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Reds Get Austin Slater – MLB Trade Rumors

The Reds and Giants made a deal of the night with just three weeks left until the trade deadline. According to an announcement from both clubs, the Reds have acquired a foreign player Austin Slater from San Francisco as a left-hander Alex Young. Cincinnati also receives cash consideration as part of the deal. The Giants optioned Young to Triple-A following the trade.

Slater, 31, has been in the Giants organization for more than a decade. His professional career began when he was selected by the club out of Stanford in the eighth round of the 2014 draft, although he did not make his major league debut with the team until his age-24 season in 2017. -time player during his first few years in San Francisco, and accumulated just 544 plate appearances in the majors between 2017 and 2019. In that limited playing time, he posted a respectable .254/.335/.368 slash line. of 92 wRC+ while splitting time between all three outfield spots, first base, and even making brief cameos at both second and third base.

The shortened 2020 season saw Slater break out big, as he posted a career-best 150 wRC+ for the Giants while appearing in 31 of the club’s 60 games that year while playing mostly right field and DH for the club. That offensive outburst earned Slater a bigger role in the following years, and while most of his playing time was against the left-hander he carved out a right-team role instead of the outfield role he had previously been used in. . Slater has taken the added responsibilities very well, and between the 2020 and 2023 seasons the left-handed masher hit a solid .259/.352/.421 (118 wRC+).

That line goes from solid to impressive when you look specifically at his production against southpaws, which he combined to the tune of a .285/.380/.486 line with a 141 wRC+. That production against left-handed pitching was good for 17th in baseball during that four-year span, tied with the same All-Star hitters. Jose Altuve again Xander Bogaerts.

While the Giants relied heavily on Slater as a left-handed outfield teammate with sluggers like Mike Yastrzemski, Michael Confortoagain Joc Pederson during those years, Slater’s playing time was further reduced by injuries. Since the start of the 2020 campaign, Slater has made seven trips to the injured list due to groin, hamstring, wrist, and hand issues and multiple concussions. Slater also required elbow surgery last season to remove bone spurs and relieve nerve pain.

A long list of injury problems may have helped contribute to what has been a difficult 2024 season for the 31-year-old, as he hit just .200/.330/.244 in 112 trips to the plate this season around a month-long layoff. all in IL due to disruption earlier this year. Those struggles eventually paved the way for the youth Heliot Ramos again Luis Matos replacing Slater in the Giants’ playing time, as Ramos has stepped up to become a regular center fielder and Matos serves as the perfect complement off the bench to Yastrzemski and Conforto.

In acquiring Slater, the Reds hope they can coax some of that left-handed combination ability they’ve flashed over the years into him to make him an excellent platoon partner for the club’s many left-handed hitters. Slater’s biggest competition for playing time in that role will be Stuart Fairchild, who has slashed a lackluster .224/.298/.347 (81 wRC+) in 189 trips to the plate this year. However, in the short term, both Fairchild and Slater got a lot of repetitions nearby Is Benson again Spencer Steer in the outfield of the club mix due to absence Jake Fraley, TJ Friedlagain Nick Martini. Fraley is currently on the family emergency list and could be back in a few days, but both Friedl and Martini are on the injured list and face extended absences.

In exchange for parting ways with Slater, the Giants got the help of a lefty bullpen in Young. Once selected by the Diamondbacks in the second round of the 2015 draft, the lefty returned to the big leagues in 2019 and struggled at the big league level in the pitching role with Arizona and Cleveland. That changed in 2022, when Young was acquired by San Francisco in a cash deal with the Rangers and began working in a short relief role on a full-time basis. The lefty excelled during his first stint with the Giants and posted a 2.39 ERA and 2.96 FIP over 26 1/3 innings of work before being non-tendered by San Francisco the following November.

The youngster eventually joined the Reds on a minor league deal ahead of the 2023 season and has remained with the club ever since. He posted solid results in middle relief for the club last year, posting a 3.86 ERA despite a lackluster 4.99 FIP. While Young’s 21.2% strikeout rate and 8.5% walk rate were both very strong, he allowed a team-high ten homers during his 53 2/3 career innings with the Reds last year.

Young spent most of the 2024 season at the Triple-A level with the Reds, though he posted impressive numbers in his two scoreless innings in the big leagues and his major league career. In 23 games with the club’s Louisville affiliate this year, Young posted a sparkling 1.19 ERA while striking out a solid 25.3% of the batters he faced. Unfortunately, the lefty hasn’t been able to get much playing time in the majors with the Reds this year due to the club’s deep bullpen, which covers every team. Justin Wilson, Sam Mollagain Brent Suter as quality left hand options.

That made Young expendable enough that the Reds were willing to part ways with him, and it’s easy to see how the lefty could make an impact in a Giants bullpen that relies heavily on it. Erik Miller acting as the second left reliever behind the upper arm Taylor Rogers. Miller, a 26-year-old rookie with a 3.51 ERA and 4.49 FIP in 41 innings this year, is putting together a more dominant platoon split than Young has in recent years, and the open field at Oracle Park should be a great fit. . In the youth that helps limit his ability to give up homers.

San Francisco is also sending money to Cincinnati in the deal with Slater, a fact that could affect the club’s luxury tax calculation later this year. Before the trade, RosterResource showed the Giants had a luxury tax bill of just under $254MM, or just over $3MM under the second luxury tax threshold. Slater makes $4MM this year, while Young earns $1.16MM. Depending on the amount of money the Giants put into the deal, it’s possible the trade could provide an additional benefit to give the club more financial wiggle room under the second luxury tax threshold.

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