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Giants spring training is wrapping up in Arizona, and moves are still being made. Thursday evening, the Giants made a trade with the Cincinnati Reds that could shake up the final 25-man roster at the eleventh hour.
The Giants acquired infielder Connor Joe from the Reds in exchange for minor leaguer Jordan Johnson and cash. The latest move is a minor one, but it could have a major impact on final roster decisions.
Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle joined Murph & Mac Friday morning to discuss the latest move and what impact it could have on the final roster decision.
“Connor Joe is obviously a guy that Farhan likes,” Schulman said. “He had him in the system last year. He knows what this guy can do, he’s got a little pop in his bat. He’s not a twenty homer guy, but he’s a right-handed hitter, which is what they need.
“This is one of the two greatest Farhan Zaidi trades. He has a great on-base percentage, he can take a walk, and you can move him almost anywhere around the field. In fact, he has no catching experience in the big leagues, but he’s practiced at catcher, he’s caught bullpens.”
Positional flexibility is very important to Zaidi. Another player that will be competing with Joe for a roster spot is Pablo Sandoval. The fan favorite is far from guaranteed a spot on the roster after this move, which might beg the question, could there be a power struggle between Zaidi and Bruce Bochy over the decision to keep Sandoval?
“There’s no power struggle here, Zaidi has all the power. Basically, the way I put it, was that it’s Zaidi’s head vs Bochy’s heart. From what I understand, Zaidi is very aware of how Bochy feels about Pablo Sandoval. Its’ no secret, he’s like a second father to him.”
After two straight losing seasons and potentially headed towards a third, the Giants brought in Zaidi to shake things up and make the hard decisions.
“Zaidi was brought in for a reason, he was brought in to take a team that has had two straight losing seasons, and who is probably not going to win this year, and make any move he can to help the team win now and for the future. In Zaidi’s mind, if you can get a player who can do what Pablo can do, and has six years of control, you’re going to make that move.”
It will be interesting to see how the Giants final 25-man roster shakes out between now and opening day. There’s lots of competition for very few roster spots, and tough decisions will have to be made.
Listen to Schulman on Murph & Mac here: