San Francisco Giants: Pat Venditte, Dan Winkler elect free agency
By Joel Reuter
In transaction news, two San Francisco Giants pitchers who were both briefly on the active roster in 2019 have elected free agency.
With Game 1 of the World Series in the books, the MLB offseason has inched ever closer, and it could be a busy winter for the San Francisco Giants.
Before the hot stove season begins in earnest, there will be some under-the-radar housekeeping moves that take place in the days and weeks to come, including minor league free agency.
Jeff Todd of MLB Trade Rumors explained which players are eligible:
“Since the conclusion of the regular season, a number of players have elected free agency. That right accrues to certain players who are outrighted off of a 40-man roster during or after the season — namely, those that have at least three years of MLB service and/or have previously been outrighted. Such players that accepted outright assignments during the season have the right to elect free agency instead at season’s end, provided they aren’t added back to the 40-man in the meantime.”
In that same article, Todd identified switch-pitcher Pat Venditte and right-hander Dan Winkler as two pitchers from the San Francisco Giants organization that have elected for free agency.
Venditte, 34, made just two appearances at the MLB level this season, allowing four hits, two walks, three hit batters, and six earned runs in 3.1 innings before being designated for assignment and outrighted off the 40-man roster.
However, he fared much better at the Triple-A level. In 25 appearances, he posted a 2.85 ERA and 1.01 WHIP with 59 strikeouts in 47.1 innings.
Those numbers were made even more impressive by the inflated offensive numbers of the Pacific Coast League.
Winkler, 29, was acquired in the deadline deal that sent Mark Melancon to the Atlanta Braves.
He was outrighted immediately following the trade, but he accepted an assignment to Triple-A Sacramento where he posted a stellar 0.64 ERA and 0.79 WHIP in 12 appearances.
While the 2019 season was a trying one for Winkler at the MLB level, he’s not far removed from being an excellent late-inning option for much of the 2018 season.
In 69 appearances that year, he tallied two saves and 23 holds while posting a 3.43 ERA and 1.19 WHIP with 69 strikeouts in 60.1 innings.
Both players could still find their way back to the San Francisco Giants organization this offseason, but they will first test the open market.