Aside from today’s news that the club is close to inking a deal with ambidextrous reliever Pat Venditte, the start to the 2019 offseason has been relatively quiet for the Giants, and for the league as a whole.
On the heels of consecutive losing seasons, and with a new VP of baseball operations in charge, it stands to reason that a handful of changes are right around the corner in the coming months. One of the most talked about potential moves is the trading of Madison Bumgarner, but Duane Kuiper believes it’s two other left-handed pitchers who are more likely to be dealt this offseason.
“To me, just reading by what Farhan (Zaidi) and the Giants executives are doing, is they’re going to make a trade,” Kuiper said. “And I’m convinced that they’re going to end up losing — and I don’t think it’s going to be Bumgarner — but I do believe they are going to lose one of their two left-handers. And they’ll get a really good player for either (Tony) Watson or Will Smith.”
Smith and Watson were arguably the two best pitchers in the Giants bullpen last year. Smith posted a 2.55 ERA with a team best 0.98 WHIP in 54 appearances, while Watson posted a similarly impressive 2.59 ERA and 1.08 WHIP in 72 appearances, good for second lowest on the team. Both should command significant interest on the trade market.
“I love both those guys, they’re great,” Kuiper said. “They’re great in the clubhouse, they don’t want to leave, they love the organization and the city, but things can’t stay the same if you’re not generating enough offense. World championships bring people to the ballpark, but if you’re not winning world championships then a few wins and scoring runs will bring people to the ballpark.”
Listen to the full interview below. To hear Kuip on the potential trade, start from 7:30.