The SF Giants swung yet another trade with the Seattle Mariners this week. Earlier this week, the Giants acquired corner infielder Kevin Padlo from the Mariners and they acquired a first baseman on Saturday.
SF Giants swing yet another trade with the Seattle Mariners
Mike Ford has joined the Giants in exchange for cash considerations. The left-handed bat was designated for assignment earlier this week, so the trade places him on the 40-man roster. Ka'ai Tom was returned back to Triple-A after being activated on Friday night as a COVID replacement.
Ford was signed as an undrafted free agent out of Princeton University following the 2013 draft. It is an impressive accomplishment that he has become a major leaguer player despite not being selected in any of the 40 rounds in 2013.
The 29-year-old infielder moved quickly up the minor league ladder, reaching Triple-A by the 2017 campaign. In nine minor league seasons, Ford slashed .268/.368/.452 with 138 doubles and 105 home runs, so he demonstrated good power.
This includes a 15.4 percent strikeout rate against a 13.2 percent walk rate. He does not swing and miss a lot while working a healthy number of walks.
Ford reached the majors in 2019 where he registered a .259/.350/.559 line (137 OPS+) with 12 home runs, 25 RBI, and 30 runs in 163 plate appearances. This was a strong rookie season for Ford but he was unable to maintain that level of production.
In the following two seasons, the lefty registered a rough 46 OPS+ in 156 plate appearances while blasting only five home runs. Given that his primary position is first base, the Yankees were hoping to see more stable production.
Despite these struggles, Ford has demonstrated some promising trends against major league pitching including a 91.5 MPH exit velocity, 8.5 percent barrel rate, 21 percent strikeout rate, and an 11 percent walk rate. These are the type of trends that the Giants' front office targets as they feel that they can develop this into a more productive hitter.
Interestingly, Ford has exclusively played first base in the majors, but the Giants are already testing him out at third base as well. He has played some third base as a pro, so it is not a totally new position. This would seem to be an indicator of how the Giants plan to use him if he stays on the roster long enough.
This has been a busy week for the Giants. They have welcomed several new additions and experienced a COVID outbreak. These events are likely related as the COVID injured list temporarily removes players from the 40-man roster, so the front office appears to be using this as a chance to bring in some intriguing new players to the organization.