The Giants made a somewhat surprising trade Sunday morning, moving outfielder Austin Jackson, reliever Cory Gearrin, and prospect Jason Bahr to the Texas Rangers. Although San Francisco is receiving some cash in the deal, as well as a player to be named later, the move was made for two other reasons.
First, moving Jackson’s annual salary of $3 million for the next two seasons will help get the Giants under the Collective Bargaining Tax of approximately $197 million, reducing their cap penalties for future seasons. Additionally, it opened up two roster spots for intriguing prospects Steven Duggar and Ray Black.
Both Duggar and Black featured in their debuts on Sunday. Duggar got the start in center field, and impressed with two hits, including a would-be single that Duggar stretched into a double in the sixth inning.
Steven Duggar gets his first big league knock pic.twitter.com/HUMSUqWkuE
— SF Giants on NBCS (@NBCSGiants) July 8, 2018
Black’s big league debut didn’t go quite as well. Though his average fastball clocked in at 99.3 MPH, Black also gave up a three-run jack to Matt Carpenter in his 1/3 inning of work.
On Monday, Giants manager Bruce Bochy surprised Murph & Mac with a call during their morning show, and broke down how he thinks each player will fit in.
“What this did do though is create a couple of roster spots for a couple of guys that have been on our radar for the last month, and that’s Steven Duggar, who will be up here playing a lot of center field, and Ray Black, who made his debut,” Bochy said. “And although it was a tough one for him — he walked a couple guys and found out where (Matt) Carpenter’s nitro zone is, threw a fastball middle-in, down a little bit and somebody on the kayak got that one too I think — anyway, he’s been throwing the ball so well. Big power arm, curveball, so he’ll help us in that area where Reyes Moronta’s been helping us, the sixth inning that’ll help him out. And of course Duggar will be getting a lot of playing time in center field.”
Bochy said he thinks the recent additions of the speedy Duggar, Alen Hanson, and Austin Slater, will have an effect on how the Giants play.
“Well I think so,” Bochy said. “I mean you saw the ball Duggar hit yesterday, he didn’t hesitate going to second. He made it easy but not everybody would’ve made that. I mean he broke out of the box and he’s got that other gear that he can turn it on and he’s a base stealer. So with him and Hanson, and you’re right Slater can steal a base, I think it’s just going to make us more athletic, a quicker team first-to-third. You saw Hanson on the ground ball, he went first-to-third yesterday and so you’ll see some guys taking that extra base now.”
Bochy also commented on the recently departed Gearrin and Jackson.
“It’s part of baseball as you know, and both of the guys we traded — Gearrin and Jax — I mean great guys, just class guys. Jackson was getting a lot of the playing time early but with the emergence of Gorkys Hernandez, that cut down Austin’s playing time, and so it’s hard to get your timing when you’re not going out there a couple times every three or four days, and that was the plan. Cory, I think he’s been throwing the ball very well.”
Listen to the full podcast below. To hear Bochy on Duggar and Black, start from the 1:00 mark.