The San Francisco Giants have played the waiver wire aggressively all season. Will Tampa Bay Rays cast-off Casey Sadler be their next waiver claim?
If nothing else, Farhan Zaidi has shown a willingness to rummage through the scrapheap since taking over as team president of the San Francisco Giants.
It’s a strategy that paid dividends during his time in the Los Angeles Dodgers, and he’s already had some success in that department during his time with the Giants. Reliever Sam Dyson, slugger Tyler Austin and red-hot Alex Dickerson were all plucked from the cast-off pile.
Don’t expect the roster shuffling to stop anytime soon, and there’s no reason not to keep searching for that diamond in the rough during what amounts to a lost season.
That brings us to Casey Sadler.
The 28-year-old was recently designated for assignment by the Tampa Bay Rays in order to open up a spot for top prospect Brendan McKay, who made his MLB debut on Saturday.
A 25th-round pick in 2010, Sadler made his MLB debut during the 2014 season and posted a 6.86 ERA with 15 strikeouts in 19.2 innings over parts of three seasons for the Pittsburgh Pirates.
He signed with the Rays during the offseason and got off to an excellent start at Triple-A, logging a 2.76 ERA and 1.07 WHIP with an extremely impressive 44-to-5 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 32.2 innings.
He had been up and down between the majors and Triple-A before being designated, and his MLB numbers also showed some promise. In nine appearances, he posted a 1.86 ERA and 1.09 WHIP with 11 strikeouts in 19.1 innings.
His peripherals don’t paint quite as pretty of a picture, most notably his 4.32 FIP, but he’s an intriguing arm nonetheless.
Adding to his appeal is the fact that he carries team control through 2024, and won’t be arbitration-eligible for the first time until after the 2021 season.
The 6’3″ right-hander throws a heavy fastball that averages 93.6 mph and backs it with a cutter, a curveball and the occasional changeup. With starting experience in the minors, he has a more complete repertoire than the average reliever.
The San Francisco Giants bullpen has been one of the few strong points on the roster, but with Will Smith, Tony Watson and Sam Dyson all candidates to be moved leading up to the deadline, they will be looking for reinforcements.
At the very least, the Giants could place a claim and then designate him for assignment again in hopes of sneaking him through waivers and stashing him in Triple-A.
It’s a no-risk move for a team that has shown a willingness to scour for talent all season.