San Francisco Giants Trade Away Austin Jackson and Cory Gearrin

In a move that seems designed to free up salary cap space in order to make another move closer to the trade deadline, the Giants traded away Austin Jackson and Cory Gearrin along with prospect Jason Bahr to the Texas Rangers for cash considerations or a player to be named later.  In other words, a straight dump of what remains of Jackson’s and Gearrin’s combined $4.68M in contracts for 2018 (plus Jackson’s $3M 2019 guarantee) with a B-grade prospect thrown in to sweeten the pot.

Jackson seemed like a low-cost place holder when the Giants signed him last off-season, and that’s pretty much what he turned out to be.  The Giants have promoted Steven Duggar to replace Jackson in center field.  I don’t think that Duggar is quite ready to be a major league hitter, but there’s a good chance he’ll hit as well as Jackson did so far in 2018 (.604 OPS), and at age 24 Duggar has much more a major league future in front of him than the 31 year old Jackson.

I kind of liked Cory Gearrin, but he’s the kind of fungible right-handed relief pitcher the Giants have always been able to find on the scrap heap and get a couple or three solid years out of.  Gearrin’s roster spot is being replaced by Ray Black, who may or may not now have major league command but in any event has absolutely electric stuff.  Black will be fun to watch, if nothing else.

I’m a little sad that Tyler Rogers didn’t get the call to replace Gearrin.  Rogers now has a 1.64 ERA at AAA Sacramento a year after posting a full-season 2.37 ERA there.  That said, Ray Black has a major league arm and then some, and the Giants are an old school team that likes right-handers who can really bring it.  If Black can’t throw enough strikes at the major league level yet, which is a very real possibility, then maybe Rogers finally gets his shot.

Jason Bahr was the Giants’ 5th round draft pick in 2017 out of Central Florida, and he’s having a fine season after recently receiving a promotion to A+ San Jose from A Augusta.  He has a 2.55 ERA with 103 Ks in 84.2 IP, which is great.  However, he is already 23 years old and hasn’t yet reached the AA level.  mlbtraderumors.com says mlb.com rates Bahr as the Giants’ 27th best prospect, which frankly isn’t saying much except that he isn’t a total dog.

The Giants are trying to stay under the $197M competitive balance cap.  The penalties for going over the cap are complicated — suffice it say that the wealthy teams have strong incentives to get under this cap at least once every two or three seasons in order to avoid the steepest penalties.

Now we wait and see what the  do with this newly acquired cap space as we get closer to the trade deadline.

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