Rangers-Giants Austin Jackson Trade Review

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

by: Andy Zsiga @zsiga_andy

A small trade happened this weekend, and while the pieces traded do not seem to be much, what the trade says about the two teams involved is very interesting. 

This seems to be a shrewd trade made on both ends with little risk and moderate but purposeful upside. The San Francisco Giants sent Austin Jackson, Cory Gearrin, and Jason Bahr to the Texas Rangers for a player to be named later or cash considerations.

Jackson is a fourth of the way through a two year six million dollar contract, with a bWar of - 1.3, he was mostly just clogging up the outfield. 

Gearrin is a 32-year-old reliever with a 4.20 ERA and a FIP of 4.82 He will be paid a little more than three million dollars for this year and next. 

Bahr is a 23-year old Single-A Starting Pitcher and he was ranked as the 27th prospect in the Giants organization according to mlb.com (he is already ranked the 20th for the Rangers).

Why would the Giants do this trade when it is basically three players for no players? The answer is these players were blocking the Giants both monetarily and talent wise. 

The money may not sound like much, but the Giants were teetering on the luxury cap line, this amount brings them under the cap for sure while giving them a little bit of flexibility. The Giants are doing what a team that is okay, but is probably not going to make the playoffs should do; they are preparing for next year and making sure that they do not end up with the repeater tax should they decide to spend next year. 

This is a good move, made even better by the fact that they can now audition two young guys in Jackson’s and Gearrin’s spots.

To replace Jackson and Gearrin, the Giants have called up Steven Duggar and Ray Black

Duggar, a 24-year-old minor league CF, has a .802 career minor league OPS, and the Giants took this opportunity to find a spot for him with the Major League club. He is currently the number four prospect for the Giants (depending on which ranking you use), and the Giants were eager to get him into games right away. 

Black is a 28-year-old RP  whose career was started with a boatload of injuries. He has seemed to put those injuries behind him and has a 2.27 ERA in 31.2 innings between Double-A and Triple-A this year. 

The time is now to see what these two young fellows have in the tank, and I hope them the best in this opportunity. As for the Giants, this seems to be a win-win situation, clear up cap space to maximize future spending, and clear up roster space.

Now, why would the Rangers do this deal? 

The answer is simply it is what they should be doing in a rebuilding year. 

The Rangers began this year well under budget, and when they see a minor leaguer they think they can work with, it makes sense for them to essentially buy the prospect. For their sake, hopefully, Bahr works out, but it does not seem this is the only reason the Rangers made this move. 

Recently three relief pitchers have ended up on the disabled list and will be there for a lengthy time, Gearrin allows for another warm body in the bullpen without having to rush the development of another player.

Jackson could provide them with further depth at CF, but it seems that he will be traded or cut because the Rangers have advised him to not report to the team yet.

This seems like a good deal for the Rangers in that they get a stopgap in Gearrin that they can keep if he throws better than he has thus far this year, and they get another SP in the minors. The Rangers are desperate for good starting pitching, and they hope they strike gold with Bahr. 

All in all, this trade seems to be two teams using each others’ position as an organization to their advantage.

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