The Giants have acquired infielder Daniel Robertson from the Rays in exchange for cash considerations or a player to be named later, reports Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times (Twitter link). Robertson has been assigned to the Giants’ alternate training site. To clear 40-man roster space, outfielder Hunter Pence has been designated for assignment, reports Kerry Crowley of the Bay Area News Group (via Twitter).
Robertson was designated for assignment himself earlier this week. The 26-year-old looked like a solid rotational piece back in 2018, when he hit .262/.382/.415 (128 wRC+) in 340 plate appearances while playing all across the infield. Unfortunately, Robertson’s power completely disappeared last season, as he stumbled to .213/.312/.295 line (71 wRC+) in 237 plate appearances. Still, as a versatile, optionable 26-year-old one year removed from a quality offensive season, it’s easy to see the appeal for San Francisco. Indeed, that the Giants affirmatively swung a trade suggests the front office feared he’d get claimed had they tried to wait out the waiver wire.
The Robertson acquisition marks the end of Pence’s second stint with S.F. Thanks at least partially to swing adjustments he made in the 2018-19 offseason, Pence made a remarkable return to form with the Rangers. He hit .297/.358/.552 (128 wRC+) in Texas last season, earning an improbable All-Star bid. That set the stage for the fan favorite to return to San Francisco, where he shined for the better part of eight seasons.
Unfortunately, the 37-year-old has gotten off to a terrible start this year. He’s hitting just .096/.161/.250 with two home runs through 56 plate appearances. That likely wiped out any hope the rebuilding Giants would’ve had of flipping him to a contender before the August 31 deadline.
Assuming he’s amenable, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Pence latch on with a minor-league deal elsewhere if he’s eventually released. There’d be little harm in bringing the amiable veteran to an alternate training site to see if he can recapture his 2019 form at the dish.