You might have forgotten — it’s understandable if you did — that Chris Shaw is still a member of the San Francisco Giants organization. It’s been a weird year, and I’ve pretty much forgotten about everyone who isn’t in the player pool. But better late than never: Shas has apparently joined the Alternate Training Site in Sacramento.
Per his Instagram, Chris Shaw has joined the alternate camp in Sacramento. He was surprisingly left out of July summer camp.— Alex Pavlovic (@PavlovicNBCS) August 25, 2020
Shaw was somewhat surprisingly not a member of the initial player pool when the Giants originally convened at Oracle Park in early July. And truthfully, we really didn’t hear much about him between now and then.
There are three primary reasons why the Giants might have decided to add him to the pool:
Option 1: They need more depth
Hunter Pence has been DFA’d. Joe McCarthy has been DFA’d. Pablo Sandoval is living on the fringes. Steven Duggar is, too. Austin Slater is injured. They might just need some offensive depth — left-handed depth in particular — to finish out the season.
Option 2: They’re looking to trade him
In this funny year, you’re not allowed to trade players who aren’t in the player pool. With the trade deadline less than a week away, the Giants need to get everyone they might trade into the pool.
Re Chris Shaw being added to Sacramento camp. Players need to be part of the 60-man pool to be traded by Monday’s deadline. A lot of players are going to be added everywhere for just that reason. If there’s anybody who needs a change of scenery, it’s probably Chris. #sfgiants— Henry Schulman (@hankschulman) August 25, 2020
Option 3: Why not?
The Giants had at least one opening at the Alternate Training Site. It’s unclear how many spots they have, since the team doesn’t release that info, but DFA’ing Pence certainly opened one spot. If they don’t have their eyes on anyone else, why not add Shaw and start to see if he can turn things around?
It’s hard to know how the current front office values Shaw, whom the prior regime drafted in the first round of the 2015 MLB Draft.
On the one hand, it would seem they don’t value him much at all. After making his MLB debut in 2018, Shaw started 2019 (Farhan Zaidi’s first year) in AA, and watched a lot of outfielders get promotions before his chance. When his number was finally called, he struggled, hitting 1-18 with 8 strikeouts. All of that, plus his career-long trend of striking out a lot, plus the Summer Camp omission, painted a tale of the Giants being ready to move on from Shaw.
On the other hand, the team has DFA’d a lot of players over the last month and a half, and all the while Shaw remained on the 40-man roster. Presumably there’s a reason for that.
Maybe we’ll see Shaw back in the big leagues at the end of the week. Maybe we’ll see him DFA’d. Maybe we’ll see him traded.
Only time will tell.