Giants DFA'd Drew Ferguson. They acquired IF/OF Connor Joe from Cincinnati for minor league RHP Jordan Johnson and cash.— Andrew Baggarly (@extrabaggs) March 22, 2019
This doesn’t exactly come as a surprise. Ferguson, who the Giants acquired in the Rule 5 draft, was one of approximately 136 outfielders fighting for a job this spring, and his 3 hits in 34 plate appearances didn’t help him stand out. As a Rule 5 selection, Ferguson would have had to remain on the 25-man roster for the entire year or else go back to the Astros.
Baggarly also explained what will happen to Ferguson now that he’s been DFA’d.
Drew Ferguson already had been told he was placed on waivers. Another team can claim him and inherit his Rule 5 provisions. If not, the Astros can take him back and put him back in the minors.— Andrew Baggarly (@extrabaggs) March 22, 2019
If another team claims him, it will be the same deal. He’ll have to remain on the 25-man roster or else return to Houston. Despite his slow spring, it’d be hard to see why nobody would want to take him. With the way things have gone between the Giants and Orioles this offseason, I’m guessing the Orioles will claim him.
Ferguson was DFA’d to make room for Connor Joe, another Rule 5 selection.
Connor Joe is a right handed hitting infield and outfielder who has an excellent walk to strikeout ratio as well as some power to his pull side. He’s 26 and Farhan hopes he’s the Giants Max Muncy. Crazy thing is he’s a rule 5 guy who has to be on the 25 man roster all year..— Marty Lurie (@baseballmarty) March 22, 2019
Ah yes, Connor Joe is the Max Muncy who was promised. How could we have ever thought that Mike Gerber was the next Max Muncy? I see what is written in the fire all the more clearly now. Joe will be the one to hit 35 dingers and draw 79 walks.
In 2018, Joe slashed .299/.408/.527 across Double-A and Triple-A. Zaidi is obviously a fan as he has traded for him twice in the past two years.
Joe is a corner infielder with some experience in right field, so that extra versatility might give him an edge over someone like Sandoval now that MLB is trying to crack down on position players pitching. Alen Hanson is out of options and Yangervis Solarte also has the versatility to play every infield position as well as the outfield, so that would leave Sandoval as the odd man out on the bench.
It’d be an anticlimactic goodbye for the Giants prodigal panda, to be cut at the end of Spring Training. But the Giants new front office doesn’t have the sentimental attachment to the players the old regime has. It would have been nearly impossible to make it through 2019 without jettisoning at least one fan favorite.
Nothing is certain yet. Joe might not even work out. Maybe Max Muncy never even existed and the prophecy is nothing but a lie. Maybe the Giants figure they can do without Alen Hanson or they want to carry 12 relievers. Maybe Sandoval clears waivers and accepts an assignment to the minors, and we’ll see him again once Brandon Belt cuts his finger with a Slap Chop. None of those options are impossible, but they also don’t seem more likely than cutting Sandoval.