The most polarizing personality on the 2020 Giants will not be back for the 2021 season.
The Giants traded Sam Coonrod to the Phillies on Saturday in exchange for righty reliever Carson Ragsdale, a fourth-round pick in 2020, losing one righty option out of their bullpen as well as the most controversial player they had, while gaining a prospect and 40-man roster space.
For the Giants, the 28-year-old Coonrod was an at-times electric arm who could buzz 100-mph fastballs past hitters, showing glimpses of greatness but not enough consistency to gain Gabe Kapler’s trust. Giants fans will remember him for his choosing not to kneel with the rest of the team in the 2020 opener during a statement of unity in reference to the Black Lives Matter movement. In the aftermath, he said his faith would not allow him to kneel before anyone but God and aligned the BLM movement with “Marxism.”
If Coonrod performed better, he would still be a Giant, however. His winding 2020, which featured injury, finished with a 9.82 ERA and five runs in one combined inning during his last two games of work, which helped push the Giants out of playoff contention. The stuff was never in question, but his maintaining it was an issue that Philadelphia hopes to solve.
The Giants had been maxed out on their 40-man roster and now gain a spot, creating room they will need if/when they bring in another starting pitcher and a lefty bat.
They also gain a big prospect, and we mean that literally. The 22-year-old Ragsdale is 6-foot-8 and coming off a strong finish to his South Florida career, registering a 2.84 ERA with 37 strikeouts in 19 innings last season. He did not play professionally after being drafted because of the pandemic.