The Giants’ 20 recent minor league cuts include a couple former high draft picks and a reliever who made three appearances in major league camp.
Ahead of June 1, when the Giants committed to continuing to pay their minor leaguers $400 per month through the end of the month; ahead of the June 10-11 draft and ensuing undrafted free-for-all that will infuse more talent and bodies into the system; and ahead of a reshuffling and consolidation of the minor league structure after September in which dozens of teams will be axed, many Major League Baseball teams oversaw a cleansing of their minor league system over the past week.
For the Giants, as Baseball America first reported, that meant releasing the likes of righty Trey McNutt, a minor league lifer who was a camp flier and righty Garrett Cave and outfielder Ronnie Jebavy, who were fourth- and fifth-round picks in 2017 and 2015, respectively. The Giants did not confirm the 20 cuts, though a few players signaled the moves on social media.
In clearing the farm system and saving $32,000 that would have had to have been paid to the prospects in June, San Francisco also cut a few players who had risen toward the top of the system. Third baseman Zach Houchins, righty Brandon Lawson and catcher Matt Winn played mostly for Double-A Richmond last year, while shortstop Brandon Van Horn bounced around and appeared in eight games with Triple-A Sacramento.
None of the 20 were elite prospects, and in a normal season many minor leaguers are released after the close of spring training. Not this many though; the Giants released 17 players in March, including Jerry Blevins, and the 37 provides a hint that the Giants are paring down the system in preparation of the new structure of minor league ball.
The pandemic could mean the professional end of hundreds, perhaps more than 1,000 minor leaguers throughout baseball. The 30-year-old McNutt has toiled in the minors since 2009, first with the Cubs, then San Diego, then Oakland, while also spending a couple years in Independent Ball and refusing to quit his dream. He allowed three runs in 2 1/3 innings in the Cactus League before being demoting to minor league camp and now finds himself out of baseball again.
The 13 others the Giants reportedly released: INF Ismael Alcantara, RHP Wendolyn Bautista, CF Aaron Bond, RHP Cooper Casad, OF Dalton Combs, RHP Alex DuBord, RHP Peter Lannoo, RHP DJ Myers, RHP Olbis Parra, RHP Chris Roberts, RHP Jordan Scott, RHP Brac Warren and RHP Keith Weisenberg.