Giants trade Matt Moore to Rangers to clear payroll for possible bigger move

Big League Stew
The <a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/mlb/teams/sfo/" data-ylk="slk:San Francisco Giants">San Francisco Giants</a> have traded starting pitcher <a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/mlb/players/8873/" data-ylk="slk:Matt Moore">Matt Moore</a> to the <a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/mlb/teams/tex/" data-ylk="slk:Texas Rangers">Texas Rangers</a>, thus saving $9 million in salary space. (AP)
The San Francisco Giants have traded starting pitcher Matt Moore to the Texas Rangers, thus saving $9 million in salary space. (AP)

The San Francisco Giants have a plan, and according to reports the first step was executed on Friday as they agreed to trade starting pitcher Matt Moore to the Texas Rangers.

John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle was the first to report the trade. Earlier on Friday, Shea indicated the Giants were nearing a deal aimed at clearing payroll space. Moore is due $9 million in 2018 and has a $10 million club option for 2019.

Shea also dangled the possibility that the could try to trade Hunter Pence could for further payroll flexibility. Pence is entering the final year of a five-year, $90 million extension he signed following the 2013 season. He’s due to make $18.5 million in 2018, but would have final say on any trade proposal due to his 10-and-5 rights. According to reports, Pence has not been approached about waiving his no-trade rights.

After Giancarlo Stanton rejected a trade to San Francisco, the Giants are presumably clearing space to make a run at a free agent hitter. Outfielder J.D. Martinez, who slugged 40 home runs last season between Detroit and Arizona, would seem to be their most logical target.

San Francisco hit an MLB low 128 home runs in 2017, with Brandon Belt’s 18 leading the way. Overall, the offense scored the second fewest runs (639) in MLB, just ahead of the San Diego Padres. Something has to be done to fix the lineup if they hope to keep up with the Dodgers, Diamondbacks and Rockies, and general manager Brian Sabean seems determined to address that.

Moore joins Doug Fister and Mike Minor as offseason additions to the Rangers pitching staff. Texas will also reportedly received $750,000 in international slot money. According to the Giants twitter account, San Francisco will receive right-handed pitchers Sam Wolff and Israel Cruz in the deal,

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Mark Townsend is a writer for Yahoo Sports Have a tip? Email him at bigleaguestew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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