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San Francisco Giants: Building a trade with the Tampa Bay Rays

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - MAY 01: Will Smith #13 of the San Francisco Giants pitches against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the top of the ninth inning of a Major League Baseball game at Oracle Park on May 1, 2019 in San Francisco, California. The Giants won the game 2-1. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - MAY 01: Will Smith #13 of the San Francisco Giants pitches against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the top of the ninth inning of a Major League Baseball game at Oracle Park on May 1, 2019 in San Francisco, California. The Giants won the game 2-1. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /
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San Francisco Giants Trade Proposal #1

To Rays: C Stephen Vogt
To Giants: OF Ryan Boldt

Before we get to the bigger bullpen deals, I see a minor swap that could entice both the San Francisco Giants and Tampa Bay Rays.

Stephen Vogt has been a productive backup catcher for the Giants through the first couple months of the season. Buster Posey is a shell of his former self and has dealt with injuries and has needed a lot of rest even when healthy.

Vogt has appeared in 24 games and posted a respectable .250/.318/.417 line, which is right on par with his career .251/.310/.416 triple slash. He also offers solid, albeit unspectacular, defense behind the plate.

The Giants seem fond of former second-round pick Aramis Garcia and allowing him to split time with Posey behind the plate would provide an extended look. Vogt will be a free agent at season’s end anyway, and the Giants aren’t moving on from Posey anytime soon given his contract.

The Rays acquired Mike Zunino this offseason to hold down the fort behind the plate. However, he’s always been prone to huge slumps and even at his best he strikes out a ton. This season, he’s batting .183/.233/.339 with three home runs and injuries have limited him to 31 games.

Furthermore, the Rays have had a revolving door behind Zunino on the depth chart. They acquired Erik Kratz from the Giants earlier this year and have dealt with injuries to Michael Perez and Nick Ciuffo. Travis d’Arnaud has an iffy track record and a long injury history as well.

Vogt would offer a good left-handed compliment to Zunino and could give them some level of stability behind the plate.

The Giants should be able to get one fringe-40 level prospect for Vogt. Outfielder Ryan Boldt seems like a good balance of ceiling and floor that the Rays wouldn’t be too opposed to parting with.

Boldt was selected in the second round by the Rays in 2016 and he’s produced at every level since turning pro. Last season at Double-A, Boldt hit .274/.348/.461 while showing some potential to hit for more power. The holdup for Boldt has been injuries. He only played 62 games last year and he is back on the IL to start 2019.

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