At one point, it seemed as if the SF Giants had found their next great catcher when they drafted Joey Bart No. 2 overall in the 2018 MLB Draft. A has changed since then and the organization appears to be at a crossroads with the former top pick.
With deadline approaching, SF Giants now at a crossroads with Joey Bart
Ever since then, things have not gone quite as smoothly for the catcher. Things have hit yet another low for Bart as he was recently activated off the 10-day injured list and optioned back to Triple-A Sacramento. This is due to the presence of Patrick Bailey who has grabbed the bull by the horns and is now the team's everyday starter behind the dish.
For Bart's sake, It also doesn’t help that Blake Sabol has emerged as the team's backup with the ability to play in the outfield as needed culminating in Bart not being on the 26-man roster after being the Opening Day starter for the last two seasons.
Now, that raises a new question about what the Giants should do with Bart. It’s a weird situation no matter what they decide to do and neither answer is bad. So let’s take a look at those two options.
First, the Giants could elect to trade Bart at the deadline for another arm. After all, there are plenty of catcher-needy teams that the Giants could look to find a deal that makes sense.
When you think about those teams who are in desperate need of a catcher, there sure are some juicy and intriguing options. An example of this is a team like the Pirates makes a lot of sense here. They are right in the middle as to what direction they could be going at the deadline and Bart would be a significant upgrade. Bart would also give them a pair of young catching options with Henry Davis playing in the outfield so far.
The Guardians are another team of interest. Right now, Bo Naylor is their starting catcher. But since getting brought up to the big leagues, he hasn’t done too much with the bat. On top of all this, Cleveland has some pitching options that could help the Giants not only now but in the future. Logan Allen has haad some MLB starts this season due to injuries but appears to be a promising left-hander.
One other team that makes sense is the A’s. After all, Bart has a lot more experience than much of that roster. A pitcher like Paul Blackburn would be ideal to fill out the rotation as well.
All these ideas would be great but in order to make any trade, it would seem logical to bring Bart back up to try to drive his stock up. It’s hard to get a deal done when we haven’t seen him at the Major League level since May.
Then, there is the completely other side of the argument as to why the team should just keep him and see what happens. It’s no secret that the Giants have dealt with a lot of injuries and been through a lot of backstops this season.
For that reason, it would make sense to do the wait-and-see approach to stay strong in that position. Sabol has also been seeing plenty of time in left field which makes the current roster setup rather interesting. Holding onto Bart and making him the backup behind Bailey would make a lot of sense and then Sabol can spell someone in the outfield and transition to the plate in an emergency situation.
However, there is one thing that could force the team to do something sooner rather than later. Bart's final minor league option year has been exhausted as he has spent at least 20 days in the minors after being optioned on June 10. This means that the right-handed bat will enter 2024 without any minor league options remaining. This alone could prompt the Giants to make a decision.
The Giants and Bart are certainly in a rock and hard spot and no move is the right move per se but it seems like moving the 26-year-old catcher would be best for all parties.