Even though the SF Giants have fallen out of playoff contention, the front office continues to tweak the roster in an attempt to keep it competitive. On Wednesday, the Giants completed a trade with the Houston Astros to acquire former top outfield prospect Lewis Brinson in exchange for cash consideration.
SF Giants swing trade for former top outfield prospect in deal with the Astros
As is sometimes the case with top prospects, Brinson has been involved in a couple of high-profile trades. Of course, this is not one of them, but he was one of the prospects included in a deal where he was shipped to the Milwaukee Brewers from the Texas Rangers for catcher Jonathan Lucroy in 2016.
He was then sent to the Miami Marlins along with a several other top prospects like Monte Harrison, Isan Díaz , and Jordan Yamamoto in a deal netted the Brewers star outfielder Christian Yelich.
This was the type of deal that was expected to help turn the Marlins around but that never came to fruition as all four prospects struggled badly during their time in Miami. Interestingly, Brinson joins Díaz as two of the four prospects from that trade to be sent to the Giants organization in 2022.
The 29-year-old outfielder registered a .199/.248/.323 line (54 wRC+) with 25 home runs, 105 RBI, and 86 runs in parts of five seasons with the Marlins. This includes a five percent walk rate against a 28.2 percent strikeout rate, so Brinson brings an uncommon trait to the organization in that he strikes out quite a bit while not taking a ton of walks.
The right-handed bat signed a minor league pact with the Astros this past offseason and he has had a nice season in Triple-A. In 364 plate appearances, Brinson slashed .299/.356/.574 (124 wRC+) with 22 home runs, 63 RBI, and 61 runs with the Sugar Land Space Cowboys. Yet another reminder that minor league baseball teams have the best names in sports.
The Giants are light on center field depth and Brinson checks off that box. He has spent the bulk of his career in center field and he earned positive marks for his work in the outfield as a whole, recording three Defensive Runs Saved (DRS) and zero Outs Above Average (OAA) in five seasons.
The former top prospect did not need to wait at all to join the Giants as his contract was selected on Thursday with rosters expanding to 28 players. He has no minor league options and will be a free agent at the end of the season, so this could be an audition for 2023 if he performs well.