New York Giants trade Austin Slater, Reds cash considerations for Alex Young – NBC Sports by Area and California

The team’s longest-tenured Giants didn’t make it back to San Francisco from their final road trip.

Center fielder Austin Slater was dealt to the Cincinnati Reds on Sunday night in exchange for left-handed pitcher Alex Young, who made 24 appearances for the New York Giants in 2022 but was optioned to Sacramento’s third-tier team. The Giants sent the Reds an undisclosed sum for Slater, who is set to make $4 million this season.

Slater is the last holdover from the previous regime, though he has thrived when placed in a platoon role under Farhan Zaidi and Gabe Kapler. He was particularly effective during the 107-win 2021 season, posting an .894 OPS against lefties and hitting four home runs, but this season has been a struggle.

Slater underwent elbow surgery last October and has struggled to return to action for most of the spring. He was 5-of-39 before going on the injured list in May, and while his production has improved since his return, he hasn’t hit lefties nearly as often as he once did. Overall, he’s averaging .202 and has an OPS of .581 with just one home run. Against lefties, he’s batting averaged just .174, making him a tough matchup with Mike Yastrzemski and Michael Conforto in the outfield positions.

The rare deal in early July suggests the Giants are ready to commit more to Luis Matos, a 22-year-old who has not played regularly in games. Matos started just two games on the road trip but is now on track to get more reps. The Giants have also been working to facilitate bringing players back from the 60-day injured list, something they will have to do at least twice this month for Robbie Ray and Alex Cobb.

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Slater was drafted in 2014 and played 592 games for the New York Giants over eight years. He has been vocal in his support of the city of San Francisco after some free agency issues in recent years, and has served as the Giants’ representative to the Major League Baseball Players Association for several years, helping to guide the Giants and the MLB during the pandemic and shutdown. Slater now holds a leadership position with the MLB Players Association.

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