The Giants made a minor shake-up to their roster on Sunday, trading struggling outfielder Austin Jackson and reliever Cory Gearrin to the Texas Rangers for cash considerations or a player to be named later.
Giants general manager Bobby Evans joined Murph & Mac on Monday morning, and explained what led to the decision to make the move.
“It took some time,” Evans began. “I mean we saw, obviously, Gorkys take the job from Austin fairly quickly in the season. By May it was his job, and Austin’s playing time diminished so much. I mean he’s really a guy you want to face left-handed pitching, and I think maybe in June he faced not even 20 plate appearances against left-handed pitching.”
The Giants signed Jackson this offseason to a two-year deal worth $6 million. Jackson was coming off a stellar season with Indians in 2017, posting a .318/.387/.482 slash line in 85 games. Hernandez on the other hand, wasn’t even a lock to make the Giants roster, after a disappointing 2017 (.255/.327/.326) where he didn’t hit a single home run in 348 plate appearances.
But Hernandez has surprised everyone with a career year in 2018 (.279/.327/.463, 11 HR) and has become an above-average leadoff hitter in the process. Jackson on the other hand was never able to establish a rhythm with his new team.
“So I think the writing was on the wall that that wasn’t going to be ultimately fair to what Austin expected and at some level it was creating a very right-handed outfield, whether it’s Slater, Williamson, Pence, Jackson, McCutchen, or Hernandez,” Evans continued. “You know we needed to get more left-handed so that was great with Hanson coming up and being able to play left field, but now he has to play second base with Panik out.
“And so for us as we explored options with Gearrin, formally being more of a set-up, late inning guy now becoming more middle, and really better against right-handed hitters, more specialized, probably a luxury that we couldn’t hang onto.
“We searched for clubs to consider working with us on a deal, and it was probably the better part of five to seven days when we focused on it.”
Listen to the full interview below. To hear Evans on the trade, start from the beginning.