It feels like the SF Giants and Tampa Bay Rays have shared a lot of players in recent seasons. The Giants have typically plucked away at Tampa Bay's prospect depth with players like Joe McCarthy, Ford Proctor, and Brett Wisely. Well, that trend is going to continue as the Rays have reportedly added a pair of former Giants top picks.
SF Giants News: Tampa Bay Rays reportedly add a pair of former top picks
Within the past couple of days, they have brought in both Charlie Culberson and Kyle Crick on minor league deals with camp invites. The deal with Crick is still being finalized at this point in time. In addition to this, infielder Daniel Robertson is being brought back on a minor league deal as well.
Robertson came over to the Giants from Tampa Bay midway through the 2020 season. He collected 24 at-bats but became a free agent again after the season.
Crick was holding a showcase for prospective teams just a couple of weeks ago. Evidently, the Rays were one of those teams and came away impressed with what he displayed. The Giants selected the righty in the first round of the 2011 draft out of Sherman High School in Sherman, Texas.
He was originally drafted as a starter, but transitioned to the bullpen after he struggled with command. It took him a long time to reach the majors, debuting in 2017, but he always flashed a good sinker-slider combination.
Of course, the Giants shipped him to the Pittsburgh Pirates along with Bryan Reynolds in exchange for star outfielder Andrew McCutchen. This is a trade that has not aged well to say the least. Nevertheless, Crick has carved out a nice career as a middle reliever. He spent five seasons with the Pirates before joining the Chicago White Sox.
Crick will be joined by former Giants farmhand Charlie Culberson. Culberson was selected in the first round of the 2007 draft out of Calhoun High School in Calhoun, Georgia. The Giants had several compensatory picks in that draft, so Culberson was one of six first rounders picked by the Giants in 2007.
Culberson and Madison Bumgarner are the lone remaining active players from the Giants draft class that year. Culberson appeared briefly with the Giants in 2012, collecting three hits in 23 at-bats, before being shipped to the Colorado Rockies in exchange for Marco Scutaro. This is a trade that San Francisco decisively won as Scutaro quickly became a key cog in helping San Francisco win its second title in three seasons.
Culberson has appeared in parts of 10 seasons with the Giants, Rockies, Los Angeles Dodgers, Atlanta Braves, and Texas Rangers. He has posted a .671 OPS throughout his career, but he has found a way to stay on the field by being able to play so many different positions, In 2022 with the Rangers, the 33-year-old appeared at six positions, including pitcher.
Both Crick and Culberson are looking to continue their respective careers. Tampa Bay usually leverages its depth chart each season and has a knack for getting the best out of players, so this is not a bad landing spot for either player.