The good news is other clubs want Giants players.
The bad news, well, is baked into the good news.
With a deeper system and deeper 40-man roster, Farhan Zaidi and Scott Harris now will find it harder to sneak their own players through waivers. All three of the players they had to designate for assignment last week found new homes this week.
Catcher Aramis Garcia is now a Texas Ranger, first baseman/left fielder Chris Shaw is now a Baltimore Oriole and righty Jordan Humphreys is now a Cleveland Indian. On Friday, the Giants had to make space on their roster to protect prospects Alexander Canario, Camilo Doval, Gregory Santos and Kervin Castro from the Rule 5 draft. On Wednesday, they officially lost the victims of that roster crunch.
Garcia lands pretty ideally. The Rangers are returning unproven Jose Trevino and top prospect Sam Huff as catchers, with room for the 27-year-old to crack onto the Opening Day roster if he outplays them in spring training. Garcia played 37 games with the Giants in 2018 and ’19 and showed, with six homers, the pop that his bat has. He did not hit consistently, though, and lost 2020 to hip surgery. Without Buster Posey and Stephen Vogt, the everyday job could have been his otherwise.
Shaw, a 2015 first-round pick, needed a change of scenery and returns to the East Coast. A Massachusetts native and Boston College product, Shaw has excellent power that has shown through in the minors but not yet translated to the majors. He had 82 plate appearances with the Giants in ’18 and ’19, 31 of those ending in strikeouts. After debuting in 2018, he was demoted all the way to Double-A out of spring training the following season and had to claw his way back to a September promotion. He was a very late add to the pool in 2020, so his DFA was no surprise. Still, there is potential in Shaw that should have the Orioles hoping they took from the Giants like the Giants took from them in Mike Yastrzemski.
Humphreys will go down as a beloved #ForeverGiant. San Francisco picked up the former top prospect from the Mets in exchange for Billy Hamilton, then the 24-year-old was placed on the restricted list because of a family issue. A few years removed from Tommy John surgery, he and the Giants saw little of each other before the split, and the Indians must hope they can watch him become the 2016 and ’17 pitcher he was in the Mets system.
Last year, the Giants protected no prospect from the Rule 5 draft — and then didn’t lose a player in the draft. This year, they were forced to add four to the roster and watch as the three players they sacrificed were pounced upon. Good sign for their depth, bad sign for their maneuverability.