The SF Giants and Seattle Mariners both have an itch to make moves as they have hooked up for three trades in the past month. Kevin Padlo and Mike Ford were both acquired for cash in the first two trades, but the latest move involves prospect capital.
SF Giants complete third trade in past month with the Seattle Mariners
The 29-year-old first baseman recorded just one hit in four at-bats in his lone game with the Giants in 2022. In Walton, the Giants add a versatile glove who has experience at second base, third base, shortstop, and left at the major league level.
In 102 plate appearances across four seasons with the Mariners, the 27-year-old infielder has slashed .196/.260/.315 (59 OPS+) with just two home runs, 12 RBI, and nine runs. Despite these struggles, Walton has not received an extended look at the major league level even though he has performed well in the minors.
He was selected in the fifth round of the 2016 draft out of Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Oklahoma. As a college pick, the left-handed bat moved quickly up the minor league circuit, reaching as high as Triple-A by the 2021 season.
In six minor league seasons, Walton has registered a .287/.375/.427 line with a 10.6 percent walk rate against a 13.3 percent strikeout rate. The power output has improved in recent seasons as he has eclipsed the 10-home run threshold in each of the last two years.
Walton has excelled against Triple-A pitching as he has posted a .909 OPS with 14 of his 38 home runs as a pro. He gives the Giants extra defensive versatility, a patient approach, and good contact skills. Plus, he has one minor league option remaining.
The trade might be a bitter pill to swallow for Giants fans as Prelander Berroa had emerged as one of the better pitching prospects in the Giants farm system. He was originally acquired as one of three prospects in a move that sent reliever Sam Dyson to the Minnesota Twins at the 2019 trade deadline.
The 22-year-old pitcher reached High-A in 2022 where he yielded just one earned run on five hits with 16 strikeouts against six walks in four starts. The right-handed hurler would be eligible for the Rule 5 draft in the offseason, so the Giants likely wanted to get some compensation in return if they felt that he would be plucked away.