The San Francisco Giants have recently been linked to Detroit Tigers ace Matthew Boyd. Is he a realistic trade deadline target?
We are less than a week away from the MLB trade deadline and the San Francisco Giants plans remain uncertain. The front office deserves credit for keeping things close to the chest and the team deserves credit for giving the fan base some reasons to believe they can compete.
There is also something to be said for uncertainty. Team president Farhan Zaidi went on KNBR 680 on Thursday and discussed the deadline at length. While he made a lot of interesting points, the reality is he said very little of substance.
Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle listened to the interview and tweeted the following:
Yes, they have reinserted themselves into the wild-card picture, but it’s an extremely crowded picture. They are still 3.5 games back with five teams to overtake to climb into the second wild-card spot. It’s a precarious situation and it’s exactly why the front office needs to continue examining buy and sell scenarios.
To that point, the buy train reached peak speed yesterday:
It’s possible that “high-level scout” was there watching right-handed power hitter Nicholas Castellanos, who could also be an intriguing deadline target for the Giants.
Moreover, Schulman later reported that a source told him the scout was only taking a look at the Phillies to help the Giants prepare for their upcoming series in Philadelphia. Still, at this time of the year, smokescreens are everywhere and it’s worth examining Boyd as a fit.
It is clear the Giants would benefit from upgrading the starting rotation. While they have good starting pitching depth, they lack upside. Furthermore, even if they hold onto Madison Bumgarner, his free agency at the end of the year creates plenty of uncertainty going forward.
Boyd, 28, is in the midst of a career year. He has struck out 168 batters in 126 innings (12.0 K/9) and walked just 26 (1.9 BB/9) while posting a career-best 4.07 ERA. That mark leaves something to be desired, but advanced stats are bullish on his season, including a 3.37 xFIP.
What makes Boyd most appealing in trade talks is his contract situation. He will not be eligible for free agency until after the 2022 season and could provide the team with a quality mid-rotation arm for the foreseeable future. That desirable team control makes Boyd one of the most valuable assets available on this year’s trade market, but it also means an extremely high price tag.
A recent report from MLB.com’s Jason Beck suggested the Chicago Cubs acquisition of Jose Quintana from the Chicago White Sox as the price point. To refresh your memory, the White Sox acquired a package of four prospects in that deal, headlined by outfielder Eloy Jimenez and pitcher Dylan Cease.
Jimenez was a consensus top-15 prospect in baseball at the time of the trade and Cease was consistently ranked among the league’s top-75.
The San Francisco Giants farm system has made huge strides this year. However, even if they were willing to part with one of their top three prospects, which is EXTREMELY unlikely, none are at the level Jimenez was at the time of the Quintana deal.
Outfielder Alexander Canario, who checked in at No. 5 in our midseason top 30 prospect rankings, continues to make a lot of sense as a potential trade chip given the system’s outfield depth. The 19-year-old has made strides this season and his ceiling is among the highest in the system.
It seems unlikely that he would suffice as a headliner in a Boyd deal, though.
So while Matthew Body would be a great fit on the San Francisco Giants roster both for the stretch run and the team’s long-term plans, the Detroit Tigers will need to lower their asking price or be extremely high on the Giants prospects in order for a deal to get done.
It’s not impossible, but it seems unlikely.