San Francisco Giants Trade Proposal #1
To Phillies: 1B/3B Pablo Sandoval
To Giants: SS Nick Maton, OF Ben Pelletier
San Francisco Giants fans have been bracing to lose their ace Madison Bumgarner, but another fan favorite has played his way into a trade market as well.
Pablo Sandoval is just two years removed from being cut loose by the Boston Red Sox and returning to the city by the Bay. Since returning to San Francisco, he has proven to be a versatile bench bat capable of playing third base, first base and even second base in a pinch.
With a .286/.317/.571 line that includes 13 doubles and seven home runs in 126 plate appearances, the 2019 season has truly been a resurgence for Sandoval.
That might not be All-Star caliber production, but when combined with his strong clubhouse presence, it makes for an intriguing complementary piece for a contender like Philadelphia.
The Phillies are looking to add a left-handed bench bat and the switch-hitting Sandoval has been far more productive hitting from the left side (98 PA, .304 BA, .967) than the right side (28 PA, .222 BA, .620 OPS) this year.
They’ve already acquired Jay Bruce from the Seattle Mariners, but after losing Andrew McCutchen for the season, Bruce has now been thrust into an everyday role. Sandoval would also offer them needed help at the hot corner.
Incumbent third baseman Maikel Franco has failed to take another step forward and has really struggled out of the gate. Sandoval would make for a great platoon partner as he looks to get on track.
Sandoval is a free agent at the end of the season and any acquiring team would only be on the hook for a pro-rated minimum salary, so there wouldn’t be much risk on the Phillies end either.
There are really not comparable trades to base a Sandoval deal around. He was once an everyday star but is so far removed from that success that he’s almost more of a breakout player.
In terms of return value, my best guess is that the Giants front office will be looking for a prospect that slots somewhere in the 15-25 rang in their organizational rankings and another flier.
Shortstop Nick Maton is a 22-year-old holding his own at the High-A level. Since being selected in the seventh round of the 2017 draft, he has produced and projects as a high-floor/low-ceiling utility man. The Phillies system has multiple shortstops with more upside and the Giants system is thin at the position in the lower levels of the minors, so this would line up well.
The Phillies system is also deep with outfield talent and Ben Pelletier doesn’t even rank on most organizational top prospect lists. He has struggled mightily at full-season ball this year, but at 20 years old, he has a similar profile to a number of the players the Giants selected on Day 2 of the 2019 MLB draft and he would give their player development staff another interesting toolset.