The roster churn on the back-end of the 40-man roster continues as the San Francisco Giants acquired outfielder Luis Basabe from the Chicago White Sox.
The White Sox will receive cash considerations from the San Francisco Giants in a trade for Luis Basabe, as reported by Mark Sanchez from KNBR:
There is no word yet on what number cash considerations where will for the White Sox, but it is a story I am continuing to monitor.
Chicago designated Basabe for assignment this past week, and the Giants put in the claim on the outfielder. Basabe will be added to the 40-man roster, and in a corresponding move, Jordan Humphreys was placed on the restricted list to tend to a personal matter.
Basabe originally came over to the White Sox along with Michael Kopech and Yoan Moncada as part of the package that sent left-handed hurler Chris Sale to the Boston Red Sox.
I bet the White Sox would have preferred to keep the 23-year-old, but with an outfield contingent that consists of Eloy Jimenez and Luis Robert, there is just not going to be a lot of opportunity for a prospect like Basabe to crack the big league roster.
Basabe is a switch-hitting, toolsy outfielder who has yet to reach Triple-A. In seven professional seasons, the outfielder has posted a .248/.345/.398 line with 40 triples, 44 home runs, and 257 RBI. This includes a 12.1 percent walk rate against a 24.9 percent strikeout rate.
As we have seen in the past, Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi seeks out players like Basabe who have good plate discipline and can take a walk.
Probably the most impressive accomplishment to date is the home run he hit off of fireball right-hander and Cincinnati Reds top prospect Hunter Greene:
Basabe has extensive experience in center field, but despite his speed, he lacks the instincts needed for the position. He does possess a strong arm, so right field may be better suited given his skill set.
As recently as 2019, MLB.com had rated the switch-hitter as the No. 7 prospect in the White Sox farm system. The White Sox boast a very strong system, so this is no small feat. As MLB.Com notes, Basabe has the potential to become a five-tool player:
"“While he has yet to have a breakout year at the plate, he works counts, draws walks and makes a lot of hard contact. His bat speed and the strength in his hands and wrists give him at least average power potential, and he has begun to unlock more of it by taking a more direct path to the ball and driving more balls in the air.”"
He does not have the track record to push himself onto a major league roster, so his skills will need to be further refined. At only 23 years of age, Basabe is still a project.
It is impossible to tell if the Giants will keep Basabe on the 40-man roster, or if they will try to sneak him through waivers soon. However, this is the type of project that the Giants need to take on as they try to find players for the next competitive team.