What Banda showed Giants GM before he was traded to SF


When the clock struck 1 p.m. PT on Monday, the MLB trade deadline came to a close and it appeared the Giants didn't make any moves. About an hour and a half later, it became president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi and general manager Scott Harris made another low-risk, high-reward move.

The Giants acquired left-handed pitcher Anthony Banda from the Tampa Bay Rays for cash considerations. While southpaw is starting off at the Giants' alternate site in Sacramento, Harris clearly is intrigued by what he can bring one day to San Francisco. 

"It was important for us to come out of this net-positive in the total number of arms that we could add to our big league roster, and Anthony Banda gives us another left-handed fastball-changeup mix to impact us down the stretch."

Banda, 27, is a former top 100 prospect. Baseball America had Banda as their No. 88 prospect in games ahead of the 2017 season. But he hasn't quite lived up to expectations in the big leagues. 

Through 18 games -- five starts -- he has a 4-3 career record and a 5.96 ERA. In four appearances out of the bullpen this year for Tampa Bay, Banda had a 10.29 ERA. He walked five batters while only striking out four in seven innings.

Banda can hit the upper 90s with his fastball, and his four-seamer has averaged 92.5 mph this season. It had an average velocity of 94.5 last year and 93.9 the season before. He's certainly worth taking another chance on, and the Giants believe they can use him as a starter or reliever at some point this season. 


"Banda has prospect pedigree," Harris said. "Once upon a time he was one of the better left-handed starters coming up through the minor leagues. He pitched almost exclusively in the lower levels, and when he got to the Rays organization they had him throw out of the 'pen a little bit. I think we view him as a versatile arm. We view him as important depth for us.

RELATED: What Zaidi liked about Anthony Banda

"I think the situation will dictate how we deploy him. He's certainly going to go down to Sacramento and work with our pitching guys right now and stretch out in case we need him to handle some bulk innings for us. But we also know he can come out of the 'pen in a short burst if we need him to."

Zaidi and Co. have taken on plenty of reclamation projects early in their tenure, and a lot have worked to their advantage. It sure sounds like they believe Banda can be their next comeback story.