In the days leading up to this year’s MLB trade deadline, we’ll take a look back at San Francisco Giants deadlines past. Next up, the 2017 trade deadline.
After a disappointing early exit from the 2016 postseason, the wheels officially fell off for the San Francisco Giants during the 2017 season.
They were 31-51 entering the month of July, a precipitous fall from the 50-31 record they had carried into July the previous year.
As such, they were clearly sellers at the deadline, and they managed to land an excellent return for a player they had just acquired the previous year.
Here’s a look at their July activity:
July 22, 2017: 1B/3B Pablo Sandoval signed as a free agent
Just two and a half disappointing years into a five-year, $95 million deal with the Boston Red Sox, Pablo Sandoval was released.
Three days later, the Giants brought him back in what amounted to a no-risk move since they were only on the hook for a prorated portion of the league minimum.
While he posted a lackluster 66 OPS+ in 171 plate appearances in his return to San Francisco, he was still brought back for the 2018 season. He ended up posting a solid 100 OPS+ with nine home runs and 40 RBI in 252 plate appearances, serving as a useful bat off the bench and earning himself another one-year deal.
This season, he has legitimately been one of the team’s best hitters, logging a135 OPS+, 16 doubles and 10 home runs in 172 plate appearances. The best part is that he’s still making the league-minimum, while the Red Sox are on the hook for the rest of his salary.
July 26, 2017: IF Eduardo Nunez traded to the Boston Red Sox for RHP Shaun Anderson, RHP Gregory Santos
After acquiring Eduardo Nunez at the 2016 deadline, the Giants flipped him the following summer to a Red Sox team in desperate need of infield help.
The 30-year-old was hitting .308/.334/.417 with 25 extra-base hits and 18 steals at the time of the trade, and he was a hot enough commodity that the Giants were able to land a pair of solid pitching prospects in return.
Shaun Anderson has emerged as one of the team’s most promising young arms as a rookie this season after entering the year as the No. 4 prospect in the system, according to Baseball America.
Gregory Santos is still just 19 years old and pitching at the Single-A level, but his upside is as high as any arm in the system. He began the season as the club’s No. 7 prospect, per Baseball America.
The Eduardo Nunez trade could wind up playing a significant role in the current rebuild, especially if Gregory Santos delivers on his tremendous upside.
The Giants wrapped up the 2017 season with a 64-98 record, which was the second-worst record in baseball and left them a whopping 40 games out of first place in the NL West.
It was clear then that it was time to blow it up, but they took a different approach to the subsequent offseason and it came back to bite them. More on that in our next edition.
Check back here in the days and weeks to come for more San Francisco Giants trade deadline reviews, all culminating in what promises to be a busy 2019 deadline.