To San Francisco: RHP Carson Ragsdale (2020 Draftee)
To Philadelphia: RHP Sam Coonrod
There are a few factors to this trade that give it a high grade from me.
First, I’ll start with this on Sam Coonrod: He’s a better pitcher than his 2020 statline, and he has the talent to become a solid bullpen pitcher. I think we’ll see him in Major League Baseball box scores for several years.
That said, the Giants 40-man roster was clearly crowded, and if the team is going to add any free agents, they will need space. And Coonrod probably wasn’t going to be the first man off the team in that case, but the team really does have a lot of RHP in the bullpen, and especially with Reyes Moronta coming back, it’s a place of surplus.
Getting something for freeing up a 40-Man spot, rather than just losing someone to waivers, is a plus.
And then there’s Ragsdale. He was a Phillies 2020 draft pick, but he was paid underslot for more money to sign others, and he’s been projected as a value of what’s more like a 6th-8th round pick as opposed to a 4th. That said, Ragsdale is a raw prospect that has tools that can’t be taught, like his size, and a track record, however short, of strikeouts.
It’s not clear that Ragsdale will ever develop into a Major Leaguer. But there’s definite upside to him and he’s an intriguing prospect.
The Giants got something for what might usually have been getting nothing, so that gets this a very positive grade.
And as a postscript…I can’t ignore the fan emotions of this. Coonrod got a lot of fan hate going his way because of his decision to stand when everyone else knelt for the National Anthem on the season opener, and his explanations afterward. Giants PBO Farhan Zaidi insisted this decision is a baseball decision only, and the math supports that.
And yet…the Giants got rid of one of the few Giants players to not have great support from the fans, which did make many fans a little happier.
Ragsdale’s twitter account shows that he is a staunch Republican and probably a Trump supporter, but as Hank Schulman noted, probably 80% of baseball players are. It’s hard to make a judgement of players on their politics. But Coonrod did it in a public way, and a way that truly put him at odds with his team, and in a way that rubbed fans the wrong way. I won’t say that players should be silent on political issues, but fans reactions are legitimate as well. It’s a tough spot to get in the middle of.
The bottom line, though, is that fans were upset at Coonrod, and the Giants traded him, and vocal majority of fans are happy with that. Even if the trade was only for baseball reasons, this is a small bonus.