The SF Giants announced a trade on Saturday as reliever Sam Coonrod was sent to the Philadephia Phillies in exchange for a 2020 draft prospect.
Carson Ragsdale comes over to the SF Giants after being selected in the fourth round of the 2020 draft by the Phillies. This move frees up a 40-man roster spot.
Coonrod’s tenure with the Giants comes to a tumultuous end after being selected in the fifth round of the 2014 draft. He debuted with the club in 2019 where he showed some promise as he registered a 3.58 ERA, 5.24 FIP, and 1.229 WHIP while allowing 19 hits across 27.2 frames.
Coonrod got off to a rocky start in 2020 as he was in the national headlines for choosing to stand rather than kneel in support of the Black Lives Matter movement during the National Anthem. On the mound, he did not endear himself to the fanbase as well given that he struggled to the tune of a 9.82 ERA in 14.2 innings that included a tough blown save that hurt the Giants’ playoff hopes.
In Philadelphia, the 28-year-old has a legitimate chance to bolster a Phillies bullpen that posted an unsightly 7.06 ERA in 2020. He flashes a high-90’s fastball with a slider, cutter, curveball, and changeup that induces a lot of ground balls as evidenced by his 47.5 percent ground ball rate since he debuted with the club.
In exchange for the hard-throwing righty, the Giants received pitching prospect, Carson Ragsdale. Ragsdale came up as a reliever with the University of South Florida but transitioned to the rotation in 2020.
Throughout his collegiate career, the right-hander has generated a 3.75 ERA, 13.8 K/9, 5.0 BB/9, and 2.75 SO/W ratio, so he has battled command issues at times. However, he transitioned permanently to the rotation in 2020. Similar to fellow 2020 draftee Nick Swiney, Ragsdale demonstrated improved command as he produced a 2.84 ERA with 37 strikeouts and only seven walks in 19 innings before the season was shut down.
With that being said, Baseball America (subscription required) thinks that Ragsdale might be best suited for a bullpen role:
"“He’s more of a control-over-command pitcher, and because of that and a below-average third pitch, some scouts think he’s a better reliever profile. However, there are teams who think he has a chance to start, and because of that he could go off the board in the 4-6 round range.”"
The Giants are hoping that they can find value in prospects who are being overlooked due to a limited track record working out of the rotation. Both Ragsdale and Swiney fit that description.
Interestingly, this trade leaves the Giants with an open roster spot as their 40-man roster now stands at 39. Perhaps, another move is in the works. Regardless, the Giants get an intriguing pitching prospect in exchange for a reliever who needed a change of scenery.