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Weekend BP: Giants designate Austin Wynns for assignment

Fare thee well, good friend.

Austin Wynns wearing catcher’s gear, with his mask flipped up Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

Happy weekend, San Francisco Giants fans.

It is, unfortunately, not a happy weekend for our friend Austin Wynns. The Giants backup catcher was designated for assignment on Friday, after his first season with the team.

Wynns made his Giants debut on June 9, after joining the team to backup Curt Casali when Joey Bart was sent back to the Minors for a little bit more Sacramento seasoning. When Casali was injured in July, Bart returned and teamed up with Wynns. The right-handed hitting veteran, who turned 32 last month, performed well enough that Casali became expendable, and the Giants traded him at the deadline to the Seattle Mariners.

It was a solid season for Wynns, who his .259/.313/.358 and played decent defense. Most impressive was his rapport with the pitching staff. They seemed to love working with him, and the results were generally quite good when Wynns was behind the dish.

With Wynns DFA’d, Bart is the only catcher on the Giants 40-man roster. They do, however, have Blake Sabol, a Rule 5 selection whom they traded for last month. Sabol spent the bulk of his 2022 season (which he split between AA and AAA) playing catcher, but the scouting reports have generally suggested that he doesn’t have the defensive chops to stay there at the MLB level. Maybe the Giants disagree, or maybe they figure that adding a Wynns-caliber player down the line will be easy.

Either way, Wynns’ DFA’ing is mildly surprising, as I think most people expected Sam Long, Yunior Marte, or Luis González to be the next name on the chopping block.

The move was made to clear a spot on the 40-man roster, as the team made the signing of outfielder Michael Conforto official. No physical issues there!