As the baseball world collectively waits for trade season to begin in earnest, the Giants may find more eyes on their team than at any other point in 2019. Entering the season, no one gave the club a chance in a stacked NL West division, and at 39-47, the team is predictably all but out of playoff contention. San Francisco may have the most appealing rental starter on the market in Madison Bumgarner and the most appealing rental reliever in Will Smith. Fellow left-hander Tony Watson is likely to be moved as well, and even Pablo Sandoval has hit his way back onto the rumor circuit.
For all the attention placed on that group, righty Sam Dyson is nearly every bit as interesting. That’s not to say that Dyson is an under-the-radar trade chip, as even casual onlookers are well aware that the rebuilding Giants have a wealth of interesting bullpen arms to market this month. But the extent of Dyson’s appeal is somewhat overshadowed by the bigger names the Giants have to sell.
Dyson, who turned 31 back in May, is enjoying his best season since 2016 by virtually any measure and is arguably in the midst of the best year of his career. The ground-ball specialist has pitched to a 2.48 ERA with averages of 7.7 K/9, 1.4 BB/9 and 0.68 HR/9. His sinker’s average velocity is down from its 96.5 mph peak but still sits at a comfortable 94.1 mph. And while Dyson’s 57.3 percent grounder rate is somehow the lowest of his career, it’s also still well above the league average of 43 percent among relievers.
The control Dyson has demonstrated in 2019 is not only the best of his career — it’s among the best in baseball. Only eight qualified relievers have walked a smaller percentage of opponents than the 3.9 percent to whom Dyson has issued a free pass. He’s appeared in 38 games this season, totaling 40 innings of work, and has not issued multiple walks in a single outing. Dyson’s 63.6 percent first-pitch strike rate is a career-high.
Hard contact has also been difficult to come by for opponents of Dyson, as they’ve averaged an exit velocity of just 85.5 mph against him — a mark that puts Dyson in the 94th percentile of MLB pitchers. Right-handed opponents have mustered an awful .202/.237/.281 line against Dyson in 2019, while lefties have only managed a .226/.293/.377 output. Playing his games at San Francisco’s Oracle Park as opposed to Arlington’s Globe Life Park surely has helped Dyson limit homers, but his stinginess on round-trippers is nothing new (career 0.69 HR/9). It’s also worth noting that balls in the air against Dyson in 2019 have averaged 91.2 mph off the bat — a decline even from his strong 2016 campaign (93.2 mph) and a huge departure from the outlier 2017 campaign that saw Texas give up on him (96 mph).
That his 2017 season was an outlier should also be a point of emphasis. It’s tough for a player to shake the label of being traded in a salary dump as Dyson was in ’17. However, the righty notched 70 1/3 innings of 2.69 ERA ball last season with a slightly lower strikeout rate, a higher walk rate and a higher ground-ball rate. More broadly looking at Dyson’s track record dating back to 2014, the only point at which he’s pitched particularly poorly was that 17-game stretch that prompted the Rangers to unload him. Dyson finished that year with an ERA just over 6.00, but he’s checked in with a 2.70 or better in the other five seasons dating back to 2014 (this year included).
Unlike teammates Smith and Watson, Dyson is under club control through the 2020 season. (Well, Watson technically is as well, though he’s unlikely to exercise the player option on his uniquely structured contract.) Dyson is being paid a $5MM salary this season, and while that means he’ll have a relatively notable salary next year after an arbitration raise, even a jump into the $6-7MM range isn’t exorbitant. For a team in need of bullpen help, buying a reasonably affordable second season of Dyson likely sounds better than rolling the dice on a multi-year deal for free-agent relievers — particularly when looking at how poorly this past winter’s group of multi-year contracts for relievers has panned out.
At the same time, there’s little reason for the Giants to hang onto Dyson at that price point when they’re in the nascent stages of their rebuild. And, he’ll have more value at this year’s deadline than he would in the offseason. There’s an argument to be made that the Giants should listen on all of their interesting relievers — even more controllable arms like Reyes Moronta and Trevor Gott — but neither will even be arbitration-eligible next year. Dyson, like Smith and Watson, should be a lock to be moved in the next 26 days barring some kind of injury.
