If the SF Giants plan to upgrade the bullpen, they received some good news on Friday

Pittsburgh Pirates v San Francisco Giants
Pittsburgh Pirates v San Francisco Giants / Lachlan Cunningham/GettyImages

The SF Giants are in the middle of the playoff race as they sit with a 46-37 record, which is good enough for third place in the Wild Card standings. They will likely be in the market for bullpen help and they received some good news on Friday.

If the SF Giants plan to upgrade the bullpen, they received some good news on Friday

The Kansas City Royals shipped Aroldis Chapman to the Texas Rangers in exchange for pitcher Cole Ragans and minor league prospect Roni Cabrera. Chapman, who was arguably the best reliever on the market, had tallied a 2.45 ERA, 1.71 FIP, 1.22 WHIP, 16.3 K/.9, and a 2.65 SO/W ratio in 31 appearances with the Royals.

The 14-year veteran still flashes a four-seam fastball and a sinker that both consistently reach triple digits, so this will be a huge boost for a Rangers bullpen that has been one of the worst in baseball with a 4.31 ERA.

This is a solid move for Texas, but also, it set a rather low bar for the bullpen market with the trade deadline slowly approaching. It bears mentioning that Chapman is purely a three-month rental. The Royals signed him to a one-year, $3.75 million deal in the offseason. They likely knew his time would be brief as soon as they signed the deal.

Nevertheless, they only received a former first-round pick in Ragans and a bit of a lottery ticket in Cabrera, who is currently playing in the Dominican Summar League (DSL). Ragans has struggled to the tune of a 5.32 ERA in 26 career appearances with Texas.

On the other hand, Cabrera is off to a nice start as he has produced a 1.075 OPS in 69 plate appearances with the Rangers' DSL team. The 17-year-old prospect is just one year removed from receiving a $10,000 signing bonus as an international free agent.

In essence, the Rangers gave up a player who was not in their long-term plans in Ragans and a wild card in Cabrera. The Royals may benefit from this trade later on. However, on the surface, it just did not feel like Texas gave up a lot to acquire a solid reliever like Chapman.

This could bode well for a lot of pitcher-needy teams, including the Giants. The Giants' bullpen has posted a 3.65 ERA in 2023, which ranks as the seventh-best mark in baseball. They may not necessarily need bullpen help, but competitive teams do usually tweak the bullpen at the deadline.

The Chapman trade set a low bar for what a team might have to give up for a top reliever. As usual, there would be a lot of relievers available on the market, so it generally favors the buyers. The trend has not necessarily changed within the last couple of days, but it reinforces the idea that the Giants should be able to add a quality reliever or two at an affordable cost.