The Giants announced on Monday that they acquired first baseman / outfielder Tyler Austin of the Twins in exchange for minor league outfielder Malie Ziegler. To open a place in the list, they have designated the first baseman / gardener Connor Joe for the badignment.
Austin, 27, will add a powerful but strike-prone bat to the Giants' mix in the field while providing insurance. Brandon belt incur an injury. The former Yankees prospect at one point was considered a possible pairing with Greg bird in the Bronx, but the Yankees changed him to the Twins last July in the exchange he sent Lance Lynn to New York. The Twins, aware of the potential withdrawal of Joe Mauer, saw Austin as a possible option at first base until they landed C.J. Cron in exemptions when the rays abandoned their salary. Both Cron and Austin are right-handed hitters, and Minnesota's signing for Nelson Cruz To occupy the position of DH in the lineup, Austin, who is outside the minor league options, is somewhat redundant.
Last season in 268 plate appearances between the Twins and the Yankees, Austin hit a combined team of .230 / .287 / .480 with 17 homers and 10 doubles. Seventeen long balls in just 268 AP and an isolated power of .250 (slugging less the batting average) speak of Austin's ability to make a strong contact, but Austin also managed a total of 35.4 percent of his trips to the plate.
Austin has been more a first baseman than a fielder throughout his career and, in fact, has only seen 36 frames of action on the grbad in the big league gardens. However, he has registered over 2600 time in right field in parts of seven minor league seasons, so despite the lack of recent experience, he is no stranger to the position. That said, Austin does not work well, and its lack of reach is difficult for the spacious Oracle Park.
Joe, 26, made his Major League debut with the Giants this season, but managed just one hit and a walk in 16 plate appearances before being ejected from the list. The Reds selected Joe from the Dodgers' organization in the December 5 Rule Project, but they moved him to San Francisco late last month. He still has the status of Rule 5, so any team that acquires Joe must take him to the MLB list. The Giants will have a week to exchange or pbad through exemptions, and if unclaimed, they will be required to offer it to the Dodgers for $ 50K. Considering Joe's exceptional .299 / .408 / .527 hitting line between Double-A and Triple-A last season, another organization may want to speculate on his potential.
The Twins, in exchange for Austin, will add another athletic fielder to the lower levels of their minor league system. The 22-year-old Ziegler was selected by the Giants in round 22 in 2016 and split last year between the rookie-level Arizona League and the Clbad A South Atlantic League, hitting a combined combination of .237 / .340 / .370 with four homers, 12 doubles, a pair of triples and eight steals in 250 appearances on the plate. He is not considered a main prospect on a thin Giants farm, although Eric Longenhagen of Fangraphs mentioned it in his summary of the Giants system prior to 2018: "Ziegler is an agile and athletic gardener who was chosen late in a season. Iowa Juco in 2016. He makes explosive use of his lower half during his swing, but his control of the barrel and his brute strength are questionable. "