The New York Mets designated outfielder Billy Hamilton for assignment thereby closing the books on a trade completed with the SF Giants last month.
The Mets acquired speedy outfielder Billy Hamilton from the SF Giants in exchange for right-handed pitcher Jordan Humphreys earlier this month.
At the time of the deal, Humphreys was in DFA limbo, but the Mets felt the need to trade him, rather than try to sneak him through waivers, for a player who could serve as a pinch-runner and defensive specialist in New York’s playoff push.
That role did not go as planned, and now the aesthetics of the deal look questionable:
Yes, Humphreys was ranked as the 14th-best prospect in a weak New York Mets farm system that is sorely lacking in depth. Interestingly, the 24-year-old was added to the 40-man roster in November of 2019 to protect him from the Rule 5 draft, but the Mets placed him on waivers before he ever threw a pitch for them.
New York could have waited to see if Humphreys would sneak through waivers, but I guess they did not think he would, so they wanted to get a major league player in return.
That said, the optics on the Hamilton-Humphreys move looks bad for two reasons:
- The Mets added Humphreys to the 40-man roster to protect him from the Rule 5 draft but placed him on waivers eight months after this transaction.
- Then, they received negative value from Hamilton, who struggled to do anything at the plate while making a couple of baserunning blunders.
Hamilton finished his Mets tenure with a .045/.083/.045 line (-63 OPS) in 25 plate appearances while swiping three bags in four attempts.
I have to wonder if Farhan Zaidi ever intended for the switch-hitting outfielder to ever play for the SF Giants. Or, if he signed him to a minor-league pact knowing that Hamilton’s skill set would eventually be in demand.
If it is the latter, then Zaidi deserves a lot of credit for the foresight. The Giants were able to acquire a minor league asset in Humphreys, who already ranks among the organization’s top 31 prospects, in exchange for a player who may have never donned the Orange and Black.
Zaidi has proven time and again that there is no move that is too small. In an endless pursuit to add depth, the Giants received an intriguing arm. The cost was minimal and so is the risk. These are the types of moves smart teams make, and Zaidi continues to make shrewd, under-the-radar moves to find the next diamond in the rough.