The SF Giants made headlines at the trade deadline by acquiring star third baseman Kris Bryant from the Chicago Cubs in exchange for two prospects. However, they made a quieter move as well by bringing back veteran reliever Tony Watson from the Los Angeles Angels for a trio of prospects.
SF Giants: Checking in on the Tony Watson trade
At first glance, the Giants give up quite a bit, trading intriguing reliever Sam Selman and a mid-level pitching prospect in Jose Marte. Of course, Ivan Armstrong, who is a lower-level prospect, was added to the deal as well.
Trading away three players for a two-month rental seems like a lot in terms of prospect capital. However, it is a move that has quietly paid off for the Giants.
Prior to the trade, Tony Watson was in the midst of his worst season since he debuted with the Pittsburgh Pirates back in 2011. A change of scenery may have been all he needed.
The veteran reliever signed a one-year, $1 million deal with the Angels just before the start of the season. However, he struggled to the tune of a 4.64 ERA, 4.10 WHIP, 1.18 WHIP, 6.8 K/9, and a 1.79 SO/W rate across 33 innings.
So, when the Giants swung a trade to bring back Watson, it was a move that did not make a lot of sense on the surface. Despite his struggles, the front office noticed a spike in his velocity in the weeks leading up to the trade deadline.
That was enough for the Giants to bring him back. And it is a move that has not disappointed. In 17.1 innings since the trade, the 36-year-old has allowed only four earned runs on nine hits and two walks.
Watson really has had only one bad appearance where he allowed three earned runs in 0.1 innings against the Atlanta Braves on August 27. With the exception of that outing, he has been superb.
It has been six weeks since the trade deadline and the Watson trade has paid dividends for the Giants. Perhaps, Jose Marte goes on to have a nice career with the Angels as he was an intriguing prospect coming up through the Giants system. Though, that’s the price teams pay when preparing for a playoff run. Some trades do not work out but the Watson trade is not one of those moves.