San Francisco Giants: Matt Seelinger acquired to complete Erik Kratz trade

SF Giants hat. (Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images)
SF Giants hat. (Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images) /

The San Francisco Giants designated catcher Erik Kratz for assignment last week. However, they were able to trade him to the Tampa Bay Rays for a player to be named later.

The player the San Francisco Giants will receive in exchange for Kratz was announced on Monday, and it is right-handed reliever Matt Seelinger.

Despite being drafted in the 28th round of the 2017 MLB draft, this is already the second time Seelinger has been traded. The Pirates sent him to Tampa Bay last summer in the deal that brought veteran shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria to Pittsburgh.

The 24-year-old looks to be a pitcher in demand. This may not be the type of move that jumps off the page or stirs up the fan base, but it could be an under-the-radar move that pays dividends down the road.

Seelinger features a low 90’s fastball as well as a curveball. The fastball is not overpowering, but he knows how to command and sequence his pitches to generate plenty of swings-and-misses.

In 84.0 professional innings, he has posted a 3.21 ERA to go along with an impressive 11.9 strikeouts per nine innings. Here is a look at Seelinger in action:

The biggest red flag with Seelinger has been his susceptibility to the long ball. In his 84 innings of work, he has yielded nine home runs.

In addition to that, the 2019 season as a whole has not been kind to him.

While pitching for Tampa Bay’s High-A affiliate, Seelinger posted a 10.00 ERA, allowing 10 hits and 10 earned runs in nine innings over six appearances.

Further, with a strikeout rate of 7.0 K/9 and a walk rate of 4.0 BB/9, he has seen his command and swing-and-miss stuff regress over that small sample size. Since it is such a small sample, he will have plenty of time to turn those numbers around, and he’ll begin his Giants career by returning to the South Atlantic League where he pitched in 2018:

That assignment to the club’s Single-A affiliate is a step below where Seelinger began the season, though that decision is not necessarily in response to his early struggles.

Rather, the San Francisco Giants just promoted two of their top pitching prospects in Sean Hjelle and Jake Wong from Single-A Augusta to High-A San Jose. That leaves the Augusta pitching staff in need of extra arms.

As such, it may just be a temporary move for Seelinger until the Augusta pitching staff is restructured.

Next. Sell-off Series: Building a trade with the Houston Astros

The San Francisco Giants did well to acquire an asset in exchange for Kratz. Seelinger may not be a major prospect, but he carries plenty of intrigue as a lottery ticket that could eventually pay off.