Bobby Evans Was Bad for the San Francisco Giants
Bobby Evans stepped in as General Manager in the 2014 offseason coming off the San Francisco Giants third World Series title in five years. With 20 years in the Giants organization, Evans was Sabean’s heir apparent. He had pretty big shoes to fill, but his main objective was to keep winning rings.
Despite three championship runs in the previous five seasons, Bobby Evans did not inherit a perfect situation. The biggest problems Evans faced were the 22nd ranked farm system and many of his core players were all entering or in arbitration years.
Bobby Evans didn’t waste much time and went to work making mistakes from the very beginning. He went out and signed a few minor leaguers with some major league experience in order to add depth to the 40-man roster and have Triple-A/organizational/emergency call-up pieces. Then he made his first mistake.
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Dec 20 2014- The Giants traded Luis Castillo and Kendry Flores to the Miami Marlins for Casey McGehee
I’m willing to give Bobby Evans the benefit of the doubt here and say that this deal was only bad in hindsight. Luis Castillo and Kendry Flores were never top 30 prospects at any point in their minor league careers, but Casey McGehee was really bad. On top of that, Casey McGehee was never that good. Bobby Evans had to find an everyday third baseman to replace Pablo Sandoval who left due to free agency, but McGehee was not the answer and Matt Duffy seemed to be a suitable replacement.
This trade was symptomatic of the Bobby Evans regime. He traded away organizational depth for pieces he perceived would get the Giants over the hump. Inevitably, these moves didn’t work out, but many times they also blocked younger players from getting important playing time.
Furthermore, it was also poor talent evaluation on both ends. Luis Castillo was not a highly touted prospect, but performed well at every level of the minor leagues and today is projected to be a mid-rotation arm for the Cincinnati Reds. Casey McGehee was coming off what some thought was a bounce back season in Miami, but skeptics would call that “bounce back season” a fluke. Turns out that it was a fluke.
Although this wasn’t a great deal, it didn’t hamstring the Giants and they went into the 2015 season in pretty good shape. The Giants had a solid 2015 campaign, but as the 2015 season passed its halfway point, they found themselves losing ground in the NL Wild Card race and after a solid July they decided to make a move to bolster their strong rotation and make a push for the wildcard.
July 30 2015– The Giants trade Adam Duvall and Keury Mella for Mike Leake
I liked this trade. The Giants did have to trade some good prospects for a rental, but Leake was having a great season and the Giants rotation needed some help. Mike Leake got to San Francisco and instead of pitching great, he pitched okay and instead of going to the playoffs the Giants did not.
Once again the Giants traded a couple of players that in this case were more than organizational depth pieces for another player that couldn’t get them over the hump. Adam Duvall has since been an all-star who pretty much only hits home runs and Keury Mella is currently the Reds 11th best prospect according to MLB.com. Also, Matt Duffy ended up overtaking McGehee at third base and McGehee was eventually released.
Another interesting note is early in the season the Giants released Jonathan Loaisiga who is currently the Yankees No. 2 prospect.