12. Kenny Lofton solidifies center field and the leadoff spot
Date: July 28, 2002
To Giants: CF Kenny Lofton
To White Sox: RHP Felix Diaz, LHP Ryan Meaux
Kenny Lofton played for 11 teams over the course of his 17-year MLB career, playing in the postseason 11 different times along the way.
One of those trips to October came as a hired gun for the 2002 Giants.
The Giants acquired Tsuyoshi Shinjo from the New York Mets prior to the season to serve as the starting center fielder, but he hit just .238/.294/.370 in 398 plate appearances and the team was on the hunt for an upgrade when the deadline rolled around.
Lofton came over from the Chicago White Sox after signing a one-year, $1.025 million deal during the offseason. He was hitting .259/.348/.418 with 34 extra-base hits and 22 steals at the time of the trade, and he posted a similar .267/.353/.406 line in 46 games afterward.
He then hit a terrific .292/.350/.389 with five steals and 16 runs scored in 15 games during the team’s postseason run, including a 9-for-31 showing in the World Series.
It was on to the next stop in free agency once the World Series wrapped up, but the Giants definitely got their money’s worth out of a three-month rental.
Neither player sent the other way made an impact.