The Giants have been searching for bullpen help in the last few weeks, as San Francisco has had a shaky bullpen as of late. Will Smith, who currently has a 3.68 ERA and has allowed only 31% of inherited runners to score.
Bickford is the centerpiece of this deal for the Brewers. Bickford is ranked by MLB as the Giants’ No. 1 prospect in the organization and is currently with High-A San Jose, where he holds a 2.73 ERA in the extremely hitter friendly California League. Bickford was the Giants’ first round draft pick in 2015. His pitching repertoire includes a fastball, slider, and changeup; Baseball America calls the slider a “plus pitch” and his fastball velocity is in the low 90s.
Susac was the Giants’ backup catcher at one point, but injuries marred his return to the big league club. In that time, the team called up Trevor Brown, who is now serving as Buster Posey’s backup. Susac is currently hitting .273/.343/.455 in Triple-A Sacramento.
As Alex Pavlovic reported, Giants GM Bobby Evans said that the price for a reliever is very high in this market, especially a good reliever. While giving up the top pitching prospect in the organization is a steep price to pay, Smith has two years of arbitration left and won’t be a free agent until 2020, which is something the Giants would want, considering their current bullpen.