The SF Giants made arguably the most predictable move of the offseason in trading for switch-hitting catcher Cooper Hummel from the New York Mets, per the team's transaction log. The Mets received cash in the deal and no corresponding roster move was made on the Giants' side.
SF Giants make predictable move in trading for switch-hitting catcher from Mets
Why was it a predictable move? Too many reasons to count but I will highlight some of the key reasons. The first is that Hummel is a multi-positional catcher who hits from both sides of the plate and has a minor-league option remaining. In addition to seeing time behind the plate, he has experience in the corner outfield spots as well as first base. There are a lot of ways to get him into the lineup and the Giants' front office like the roster flexibility that comes with an option.
The second reason is the more humorous one. Look at the picture. Hummel is in a Seattle Mariners uniform. Farhan Zaidi just cannot help himself when it comes to former Mariners players.
The last two reasons are based on performance. The 29-year-old has posted a huge walk rate as a pro, walking in 16.5 percent of his minor-league plate appearances since becoming a pro in 2016. Plus, he has thrived in Triple-A, recording a .911 OPS in three seasons. This includes a 2023 campaign in which he tallied an .844 OPS with eight home runs in 455 plate appearances. These are the types of players the Giants have targeted on the waiver wire a lot in recent seasons.
For what it is worth, Hummel seemed very excited to be joining the Giants organization as he changed his bio on Twitter to reflect his current team as soon as the move was announced. And, a tweet from 2012 resurfaced that showed his Giants fandom in the year when they won their second World Series title in three seasons.
This move will give the Giants five catchers on the 40-man roster. That sounds like a lot, but there is a good chance Joey Bart is moved before the start of the season. Plus, both Hummel and Blake Sabol are closer to part-time catchers than everyday catchers. They will likely share duties in Triple-A with the latter possibly seeing a bit more time behind the plate given his relative inexperience.
The Giants did not need to make a corresponding move because they had a vacancy following the Robbie Ray trade. The 40-man roster is currently full. Though, they will need to make a move once the Jordan Hicks signing is finalized and announced.