When your shortstops have a combined slash line of .219/.286/.325 with five HR's and a 1.1 WAR, something needs to be done. The San Francisco Giants were faced with a major dilemma at the shortstop position and today they did something about it.
The Giants acquired SS Jeff Keppinger from the Houston Astros for minor league RHP's Henry Sosa and Jason Stoffel. Keppinger was batting .307/.320/.436 with four HR's in 170 PA's for the Astros in 2011.
While unspectacular, Keppinger is a clear upgrade at the shortstop position for the Giants. Brandon Crawford isn't the answer and neither is the corpse of Miguel Tejada.
The Giants proved last season that they don't need superstars at every position to win. They just need gamers who can get the job done when asked. And that is what Keppinger can do.
In return, the Astros get two low-level minor league prospects from the Giants.
Sosa is a 25-year-old RHP, who has a career 3.61 ERA, 1.35 WHIP, and 8.1 K/9 in six minor league seasons. He's a bit of a tweener as he has spent time as a starter as well as a reliever during his minor league career.
Stoffel is a 22-year-old RHP, who was pitching in Double-A before the trade. He has an impressive 10.2 K/9 ratio in three minor league seasons. He was being groomed as a closer, but has struggled with his control over the past two seasons.
Neither pitcher was ranked in the top-20 Giant prospects by Baseball Prospectus prior to the 2011 season.