In another case of a 2015 first-round draft pick getting dealt, the San Francisco Giants have dealt minor league starter Phil Bickford to the Milwaukee Brewers for reliever Will Smith, first reported by Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports.
Source: Giants acquire reliever Will Smith.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) August 1, 2016
San Francisco Giants Acquire Will Smith
Smith is 1-3 on the season with a 3.68 ERA in 27 appearances. The 27-year-old, Georgia native was originally drafted by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in the seventh round of the 2008 MLB Draft.
This seems to be a move to give manager Bruce Bochy some options in late innings against the bevy of left-handed power hitters in the division down the stretch. With bats like Adrian Gonzalez, Joc Pederson, Chase Utley, Carlos Gonzalez and Jake Lamb littered around the National League West, there is no such thing as too many lefty relievers.
This deal comes at a particularly high price, however. Bickford was drafted 18th overall out of the College of Southern Nevada in 2015 and has split this season between Low-A Augusta and High-A San Jose. With a combined 2.71 ERA and 1.04 WHIP, a 2.73 ERA in six California League starts, it is no mystery why he is Baseball America’s No. 50 overall prospect. If a pitcher can have success in the many hitters parks in the Cal League, a team really has something.
The final piece headed to Milwaukee is catcher Andrew Susac. He spent the early part of the season battling injuries, including recovering from a wrist injury. Susac is currently in Triple-A Sacramento, but has played 87 games for the Giants in 2014-2015. With a small-sample-size career slash line of .240/.309/.407, the 26-year-old has shown that he can be a serviceable bat at the big league level, while being solid behind the plate.
This type of move is nothing new for the Giants’ front office. Senior VP and GM Bobby Evans is currently in his second year at the helm, but has been with the organization for over 20 years. So if recent moves ring any bells of past teams, they should. From former GM Brian Sabean trading Zack Wheeler for a rental of Carlos Beltran in 2011, to picking up Marco Scutaro in 2012 for infielder Charlie Culberson. Hard to forget the deal that sent Tommy Joseph to Philadelphia for Hunter Pence, who quickly became a fan favorite in the Bay Area. Even to this season, trading pitching prospect, and 2016 Futures Game participant, Adalberto Mejia to Minnesota for Eduardo Nunez.
The title of general manager may have changed hands, but the organizational philosophy has remained the same. The Giants aren’t afraid to deal young talent for key veteran pieces for playoff runs, and the results speak for themselves.