lot of time with Shaw in Sacramento this season and has taken the opportunity to counsel the 24-year-old outfielder.
Noting that the two have neighboring lockers in the Giants clubhouse Blanco said he hopes to continue advising Shaw on how to play the game:
“He’s gonna change those numbers in right field. I think he’s gonna put more balls in the Bay for sure. I think he’s got that power, he’s got that swing, he’s a great kid, he listens, he works hard and he’s just the type of guy the Giants need.”
Avelino, 23, is batting .287 with 15 home runs, eight triples, 66 RBI and 25 stolen bases in time spent between the Yankees Double-A and Triple-A squads this year. De Paula, a starting pitcher, is just 20 years old and has spent the last two seasons in A-Ball. In 2018 he has a 1.71 ERA in 47-1/3 innings pitched, and he averages about a strikeout an inning. … In coincidental news, former Giant Cory Gearrin, who was traded in a salary dump with Austin Jackson to the Texas Rangers earlier this year, was acquired by the A’s Friday for a pair of minor leaguers, meaning he will likely face McCutchen early next week when the Yankees come to Oakland. … Buster Posey is back in San Francisco and on crutches. He has already started rehabbing from the arthroscopic hips surgery he underwent earlier this week in Colorado, doing work on a bike before Friday’s match with the Mets.