SAN FRANCISCO — Two years ago at this time, the Matt Moore-Matt Duffy trade looked pretty good for the Giants. Moore was sharp down the stretch in 2016, and in his final regular-season start, he allowed one run over eight innings for a big win over the Dodgers. Nine days later, Moore was brilliant in Game 4 of the NLDS, nearly dragging the Giants back to Chicago before the bullpen imploded.
That trade looks different after a couple more seasons. Duffy missed all of 2017 with injuries but posted a 2.4 WAR season in 2018, which would have led the Giants. Moore was so inconsistent last season that the Giants dumped him on the Rangers -- who had to move him to the bullpen -- and he finished 2018 with a 6.79 ERA. Lucius Fox had a down year in the Rays’ system, but he’s still just 21 and already in Double-A, so there’s promise there.
The Giants would like this one back, but to be fair, they did get what they wanted out of Moore. He nearly became a postseason hero in orange and black.
The marquee additions for the next Even Year weren't able to get the Giants to the postseason. Andrew McCutchen was the lineup’s most consistent hitter before he was traded, and after that move, Evan Longoria served as the most dangerous Giant. But both players saw their numbers dip after a move to AT&T Park, and the offense wasn’t any better.
Will the Giants regret the trades, though? Here’s a look at the players they sent away last winter.
The McCutchen Trade
Kyle Crick: The former first-rounder had a nice year out of the Pirates’ bullpen, posting a 2.39 ERA and 1.13 WHIP in 64 appearances. Could the Giants use another good cost-controlled righty in their bullpen? Sure. But Reyes Moronta slid into this role and excelled, and you’re never going to lose all that much sleep over trading a reliever who is good but not quite dominant.
Bryan Reynolds: This is where it gets interesting. The Giants thought they had a steal when they took Reynolds in the second round in 2016, and after an early injury this year, he posted a .302/.381/.438 slash line in Double-A. Reynolds has just 23 homers in over 1,000 minor league at-bats, but he’s only 23, and if the power develops, it’ll be a tough pill for a Giants organization that is somehow incapable of developing starting outfielders. On the other hand, they dealt McCutchen for Abiatal Avelino, who might wind up being better than Reynolds.
The Longoria Trade:
Denard Span: His salary was foisted on the Rays, who in turn traded him to Seattle. Span had a .760 OPS and 11 homers in 2018, but the only regret the Giants should have here is not related to this trade. Perhaps they should have put Span in left field all along and just taken the solid at-bats. In center, he was miscast, and the Giants had to replace him.
Christian Arroyo: Like many of the prospects he came up with, Arroyo hasn't been able to stay healthy. He played 48 minor-league games this season and just 20 in the majors, where he had a .264/.339/.396 slash line. Arroyo is still just 23 and has plenty of time to turn into a good big leaguer, but for now, the Giants can be happy with the Longoria choice over at the hot corner.
Matt Krook/Stephen Woods: The Giants also sent two pitching prospects to the Rays. Krook, a left-hander, mostly pitched out of the bullpen, with a 4.26 ERA and 95 strikeouts in 74 innings. Woods, a righty, was hurt all year. Like the others in this deal, they haven’t burned the Giants yet.