SF Giants strike surprising trade with Mariners involving multiple big names

Cleveland Guardians v Seattle Mariners
Cleveland Guardians v Seattle Mariners / Steph Chambers/GettyImages

In the wake of hints that the San Francisco Giants are out on the free agent market for the rest of the offseason after losing out on the year's two biggest names to their biggest division rival, their attentions have turned to the trade market. A blockbuster trade between the Giants and Mariners has been announced, which will send a big arm to osuth San Francisco and a recently injured starter and a familiar face north to Seattle.

Per Jeff Passan, former Cy Young winner Robbie Ray will head to the Giants in return for Anthony DeSclafani and Mitch Haniger, who spent a slumping year in San Francisco after coming over from the Mariners in 2022.

SF Giants strike surprising trade with Mariners involving multiple big names

Ray will bring three remaining years of team control from his five-year, $115 million contract with the Mariners. He only made one start in 2023 before a season-ending arm injury that resulted in Tommy John. Before his injury, he pitched 189 innings in Seattle for a 3.71 ERA in 2022, coming down from a Cy Young-winning year in 2021, when he worked for a career-best 2.84 ERA and a 1.045 WHIP. He'll join a Giants rotation that Alex Cobb has been forced to bow out of for 2024 due to a hip surgery.

The Giants will be happy to be rid of Haniger, who only played in 61 games for the Giants in 2023 due to injury and hit .209/.266/.365 when he was available to play. His 2021 season with the Mariners was good enough to earn him MVP votes, so it's possible that the Mariners see something in him to rehabilitate, but hope for him was already wearing thin in San Francisco. DeSclafani will also be coming off of injury in 2024, after elbow strain ended his season in August. He pitched 99 2/3 innings for a 4.88 ERA before he got hurt.

The Mariners and Giants are accepting risk on both sides; injuries severely hampered the 2023 seasons of all three players involved in the trade, and all three struggled before getting hurt. The Giants will be hoping to see a return to form from Ray; no doubt he'll be innings-limited when he returns, but if he can put up some quality starts in Alex Cobb's absence in the late months of the season and take some pressure off Logan Webb to carry the rotation, this will be a win for the Giants.