The Giants find themselves in this rebuilding state in large part because of some missteps by the former front-office regime, but that group’s acquisition of Dyson (in exchange for 26-year-old Hunter Cole, who has yet to see the Majors) proved to be a steal. Beyond the 148 innings of strong relief work Dyson has given the Giants since that trade, he now gives first-year president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi and his staff a player who ought to net far more than what the Giants gave up to acquire him.
“large part because of some missteps by the former front-office regime”. Are you kidding me? Some? Evans to a championship caliber team and destroyed it in 2 years while spending all of the cap money available. Worse GM in history.
Evans also played a vital role in putting together the rosters that won those three championships — much like Sabean still had a role in acquiring Longoria and McCutchen even though adding veterans at the point was pretty questionable. And ownership certainly pushed the front office to continue striving to contend as well.
Much as the three titles can’t be attributed solely to Sabean, the team’s collapse isn’t solely attributable to Evans. That’s the responsibility that any GM or president takes when they’re the public-facing head of baseball operations, but the Giants’ failings ran well beyond Evans alone.
Well said mate
Cueto (started all star game)
McCutcheon was their best hitter last year
All attributed to Evans.
Others were “some missteps” which every team has. “Some” contracts were excessive. Hindsight is a beautiful thing. Worst GM? Who was in the front office for drafts of posey, freak, bum, Bart, etc. The pre Zaidi regime did pretty good.
Are you ready to jump off the Baytown Bandwagon? Be my guest
The 4 players you mention were pretty high draft picks. Any gm could have made those calls, so don’t cheer for Evans too loudly. There were way more Fups than good, bottom line.
I’d rather complain.
Imagine thinking baseball has a true cap.
I’ll take 3 titles and self destruction. Who wouldn’t? Ask the Cubs if they’d take that? Ask the Dodgers if they’d take that? Even the Yankees.
Fans who complain about their teams not spending money need to look at the Giants. It’s nice to see a team try to spend and lengthen their competitive window but this is usually the result.
As an Oriole fan id take a 2 game winning streak !!!
Well you got it. But don’t cry when they don’t contend for quite awhile.
Dude also makes a hell of a vacuum.
Lol comment of the day
I need help on the vacuum comment. Clarify please
I could tell you to google it, but that would just suck.
let me guess, you own a Hoover
Maybe one of those relievers could help the A’s
Pass. Dyson is a malcontent and a troublemaker. He’s had some epic meltdowns while pitching for Texas and Miami. He’s also a headhunter. Contending teams beware. He’s best suited for second division teams.
Hey Bad finger,your really BAD at this! better try something else? Or lay off the Spice!
Whatever issues he may have had before, he didn’t bring them with him to SF. He seems to be about as mellow a pitcher as I’ve ever seen.
No pressure on him right now. Put him in a pennant race and watch him unravel.
Pssst is the nickname he used on his jersey. Sounds like a headhunting malcontent. I watch every game and haven’t once witnessed any of the behavior you are trying to describe. It sounds more like Hunter Strickland than Dyson.
I was looking for any article on google to support what you were saying about Dyson and I can’t find a thing. Care to support your argument with evidence?
It’s the internet, we don’t have to use facts.
Dyson has been a model citizen and teammate. Besides being a great 6th inning guy. Your info is so far off it’s pathetic !!
Stupid handle and more idiotic post.
Players can grow and also depends on culture of team.
Who does everyone think will close after all these Giant trades. Moronto is a great arm but they seem to like him in a swing role
I guess he isnt getting moved because of contract we’re assuming?
He also has a no-trade clause… but yeah, that too.
Who cares? They are not a contending team so really won’t matter at the end of the season
Relax. If the Giants are able to move the majority their trade chips, there will be very few games that need saving.
I think Red Sox need Bumgarner and Smith. The Red Sox after Sale; Price the Sox starters have struggled especially the end of rotation. I would give up Dalbec, Groom and Houck anything more is too much.
Considering the asking price, unless you’re including Chavis you will get outbid.
Not a good park for a guy who gives up a lot of bombs. As if a few weeks ago fox sports showed a stat that Bum was one of the top in the league in hard hit balls.
I ask for casas as well
How has Tony Watson looked lately? I could the Pirates bringing him back as a rental.
