Happy Monday, San Francisco Giants fans. And happy baseball is back week!!
What an exciting time.
The Giants farm is likely to get a tiny bit stronger this week thanks to the presumed return of right-handed reliever Nick Avila.
San Francisco lost nine players in December’s Rule 5 Draft. Eight of those nine players were taken in the Minor League portion, with one — Avila — selected in the Major League portion by the Chicago White Sox.
But on Sunday, the White Sox informed Avila that he will not make the Opening Day roster.
Per sources: Rule 5 pick Nick Avila and veteran reliever Bryan Shaw have been told they won’t make White Sox opening day roster. Remains to be seen what next step is for either. Sox could possibly still find a way to keep Avila in organization.— James Fegan (@JRFegan) March 26, 2023
Players selected in the Major League portion of the Rule 5 Draft need to be kept on the active roster all season long, or else their rights are lost. If Avila is not going to make the Opening Day roster, then he’ll be subjected to the waiver wire where he’ll almost surely pass through, since any team selecting him would still be bound by the Rule 5 restrictions.
Assuming Avila makes it through waivers, he would be offered back to the Giants for $50,000, which the team would quickly do. However, if the White Sox are intent on keeping Avila, they could work out a trade with the Giants.
Avila was a candidate to be protected from the Rule 5 Draft, with some people predicting that the Giants would add him to the 40-man roster. Instead, they opted for three different righties: Tristan Beck, Keaton Winn, and Jose Cruz.
A 25 year old who was taken in the 26th round of the 2019 MLB Draft, Avila was dominant last year with High-A Eugene, posting a 0.95 ERA, a 2.78 FIP, and 31 strikeouts to 8 walks in 28.1 innings. He was promoted to AA Richmond midway through the year, where he had a 1.33 ERA, a 3.53 FIP, and 27 strikeouts to 6 walks in 27 innings.
He struggled in Spring Training with the White Sox, pitching 10 innings and allowing 9 hits and 8 runs.
In other Giants news, the team has officially chosen Roberto Pérez to join Joey Bart (and presumably Blake Sabol) behind the plate. That leaves Austin Wynns as the odd man out, though I would assume he’ll hang out in AAA Sacramento.
News: Roberto Pérez will be on the #SFGiants Opening Day roster, he tells me. He got word this morning. He would have been able to opt out on Monday.— Evan Webeck (@EvanWebeck) March 25, 2023
And finally, the Giants confirmed that Mitch Haniger and Austin Slater will both start the season on the Injured List.