San Francisco Chronicle
Giants add Cubs’ slugger
S.F. powers up its lineup by getting Kris Bryant at trade deadline.
Two years ago, Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi established that the closer to the trade deadline, the better, with his swinging five moves in the final minutes.
The Chronicle confirmed that with five minutes to go, the Giants obtained one of the top position players available, snagging 2016 NL MVP Kris Bryant from the Cubs in exchange for two minorleaguers.
Bryant, 29, is a righthanded hitter who plays multiple positions and provides power to a team that hasn’t produced as well against lefthanded starters (4.3 runs per game) as righties (5.0 runs per game). Bryant is batting .342 against lefties with a .429 onbase percentage, and he can play third, first and all three outfield spots.
“I just feel he’s a perfect fit for our roster, get
ting another middle of theorder righthanded bat,” said Zaidi, who expects Bryant to arrive Saturday. “Not just a guy who can move around the field but actually likes moving around the field.”
San Francisco has baseball’s best record, and Zaidi was firm throughout the past month that he did not want to do anything to disrupt the excellent clubhouse vibe. He called Bryant a “great fit” in that respect, too.
“I’ve never spoken to a player more excited to be coming to an organization,” Zaidi said.
Chicago will receive pitcher Caleb Kilian and outfielder Alexander Canario in return.
Bryant, who was named to his fourth AllStar team this season, has an .861 OPS, 18 homers and 51 RBIs.
Canario, 21, was ranked the Giants’ No. 8 prospect by Baseball America. Kilian, a 24yearold righthander, was the Giants’ 30th best prospect, according to MLB Pipeline.
Canario was on the 40man roster, which will clear a spot for Bryant. And at least initially, utility player Jason Vosler is most likely to come off the bigleague roster to make room for Bryant.
San Francisco also will get first baseman Brandon Belt, second baseman Tommy La Stella and third baseman Evan Longoria off the injured list in the next week to 10 days, so it will have to make some other tough decisions with the roster.
In another lastminute deal, the Giants reacquired lefthanded reliever Tony Watson in a deal with the Angels. Watson has a 4.64 ERA in 36 appearances this season, but righthanders are batting just .203 against him and lefties .213.
The Angels will receive minorleague pitchers Sam Selman, Jose Marte and Ivan Armstrong.
“He’s a guy who’s really well known and popular in this clubhouse,” Zaidi said of Watson. “He’s a battledtested reliever, and we’re going to have a lot of important games down the stretch. His influence, his demeanor, is really an example we want to have set.”
One of the Giants’ top priorities was starting pitching depth, and one by one Thursday and Friday, the big names headed elsewhere.
Threetime Cy Young winner Max Scherzer, the biggest fish, went to the Dodgers, who entered the day three games behind the Giants. Los Angeles also picked up another starter, Danny Duffy, whom the Giants had eyed, and L.A. also added shortstop Trea Turner in the Scherzer deal with Washington.
Other bigname starters were on the move Friday, none to San Francisco: twotime AllStar José Berríos went from the Twins to the Blue Jays, and 2021 AllStar Kyle Gibson went from the Rangers to the Phillies. The Yankees picked up Andrew Heaney from the Angels.
Zaidi said the Giants didn’t want to go to a sixman rotation or move another of their starters.
“We’ve talked a lot over the last couple of weeks that you sort of want to stick with the guys who got you here,” Zaidi said. “Our starting rotation certainly has done that.”