Heck, get MadBum, Will Smith & Sam Dyson to the Rays.
I am more surprised that they have waited so long to make a big trade. Right now with so many teams in need of pitching you would think a trade of a reliever would happen now. Holding on might hurt when more teams get in trade mode.
I don’t think it’s the Giants waiting so long, I think teams are trying to decide weather to go for it this year or not. Right after the All-Star break you’ll see movement and fast. Remember they are rentals.
You must remember the owners want fans in the seats so they might be waiting as long as possible to make the trades just a little hope of contending. They might also be trying to move a bad contract with their tradeable assets which is holding up all trades.
If that’s the case it isn’t working. I’ve been to a bunch of games and nobody is showing up right now.
Balk, Giants FO has no intention of holding onto these players. They are waiting for the right opportunity to make moves.
How do you know this? mind-reader? work in the Giants FO or just pull it out of an orifice?
Umm, he used logic.
Zaidi clearly expected to make some trades of relievers in the off-season, hence why he had so many spare relievers when the season started, and why the 25-man roster held so many relievers.
But the market was too soft for him to pull the trigger, and so he’s been waiting ever since. He clearly made some mis-judgements in his first off-season with the Giants, not making the trades he thought he could for his relievers, not making the trades to get the outfielders that he needed to start the season with, so he took on some fliers and Parra as his backup OF didn’t work either.
It will be interesting to see how he acts once the deadline gets near. Sometimes the market is just soft and no offer will match what he thinks he should be getting. Will he just take what he can get and dump players, say, in the week before the deadline? Or hold onto them, and ride out the season, giving Bochy his best chances to win?
I can’t imagine Will Smith not being traded, he’s so valuable right now, I can’t imagine a team not offering enough for him. And I think Dyson and Watson will be in demand enough that they get traded too, especially since we got guys like Black, Adon, Selman, and others who could fill positions in the bullpen.
But with Bumgarner, a QO would net a strong draft pick (assuming he signs in time), so if the offers are meh (see all the articles talking about his decline over the past few seasons), Zaidi might decide it’s better to hold onto him, especially as a good bye gift to Bochy. So he’ll be an interesting case.
Could be he was used to a lot of bull pen arms failing. Consider that he was with the Dodgers.
Arc89, desperation as trade deadline nears increases bid. Smith is best reliever available no matter how many more teams start to sell. Bum one of most desirable starters if not the most desirable no matter how many sellers are added.
So an increase in sell teams won’t affect trade buy demand for those 2. Watson Dyson demand could affected tho
I’m not convinced there will be a large number of trades before the 31st. Just about every one of the contenting teams could use a bullpen arm or two and some could use a starter. Whether they want to add salary or give up talent to get stronger for the post season is questionable at best in my mind.
Don’t get me wrong, I think some of the Giant pitchers will move, not all but some. The return however will no where equal their value or fan expectations. That’s my opinion.
Zaidi will start entertaining offers in earnest right after the ASG and starting next weekend. Yes, there’s a good argument to be made that he will wait until closer to the deadline, but with this unique opportunity to move so many pieces to contenders and rebuild the farm system so quickly, he’s more likely to move sooner so that none of those pieces get hurt before he can pull the trigger.
Melancon would likely close the remainder of the year if Zaidi gets opportunities to move more rather than less, and that would include Moronta and Gott as well as Smith/Watson/Dyson. They’d want Melancon to at least burn off one more year of that contract and see if he can build some appeal for the offseason.
Zaidi may even get a chance to move Holland, Pomeranz, and Blach to teams that need rotation pieces to fill out spots the remainder of the year.
Wrong Fresh Prince of Belair linked. You mean the one on the Giants, not the Dodgers.
Madison going to the Twins is what would be best for the Giants he doesn’t have any trade protection to them and they are up 6 games in their division. They can offer a good package of prospects too.
Some of the dumbest, most inexplicable trades are made at the trade deadline. Strategically moving players when you get a haul for them is one thing. Tossing valuable players away for almost nothing (ahem … Andrew McCutchen for Abiatal Avellino ….. ahem) is another.
The “experts” keep telling us that the Giants can’t really expect anything of value for Bumgarner, Smith, et al. So why trade them? If nothing else, holding onto talented players instead of panicking sends a message to other GMs when it comes to future trades. The Giants aren’t a bad team. They’ve massively underperformed. At 5 1/2 games back in the WC, they can be a playoff contender if their players just revert to the mean.
