There was a shocker on MLB trade deadline day for Giants fans.
President of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi, one of the most active executives in baseball, did not make anything remotely resembling a major move. But Zaidi and general manager Scott Harris did stay true to form in one respect, picking up a former top prospect in exchange for nothing but cash considerations.
The trade for Anthony Banda was right out of the Giants' new playbook. Banda was once a top 100 prospect and still has an arm that stands out at times, but the results haven't been there. The Giants have tried this over and over again, hitting on some players who have become important pieces at the big league level. The misses cost nothing.
"We've had some success bringing in guys like this, maybe having them make an adjustment or two, and getting them on track from a performance standpoint," Zaidi said. "The Rays are a pretty deep team obviously and with him being on his last (minor league) option this year I think they perhaps viewed this as a time to move on to other options. But for us it's a lefty who has got a good arm, has got a track record of success, and again, we're hoping with a couple of adjustments he can help us."
Banda is 27 years old but already is on his fourth team. He was drafted in the 10th round of the 2012 draft by the Milwaukee Brewers and sent to the Arizona Diamondbacks in a deal centered around Gerardo Parra. Four years later, he was acquired by the Tampa Bay Rays in the Steven Souza trade.
Along the way, Banda was named the No. 88 prospect by Baseball-America prior to the 2017 season and had Tommy John surgery during the 2018 season. He comes to the Giants having made 18 big league appearances -- including one in 2017 in which a curveball hit Brandon Belt in the helmet -- with a 5.96 ERA.
The results haven't been there, but Banda is still a lefty who has regularly hit 96-97 mph in the past and was up to 94 earlier this month with the Rays, who designated him for assignment when they needed a roster spot over the weekend. Zaidi said he's an "athletic lefty who has good velocity," and mentioned his track record of success as a starter in the minors.
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The Giants will send Banda to their alternate site in Sacramento to let him throw a few times. Zaidi said he could help out later this month as a starter or reliever.
"We'll get him acclimated and then hopefully see how he can help the big league staff," he said.