The SF Giants Acquired Kris Bryant in a Trade with the Chicago Cubs on Friday


Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi couldn’t hide his excitement.

“I just feel like he’s the perfect fit for our roster,” Zaidi said with a smile in the dugout at Oracle Park Friday.

“He” is Kris Bryant, a four-time All-Star, former National League MVP and World Series champion with the Chicago Cubs who the Giants acquired in the minutes leading up to Major League Baseball’s trade deadline.

In a week when 10 current All-Stars were traded, Bryant is arguably the most accomplished position player on the move.

The best hitter on the trade market joining the team with the best record in baseball brought a jolt of energy to the Giants, who opened Friday’s series with the Houston Astros holding a three-game lead in the National League West.

“They’re smart guys, they know what they’re doing and they can see that we have a real chance this year to do something special,” shortstop Brandon Crawford said of the Giants’ executives who orchestrated the trade. “I think they saw an opportunity to get a couple of players who can help us even more.”

To acquire Bryant, the Giants agreed to send outfield prospect Alexander Canario and pitching prospect Caleb Kilian to Chicago and to pay the remainder of Bryant’s contract for this year, more than $7 million.

Aside from adding Bryant, who has hit 18 home runs and owns an .861 OPS this season, the Giants also traded for reliever Tony Watson in a deal with the Angels that sent left-hander Sam Selman and pitching prospects José Marte and Ivan Armstrong to Los Angeles.

Watson spent three seasons with the Giants from 2018-2020 and was the veteran leader of the bullpen in manager Gabe Kapler’s first year with the club.

“He’s a guy who’s really well-known and popular in this clubhouse,” Zaidi said of Watson. “A battle-tested reliever who has pitched in the playoffs and the World Series. We’re going to have a lot of important games down the stretch and his influence and demeanor is really an example we want to have set.”

The decision to trade for Bryant is without question the most aggressive move of Zaidi’s tenure in San Francisco, which dates back to November 2018. After building depth in the farm system and on the margins of the 26- and 40-man rosters, the Giants’ president of baseball operations acquired a player who will be a centerpiece of the lineup against both right- and left-handed pitchers.

The most intriguing element of Bryant’s skill set is his defensive versatility, which will enable the Giants to use him all over the diamond.

“I had an opportunity to connect with (Bryant) earlier today and he said, ‘I’m down to play anywhere, hit anywhere and I just want to help this team win,’” Kapler said. “He was genuinely excited to be a part of this.”

Bryant has appeared in 29 games at third base, 29 games in left field, 28 games in right field, 14 games in center field and 12 games at first base this season. With Evan Longoria (shoulder) on the injured list, Bryant may make his debut in San Francisco on Saturday against the Astros as a third baseman, which will allow Kapler to start Wilmer Flores at second base and bring Donovan Solano off the bench.

When Longoria, Brandon Belt (knee) and Tommy La Stella (thumb) return from the injured list in the coming weeks, Bryant may see more time in the outfield. Though the Las Vegas native may be better suited to playing in the corners, both Zaidi and Kapler said they think Bryant is athletic enough to handle the task of playing center field at Oracle Park.

Regardless of where Bryant ends up on defense, he’ll be a constant in the top half of the Giants’ batting order.


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