San Francisco Giants Acquire Yet Another 4-A Outfielder

The Giants today traded for 29 year old outfielder Alex Dickerson from the Padres for 23 year old RHP Franklin Van Gurp, as new Giants general manager Farhan Zaidi seems determined to try to corner the market on not quite major league outfielders.

In theory the Giants have room for another 4-A outfielder now that Mac Williamson is no longer with the organization.  However, I’d rather see Austin Slater or Mike Gerber, both of whom are hitting great at AAA Sacramento and are three years younger, get major league chances before the new warm body Dickerson does.

Dickerson hit well for the Padres as a rookie in 2016, but then he missed all of the next two seasons due to back problems and a torn elbow tendon.  He missed most of the 2014 season to injuries as well.  He hit well in 26 games at AAA El Paso (1.075 OPS), but only 3-for-19 in San Diego.  Who does that sound like?  Basically, every AAA outfielder the Giants have called up this season, claimed in the Rule 5 Draft, claimed off waivers, etc.

Van Gurp is a former 25th round draft pick out of college who has a very live arm.  He’s struck out 174 batters in 128.2 minor league innings pitched, mostly in the low minors.  It remains to be seen if he can find enough command to amount to something, but he’s got the kind of arm the Padres should be happy to get for a player they had designated for assignment before making the trade.

It definitely feels like the Giants are going to continue to cycle through outfielders to see if any can get hot for more than a week or two in San Francisco.  Mike Yastrzemski, after a successful first week of major league games, is already beginning to look like another won’t-ever-be-ready-for-prime-time hitter.  At least he’s building up a resume to get a shot at major league money in Japan or South Korea next year.

The belief is growing stronger and stronger in my heart that Zaidi is secretly committed to the team continuing to tank in 2019 and 2020, in order to get the high draft picks necessary to rebuild a new competitor starting around 2021.  At this point, I don’t much care just how badly the 2019 team plays so long as the team works on developing a new core group of young players as quickly as possible.

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