As the 2022 trade deadline passed, the Giants made a few trades at the deadline, selling off some of their big league players (and a few injured ones), but not making any of the big moves that some had rumored. The Giants ended the day with three deals.
The Giants traded first baseman/outfielder/designated hitter Darin Ruf to the New York Mets, receiving Major League third baseman J.D. Davis, and minor league pitchers Thomas Szapucki, Carson Seymour, and Nick Zwack.
Later in the day, the Giants traded away catcher Curt Casali, who has recently been rehabbing, and Matthew Boyd to the Seattle Mariners for minor league pitcher Michael Stryffeler and minor league catcher Andy Thomas.
Close to the deadline, the Giants traded away rehabbing pitcher Trevor Rosenthal to the Milwaukee Brewers for minor league outfielder Tristan Peters.
Mets Trade: IF/DH Darin Ruf for 3B/DH J.D. Davis, LHP Thomas Szapucki, RHP Carson Seymour, and LHP Nick Zwack
Ruf, 36, slumped early in the season but has come far since. Overall, he’s batting .216/.328/.373 with nine doubles and 11 home runs Notably, he has a .887 OPS against left-handed pitchers with nine doubles. He’ll serve a bit as a platoon DH for the Mets and a pinch-hitting option, but he can mash against left-handed pitchers. The Mets are in first place in the NL East and have the second best winning percentage in the NL, so Ruf will get a lot of chances at playoff heroics.
In return for Ruf, the Giants got four players. Davis, 29, is the only MLB player the Giants are getting back. This season, he’s struggling with a .238/.324/.359 batting line, with eight doubles, a triple, and four home runs in 66 games. He’s served mostly as a DH this season, but has been a primary third baseman in the past, and can play left field and first base. Through six seasons, Davis has a career .266/.349/.432 batting line. He’s played over 100 games just one, his best year in 2019, when he hit .307/.369/.527 with 22 home runs. He’s never been able to hit with power regularly since that season.
Szapucki, 26, is a left-handed pitcher who has spent most of this season in Triple-A Syracuse, with a 3.38 ERA through 18 appearances, with 87 strikeouts and 29 walks in 64.0 innings. Szapucki has made two MLB appearances, one in 2021 and once in 2022, and both were disastrous. In his start this season, he went just 1.1 innings, allowing nine runs on seven hits, four of which were home runs, and three walks.
Szapucki was drafted in the 5th round in 2015 by the Mets, and was ranked pretty high, ranked as high as the Mets #5 prospect in 2018, when he had a fastball in the low 90’s with “electric life”. He missed 2018 with Tommy John surgery, and his velocity dropped to closer to high-80’s. The Mets had been working to increase the velocity, as he still has a high-spin rate on his curveball. He could be a young pitcher who could be reclaimed.
Seymour, 23, is a right-handed pitcher who most recently has been in High-A Brooklyn, where he had a 3.68 ERA with 65 strikeouts to 12 walks in 51.1 innings. Seymour also had a 1.19 ERA in Low-A St. Lucie, where he had 27 strikeouts to nine walks in 30.1 innings. Originally drafted in the 6th round of 2021, Seymour has put together a strong season, and was ranked by Baseball America as the Mets #24 prospect midseason in 2022. He is a 6’6” pitcher with a mid-90’s sinker, but also throws a four-seamer, a cutter, curve, and changeup. Some think that Seymour will move to the bullpen, with his groundball stuff and not elite strikeout stuff. So far, he’s still worked primarily as a starter, with 13 starts out of 18 appearances this season.
Zwack, 24, is having a strong year in High-A Brookly, where he has a 1.84 ERA over 14 appearances, with 72 strikeouts to 16 walks in 63.2 innings. Zwack also pitched briefly in Low-A, where he had a 4.97 ERA in four appearances to start the season. Zwack really powered his season with a 0.36 ERA in June, where he had five starts and struck out 26 to six walks in 25.0 innings.
Zwack was originally drafted by the Mets in the 17th round of 2021. He doesn’t have the most overwhelming stuff, with a fastball in the low 90’s, but he works well with it using some deception in his delivery. He worked his way into Baseball America’s prospect rankings midseason, ranking #27.
Trade with Seattle: C Curt Casali and RHP Matthew Boyd for RHP Michael Stryffeler and C Andy Thomas
Casali, 33, joined the Giants in 2021, when we was sharing time with Buster Posey at catcher. This year, he had been the main complement to Joey Bart, as Bart struggled in his first real shot in the Majors early on. Casali hit .231/.325/.370 this season, but has not played in the Majors since July 4th. He’s played three rehab games recently, striking out in every plate appearance.
Boyd, 31, has not pitched at all this season, was signed for a $5.2 million deal despite his injury after surgery on a torn flexor tendon. Boyd was assumed to be help for the pitching staff later in this season, though he has yet to make an appearance. Boyd had a 3.89 ERA in 15 starts with Detroit in 2021.
Tthe Giants got RHP Michael Stryffeler. Stryffeler, 26, has a 2.27 ERA in 35 Double-A appearances this season for Arkansas, with 57 strikeouts to 19 walks in 35.2 innings. He went undrafted in 2018, and played briefly in the Frontier League before signing with the Mariners in mid-2019. Stryffeler has a velocity that can hit the high 90’s, but it can be variable in different games.
Thomas, 24, is in High-A Everett and has a .264/.400/.444 batting line through 64 games, with 12 doubles and nine home runs. Thomas was drafted in the 5th round of the 2021 draft as a senior, and was signed significantly underslot so the Mariners could use that money elsewhere.
The move comes as the Giants try to reshape a roster that’s close to contention and yet feels not quite like a playoff team. Criticized as unathletic, and with weak bullpen pitching, moving Darin Ruf addresses the lack of athleticism, although the return in Davis has not done well on the diamond either. Casali, though popular, has had other pitchers come into the system recently that made him expendable.
Milwaukee Trade: RHP Trevor Rosenthal for OF Tristan Peters
The Giants signed Trevor Rosenthal in July, as he rehabbed from injury to make a comeback. Rosenthal last pitched in 202, putting up a 1.90 ERA between the Kansas City Royals and San Diego Padres. Rosenthal had a surgery to correct thoracic outlet syndrome and also to repair a torn labrum in his hip in 2021, and was recovering from a hamstring strain in Arizona after signing with the Giants.
Peters, 22, has played in High-A Wisconsin this season, though he was promoted to Double-A on the deadline day. Peters hit .306/.386/.485 in 90 games at High-A, with 22 doubles, eight triples, and seven home runs. Peters also has 45 walks to 61 strikeouts on the season, with 13 steals on 19 attempts. Peters was drafted in the 7th round of the 2021. Peters was added to the Baseball America top Brewers prospect list at #26 after his performance this year.