Right before the SF Giants finalized their Opening Day roster, the made a last-muinute trade. Veteran outfielder Matt Beaty was acquired from the Kansas City Royals in exchange for cash and he was immediately added to the 40-man roster.
SF Giants swing midnight trade to acquire 29-year-old outfielder
Beaty was not a candidate to make the Royals' Opening Day roster despite having a nice spring in which he recorded 12 hits, including four doubles and two home runs, in 35 at-bats.
The Giants know Beaty well as he has spent his entire major league career in the NL West. He was selected in the 12th round of the 2015 draft by the Los Angeles Dodgers out of Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee.
He debuted with the Dodgers in 2019 and spent three seasons with the division rivals before appearing briefly for the San Diego Padres last year.
Beaty has been inconsistent at the plate throughout his career. Though, he has a couple of nice seasons including his rookie year when he posted a .775 OPS in 268 plate appearances and a 2021 campaign in which he tallied a .765 OPS in 234 plate appearances.
However, this includes an absolutely rough year in 2022 where he added just four hits in 47 plate appearances.
Beaty's fit on the Giants' roster is an interesting, if not confusing, one. He does have one minor league option remaining, so he has a little more roster flexibility than most of the players on the active roster.
Plus, he has registered a .251/.323/.412 line with 17 of his 18 career homers against right-handed pitching. It is not earth-shattering production by any means, but he could be a fit as a steady platoon contributor in the lower part of the lineup.
Clearly, the Giants are not just going to get an everyday player at the end of spring training for nothing more than cash. Though, they are hoping that he adds some length to the lineup from the left side as it became somewhat apparent that roster was light on quality lefties.
On paper, I can understand the offensive fit. His defensive fit is more confusing. Most of his experience with the glove has come at first base, left field, and right field. The Giants will likely use him as a corner outfielder, but he has been worth -7 Defensive Runs Saved (DRS) and -9 Outs Above Average (OAA) in the outfield throughout his career.
It is an imperfect fit, especially for a team that struggled so badly in the field in 2022. That said, the Giants typically value offense over defense, so it is consistent with how this front office operates. Hopefully, Beaty is able to carve out a role on the Giants roster, but there are no guarantees given his inconsistent offensive production.