Luis Alexander Basabe has been traded from the Chicago White Sox to the San Francisco Giants for cash considerations, it was announced today.
Basabe, who turns 24 later this month, has a twin brother named Luis Alejandro Basabe, and they each signed with the Boston Red Sox out of Venezuela as amateurs. Luis Alejandro went to Arizona in 2016 in the deal that brought Brad Ziegler to Boston, and was at the time viewed as the lesser of the two prospects. This was during the Dave Stewart regime, and there was talk that the D-Backs got confused about which Basabe they were getting — Luis Alejandro has not made it out of A ball for the D-Backs.
Luis Alexander, on the other hand, was, and is, the more highly regarded of the twins. He was shipped to the ChiSox, along with Yoan Moncada, Michael Kopech and Victor Diaz, after the 2016 season in the Chris Sale deal.
The ChiSox added Basabe to the 40 man roster after the 2017 season, but he has yet to appear above AA — after having a very nice first half in 2018 in the Carolina League, he struggled in the Southern League in the second half of 2018 and in 2019, slashing .248/.332/.363 in 561 plate appearances. He’s fast, a switch hitter and has some tools, but there are questions about his hit tool and whether he can stick in center field. He will also be out of options after the 2020 season, which no doubt was a major factor in the ChiSox deciding to move him.
The Giants will now get to get an up close look at Basabe, who will be at their Alternate Training Site, and decide if he’s worth hanging on to through the 2020-21 offseason. Given that he’s out of options after this year, he will have to either stick in the majors or be put on outright waivers next April (assuming the 2021 season actually starts in April, and isn’t delayed like it was this year).