The outfield carousel continues to spin for the San Francisco Giants, with another established big league outfielder claimed off waivers on Saturday.
The San Francisco Giants continue to play the waiver wire more aggressively than any team in baseball.
Outfielder Aaron Altherr is the latest addition, as he was claimed from the Philadelphia Phillies after entering DFA limbo last weekend.
In a corresponding roster move, recently acquired right-hander Andrew Moore was designated for assignment to create room on the 40-man roster.
So who is the latest addition to the roster and what does he bring to the table?
Altherr, 28, was a ninth-round pick by the Phillies in 2009 out of Agua Fria High School in Arizona. He is one of just a handful of big leaguers who was born in Germany, joining Minnesota Twins outfielder Max Kepler and Toronto Blue Jays right-hander Edwin Jackson among notable active players.
After seeing limited action during the 2015 and 2016 seasons, Altherr enjoyed a breakout of sorts in 2017 when he posted a 122 OPS+ while hitting .272/.340/.516 with 24 doubles, 19 home runs and 65 RBI in 412 plate appearances.
However, most of that damage came during the first half when he hit .284/.356/.530 with 14 home runs and 44 RBI in 298 plate appearances, and he took a step backward after the All-Star break.
The addition of first baseman Carlos Santana last offseason and subsequent move of Rhys Hoskins to the outfield cost him his starting spot. He wound up hitting .181/.295/.333 with eight home runs and 38 RBI over 285 plate appearances in a bench role.
With Andrew McCutchen and Bryce Harper added to the mix this season, his playing time has dwindled even further, and he was finally designated for assignment last Saturday.
The Phillies did not have the option to stash him in the minors since he is out of options, and that raises the question of who will now be trimmed from the Giants roster to make room.
As for what he brings to the table, the power potential that he showed during the 2017 season is still present, and he’s a prime candidate to benefit from a change of scenery.
It’s another no-risk, potential-reward move for a Giants team that can afford to roll the dice on the waiver wire as they continue to act with one eye on the future.
So let’s welcome Aaron Altherr to the San Francisco Giants!
It just might be prudent to not get too attached given all the roster shuffling that has and will continue to take place.