Why the SF Giants should trade reliever Sam Coonrod

Sam Coonrod #65 of the SF Giants is relieved by manager Gabe Kapler. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
Sam Coonrod #65 of the SF Giants is relieved by manager Gabe Kapler. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images) /
SF Giants
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – SEPTEMBER 04: Sam Coonrod #65 of the SF Giants is relieved by manager Gabe Kapler #19 during the fifth inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Oracle Park on September 4, 2020, in San Francisco, California. The Arizona Diamondbacks defeated the San Francisco Giants 6-5. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images) /

The SF Giants barely missed out on the postseason, and this offseason they will look to improve their team through free agency and trades. That said, Sam Coonrod is one pitcher who makes sense as a trade candidate.

No one player can be blamed for the Giants missing out on the 2020 postseason, but a decent portion of the SF Giants fanbase has placed some of the blame on Sam Coonrod for his blown leads in the last week of the season.

Coonrod and Trevor Gott have seemingly filled the void of hatred for one (or two) of their own relievers in the hearts of SF Giants fans that has existed ever since hunter Strickland left the team.

SF Giants Coonrod has the stuff

But beyond Coonrod being detested by many fans, it makes sense in pure baseball terms to try to trade him and get something better in return.

He has absolutely wicked stuff, with a high-90s fastball that has 2-seam movement. Coupled with a high 80’s changeup and a solid slider his stuff is unquestionably good.

However, as manager Gabe Kapler noted after Coonrod blew the game against the San Diego Padres, it is his command that has prevented him from becoming an elite reliever.

Coonrod is 28 years old. There is still plenty of time for him to figure out his command issues, but let’s keep in mind that in 42 and 1/3 innings pitched in the big leagues, he has only recorded 35 strikeouts. For a guy with great stuff, that is definitely concerning.

Precedent with the SF Giants

There is recent precedent for the SF Giants trading a hard-throwing right-hander with command issues with Ray Black. The Giants dealt Black and Drew Pomeranz to the Brewers in exchange for Mauricio Dubon, a trade that the Giants should feel pretty good about.

Plus, with Reyes Moronta likely to be back in the bullpen in 2021, it is not as if Coonrod’s absence will leave a hole in a bullpen that still needs to crystallize if they are to rely on him next year. Moronta throws hard and has command issues but in 2018 and 2019 with ERAs of 2.49 and 2.86 respectively, coupled with K/9 rates over 10.0 in both seasons, he has proven to be far more effective than Coonrod and may even be the team’s closer in 2021.

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So that is why the SF Giants should trade Coonrod. Not only would it appease the fanbase, but they may be willing to get a team to take a chance on Coonrod because of his impressive stuff and in return could get a nice addition to the team similar to what they did with Dubon.