On Wednesday, Duane Kuiper told KNBR that he expects the Giants to trade one of their left-handed relievers, Tony Watson or Will Smith, in the coming weeks. Kuiper’s hypothesis comes a week after rumors surfaced that the Cardinals are interested in trading for one of the pitchers.
On Thursday morning, Kuiper’s broadcast partner Mike Krukow joined Adam Copeland, Ryan Covay, and Bonnie-Jill Laflin on the KNBR morning show, and broke down what he thinks the Giants will be looking for in return for one of the left handers.
“It seems to me what they need is outfielders and I think that’s going to be the theme the entire offseason,” Krukow said. “To bring in more outfielders and more arms. I think they feel pretty solid with the people they have behind the plate, and what they have in the infield but they need outfielders. I think that’s what you can hope for.”
The Giants enter the offseason with only one of their starting outfielders from 2018, CF Steven Duggar, still on their roster. Reports are that new VP of baseball ops Farhan Zaidi would like to add two everyday outfielders in the coming months. Krukow believes that Watson and Smith are valuable enough to command that in return.
“I think guys like Watson and Smith, both guys have closed, both guys are back-end relievers where you see them in the eighth and ninth inning consistently,” Krukow said. “What Will Smith did last year to improve in his marketability is off the charts. First of all he overcame the Tommy John, he proved to the baseball world that his arm is healthy and that he can absorb a true workload, and that he could close.”
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.
“I mean those guys are invaluable. A lefty that can get righties out, both Watson and Smith can do that. I mean that really is a great piece to have if you’re a team that feels that you’re going to make a contending effort in the upcoming year.
“If that’s the case you’re going to get a good prospect or an established outfielder that’s played a couple years in the major leagues, and I think that’s what we’re going to see the rest of the year.”
Listen to the full interview below. To hear Krukow on the potential trade, start from 2:30.