San Francisco Giants Trade Proposal #1
Giants Get: RHP Durbin Feltman, RHP Zach Schellenger
Red Sox Get: LHP Tony Watson, cash
Reports have already shown the Red Sox surveying the market for bullpen upgrades. Will Smith would be the perfect kryptonite for Boston’s bullpen woes. Their bullpen lacks anyone they can have great confidence in and is also right-handed heavy. Smith would solve both of those problems.
However, Smith is a free agent at season’s end and would likely cost the Red Sox two of their top five prospects. Dombrowski’s known for his aggressiveness, but even that seems like too much for him.
Sam Dyson and Reyes Moronta would also easily become the strongest options in Boston’s pen, but both have team control beyond this season and would similarly cost an excessive number of prospects.
That leaves Tony Watson as the most likely target.
While Watson is probably only the fourth-best reliever in the Giants pen, he still has a stronger resume than anyone in Boston, and may even have a case to be their closer. He also has another year of team control remaining after this season with a player option that is almost sure to be exercised.
Reports have suggested money could limit Boston’s flexibility at the deadline and the Giants would likely be willing to cover a large portion of his salary for a fair return.
A recent report announced that the Red Sox will move starting pitcher Nathan Eovaldi into the closer spot upon his return from the injured list. Watson’s closer history and effectiveness as the Giants eighth-inning man would give Boston that flexibility.
Watson would reinforce the bullpen’s depth and would pair well with Josh Taylor to give manager Alex Cora a pair of lefties to work with late in games.
Furthermore, Watson wouldn’t cost a lot in terms of prospects. His ERA is only 2.48, but there are some red flags in his performance. His strikeout rate is at a career-low and he’s relied on a very high LOB%. However, the Red Sox don’t have the prospect capital to acquire a perfect reliever.
Durbin Feltman has a chance to be the first player from the 2018 MLB Draft to make his major league debut. Boston’s third-round pick that year has a strong fastball-slider combo that is made to thrive in the back of a bullpen. While he could profile as a closer for Boston one day, he still has to refine his command.
In his first full season, Feltman was given the aggressive assignment to Double-A. In 31 innings, he has struck out a batter an inning, but has also given up 23 free passes while posting a less-than-stellar 4.65 ERA.
Zach Schellenger has dealt with control issue that has made him almost unpitchable since being selected in 2016. A series of injuries have limited him as well, but this season he has walked 34 batters in less than 20 innings of work between Double-A and High-A. Still, he has shown a 93-97 mph fastball with heavy sink along with a slider that has flashed plus.
The Red Sox would get a sturdy reliever under control through next season and the Giants would turn Watson into a pair of young arms with high-leverage potential.
Assuming the Boston Red Sox are searching for bullpen upgrades that will allow them to hold onto their top prospects, the San Francisco Giants have a very good option in Tony Watson.