Count me among those who liked trading Matt Duffy for Matt Moore. Or at least understood it.
I will never forget Moore nearly no-hitting the Dodgers. And I will never forget him beating the Cubs in Game 4 of the NLDS (if you only count the 8 inning he actually pitched).
I am disappointed about trading Moore away for a couple of reasons. (1) The Duffy lovers are going to cry “Aha, we knew it,” even though Duffy has done NOTHING since being traded from the Giants. (2) I really, really thought Matt Moore was going to be good.
When the Giants acquired Moore it felt like the kind of move smart teams make. The Giants traded a young overperforming, controllable infielder who was never a top prospect for a young, cheap start pitcher who was always supposed to be a stud. Turning a Matt Duffy super utility guy into a potential Cy Young candidate is what winning teams do.
I went into 2017 fully expecting Moore to have a very good season, potentially pushing himself into the “second best starter on the team” conversation. It didn’t happen.
Which brings me to why I begrudgingly like this trade. A part of me was excited to watch the Matt Moore 2018 resurgence, but the facts support the reality that that wasn’t likely to happen. The Dave Righetti special sauce never really panned out for Moore. It also seems unlikely the Matt Moore resurrgence will happen in Texas (not in the ballpark and not in the division!). We’ll never know if he could have turned it around and that makes me a little sad.
What does not make me sad: creating room to sign a hitter. And creating room in the starting rotation for Chris Stratton. Barring a real surprise/spring training injury, Stratton now projects as the 4th starter.
Chris Stratton is another one of those guys who has the “smart-team” smell on him. The Stratton curveball is a weapon the Astros/Dodgers/Pirates/Rays/Cubs would turn into gold. My hope is the Giants can figure it out for themselves and reap the reward.
And while we don’t know who this magical hitter is just yet, creating more space to sign someone truly helpful is very encouraging!
Unless some other moves come down this weekend, my hope is to get some ideas out about this hitter Monday. Stay tuned.