NBC Sports

Why Bryant trade was perfect move for Giants all along

NBC Sports

Sometimes the most obvious moves are the best ones. 

The Giants had Kris Bryant atop their wish list as the trade deadline approached, and they finally chased down the former NL MVP a few minutes before Friday's 1 p.m. PT trade deadline.

Bryant brings power from the right side and more versatility than any team could reasonably expect from a middle-of-the-order slugger. In short, he was the perfect fit for the best team in baseball, one with no glaring holes but a desire in recent days to go big in a bid to try and hold the lead in the NL West.

Farhan Zaidi and Scott Harris did not panic as marquee names started to fall off the board, or when the Los Angeles Dodgers responded to a series loss at Oracle Park by trading for Max Scherzer and Trea Turner. They didn't blink when the Chicago Cubs made it known that their goal in any deal with the Giants was to acquire Joey Bart, the organization's No. 2 prospect.

Zaidi and Harris waited until the clock had just about struck zero, until all the other stars had been shipped out of Chicago, and acquired their own blockbuster addition in exchange for Alexander Canario and Caleb Killian.

Even that part of the deal was somewhat obvious all along. While the industry focused on Bart, Canario was by far the most likely of the Giants' top prospects to be dealt. The 21-year-old has loads of potential, but the Giants had to put him on the 40-man roster in the offseason to protect him from the Rule 5 Draft, so the clock already was ticking on a player currently in Low-A ball. This no longer is an organization that lets those precious spots go to waste.


The second player in the deal, Killian, looked like one of the best stories of the year for the Giants' player development staff, and he still is. Killian was taken in the eighth round in 2019, the first pitcher selected by the organization after Zaidi and Michael Holmes loaded up on hitters in their first draft in charge. He came out of nowhere this spring to dominate High-A ball and earn a quick promotion to Double-A, where he continued to pitch well.

Killian was the minor league version of what the Giants have done at the big league level with development, and that allowed his prospect status to rise so quickly that he was a reasonable second piece in a blockbuster deal. In this way, the Giants are in lockstep with the Dodgers, who have in recent years developed lesser-known prospects and turned them into players like Mookie Betts and now Scherzer and Turner.

The Giants have formed so quickly that they find themselves three games ahead of those Dodgers, and while they felt that they could hang on in the West without making a splash, the front office also knew that the clubhouse had earned a boost.

RELATED: Giants reunite with reliever Tony Watson at deadline

Two years ago, Zaidi honored a July run by keeping Madison Bumgarner and Will Smith. This time, he and Harris honored the four months of quality baseball by searching for another star to add to a good mix.

The Giants had interest in Scherzer and were consistently connected to Trevor Story. Some in the organization wanted Craig Kimbrel brought over, and internal conversations even were had about Turner, who would have been a shocking addition.

In the end, they landed on Bryant, who crushes left-handed pitching and can comfortably start at both infield corners and all three outfield spots, and move around whenever Giants manager Gabe Kapler needs to make a line change late in games.

He was the perfect fit all along.