The SF Giants made a move on Tuesday to add yet another outfielder to the 40-man roster. The team announced that they had acquired speedy outfielder T.J. Hopkins from the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for cash considerations or a player to be named later.
SF Giants swing trade with Reds to acquire speedy outfielder
More than likely, the Giants will eventually be sending over cash to the Reds to complete the transaction. The Reds designated Hopkins for assignment last week, so this move completes that process.
The Giants' 40-man roster is now full. Though, that does not preclude them from making other moves. Interestingly, the Giants have nine outfielders listed on the 40-man roster. This does not include Blake Sabol, who is still listed as a catcher.
The Giants will enter next season with five outfielders under contract and five more who are optionable. It does feel like they will need to address this surplus at some point.
For now, Hopkins joins the organization after spending his first four seasons in the Reds organization. He did not flash much power at the University of South Carolina, but he has seen an uptick in his power output over the past two seasons. Perhaps, the Giants are buying into this as a potential late bloomer.
The right-handed bat is coming off of a really nice season in Triple-A, slashing .308/.411/.514 (134 wRC+) with 16 home runs, 55 RBI, and 63 runs in 393 plate appearances. This includes a 14.0 percent walk rate, 23.9 percent strikeout rate, and a .205 ISO.
The Reds rewarded him with a midseason promotion. He tallied just seven hits in 41 sporadic at-bats for Cincinnati. Despite his struggles, there could be a potential platoon role for the 26-year-old as he posted a 1.090 OPS in 97 at-bats against left-handed pitching in Triple-A. Favorable platoon splits against lefties have been a characteristic of his pro career thus far.
The Reds used Hopkins only in the corner outfield spots, but he does have experience in center field as well. Plus, he registered well above-average sprint speeds in the majors, so he brings an element of speed to a roster that is far too slow. This might be a temporary addition like many of the moves at the back end of the 40-man roster, but there is some potential upside to his profile.