San Francisco Giants rumors about outfielder Billy Hamilton have created a bit of a buzz. If the Cincinnati Reds trade Hamilton during the MLB offseason, the Giants certainly appear like the right fit, as the team has been desperate to add a defensive-minded center fielder who can hit leadoff. A report by NBC Sports adds another layer to these MLB trade rumors, as Giants broadcaster Duane Kuiper feels that Hamilton would be the perfect fit for AT&T Park.
Billy Hamilton is the center fielder for the Cincinnati Reds, but he may have become expendable due to the frustrations of the team. His name, as well as that of Boston Red Sox center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr., have been mentioned in trade talks this fall. While it seems unlikely that the Red Sox would part with Bradley unless someone like Madison Bumgarner was going back to Boston, Hamilton might be an easier player to acquire. That would certainly please Kuiper.
“Anytime you mention guys like Hamilton or Bradley it kind of warms your heart to see those type of talented people roaming around in center field at AT&T Park because it’s such a big outfield. I’d heard Billy Hamilton’s name for the last two years. I’d never heard Jackie Bradley’s name ever brought up. I think of those two, Hamilton’s probably got a better shot at that happening than the other.”
Good Morning from the newest member of the New York State Baseball Hall of Fame, Shawon Dunston. (Pictured with daughter Whitnie, wife Tracie and daughter Jasmine). Congrats Shawon!#ForeverGiant | #SFGiants pic.twitter.com/V0yxAmqQ1x
— San Francisco Giants (@SFGiants) November 13, 2017
These San Francisco Giants rumors primarily come from an interest that the franchise has shown in acquiring Billy Hamilton and not necessarily a desperation by the Cincinnati Reds to give him up. There has certainly been a lot of speculation about him getting dealt in the past, but the Reds also don’t appear likely to just give him away. Hamilton is heading into his second arbitration season, likely to net him a salary close to $5 million for 2018.
Billy Hamilton played in 139 games for the Cincinnati Reds last season, making 633 plate appearances in that time. He had a 0.247 batting average and a 0.299 on-base percentage that impressed no MLB analysts or fantasy baseball owners. His value comes in his speed and on defense. Hamilton had 59 steals, making it the fourth straight season he has had at least 56 stolen bases. That speed translates well on defense, where he is considered to be an elite-level outfielder.
Acquiring a player like Hamilton isn’t going to put the Giants back in the playoffs. The team would need to do much more than that during the offseason, but these MLB trade rumors could certainly lead to an exciting player residing in San Francisco very soon. If the Giants offered the Reds something significant and it afforded the franchise an opportunity to save money, it just might help this trade take place. For now, though, with no confirmation of official discussions taking place, these are still going to remain just San Francisco Giants rumors (for now).
[Featured Image by Michael Hickey/Getty Images]