Giants will get value for madbum or Smith. Might not be a top 20 prospect but should be in the top 100 prospects. Problem is when they think they can get a WC birth and need to jump over more than 10 teams. That is a lot of winning and hoping everyone else loses.
This has been the same rallying cry the last 2 seasons. If they just revert back to the mean. Without even taking into account this may be the new mean, due to age and injury. Sure certain players may revitalize their career with a drastic overhaul come next season, but at some point you are your record. This team isn’t a good team. Even with a 5.5 deficit for the 2nd was card, they are still 7 wins out. Their offense is a far cry from respectable. Zaidai isn’t going to be swayed by sentimentality nor should he be. It seems like the same fools gold argument.
This is a bad team that just needs to tear it down. For some perspective, outside of the bullpen, Posey and Bumgarner are the only two players the Giants possess that even make the Dodgers 25 man. And Bumgarner would be the 4th starter.
I agree !!
To the Rays for Lucius Fox..
Who is hitting .213/.327/.354/.681 as a 21 YO in AA, with 61 K’s in only 254 AB.
Wish the pirates would look at drew p, Holland, and mark M to stabilize rotation and bullpen. It would cost a prospect but provide decent innings at a not so great cost.
Derek Holland yes, Drew Pomeranz and Mark Melancon no. Pomeranz can barely reach 5 innings a start and Melancon is only good in non-pressure situations. I think the Giants should be giving Holland the ball more. He’s underrated.
Have you watched him this year? He’s downright horrible
Let the kids pitch, if you don’t you’ll never know what you have.
If the Giants can find a taker for Holland, it’ll be a miracle.
Giants haven’t had a good bullpen in years and now that they do they have to tear it down! 🙁
And when they are starting to play well too!
Has to be done because it’s not sustainable. Plus they caught the dbacks and padres at a good time to put together a win streak – which is making them look better than actuality. This team is not going to contend therefore it’s better to get young players for the future.
Giants have won 4 straight and are 2 good weeks from being in the playoffs. That was kind of the point of the expanded WC slots. If they win 4+ of the next 6 against St Louis and Milwaukee, ownership will have some difficult decisions to make. Because the next 13 after that are very winnable.
If they face plant and drop 10 games back by all means, sell everyone and anyone. They sure picked a heck of a time to start playing lights out baseball.
If they win 4 of the next six, and gain another game in the WC standings in the process, then I might agree with you. But I think it’s just as likely that some of these players don’t return home to SF from the Brewers’ series on Sunday, the 14th.
Hell, when even Longoria looks decent and even possibly trade-able (hello Yankees), then all bets are off.
There is no difficult decision to make. This is a full tear down and restock. Any other decision is madness and jeopardizes the rebuild everyone can see needs to happen.
The Giants are only wishing Sandoval could find someone to take him!
Why? He’s getting paid the major league minimum, with the Red Sox
picking up the rest………….
Sandoval has an OPS+ of 130 and the Giants are paying him league minimum. Red Sox are on the hook for the rest. But please, go ahead with your story.
I was glad to see an article on Dyson, he was a closer before and pretty good with the Giants. Even in the season he was traded for, it was just bad timing that made his Giants ERA bad, he had a 2.-something ERA with the Giants until that final week or so where he got pounded. If he had another month to the season, he probably would have gotten it back down.
I had forgotten that he actually has another season of control, which makes him that much more valuable in terms of prospect return. At worse, if Smith is gone, he could take over as closer.
Dickerson can hit. Giants finally found one competent outfielder
I don’t know if you can trade him but you should probably medicate him. Yes folks, I am talking about the worst case of ADHD I have ever seen in a pitcher. Someone get Drew Pomeranz some Sertraline now. (Better known as Zoloft). How can a pitcher throw six innings of two hit, one run ball, striking out ten on Monday And follow that with three innings of six hits, four runs, including three round trippers on a Saturday. Then repeat the process five days later. Not once but at least four times this season. On any other team except the Orioles, Pomeranz would be toiling in AAA, looking for consistency..
In a previous life Pomeranz must have been Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. .