While everyone was focused on the SF Giants decisions at the non-tender deadline with arbitration-eligible players, they ended up non-tendering Chadwick Tromp, Melvin Adon, and Rico Garcia as well.
In a bit of a surprising move, the SF Giants waived three pre-arbitration players at the non-tender deadline on Wednesday. Catcher Chadwick Tromp, right-handed pitcher Rico Garcia, and right-handed pitcher Melvin Adon all could have been retained on non-guaranteed contracts at the league minimum, but the team instead decided to make them free agents.
The team did retain more of their arbitration-eligible players than some had expected and by non-tendering the three younger players, the Giants left themselves 5 open spots on their 40-man roster to add players through the Rule 5 draft, free agency, or trades. Furthermore, Henry Schulman of The San Francisco Chronicle has reported that all three have verbal agreements to return to the organization on minor-league contracts. However, if another team comes in with a more enticing offer, it’s hard to see them staying with the Giants.
Adon is the least surprising of the three. Having never pitched in the big-leagues the flamethrowing righty would have had an uphill battle in Spring Training and he left an outing in the Dominican Winter League with an apparent arm injury just last week.
At his best, Adon has flashed a true 80-grade fastball, routinely sitting from 99-100 mph and touching 102 mph. It isn’t straight either and has some run to make it even harder to square up. Since moving to the bullpen full-time, he’s found more consistent success with his slider.
Garcia was acquired off waivers last offseason from the Colorado Rockies and had spent his entire career as a starting pitcher. However, when he arrived at Spring Training, the Giants deployed him in the bullpen, and his previously low-90s fastball began consistently reaching 96 mph. Manager Gabe Kapler and his coaching staff were so enthused with his performance that Garcia was deployed as a top setup option early in the season. That didn’t go well. He finished 2020 with 12 appearances, 10 innings, 7 strikeouts, a 5.40 ERA, and 4.29 FIP.
The biggest surprise of the group is Tromp. While Adon has yet to make his MLB debut and Garcia only was rostered sparingly this season, Tromp was one of the team’s two catchers for the entire season, when healthy. The 25-year old played above-average defense behind the plate and posted a solid .213/.219/.426 line for a backup catcher. Given the return of Buster Posey in 2021 with top prospect Joey Bart waiting in the wings, it’s surprising to see Tromp not pursuing opportunities elsewhere.
It is worth noting that if all three sign their deals in the next few days, they could all be selected in the Rule 5 Draft. With someone like Tromp, it’s really difficult to envision all 29 other teams passing on a catcher of his caliber.
The SF Giants entered Wednesday with decisions on 10 arbitration-eligible players. However, they surprisingly non-tendered three pre-arbitration players. Assuming they all abide by reportedly verbal agreements, Rico Garcia, Melvin Adon, and Chadwick Tromp will all be back in the organization on minor-league deals soon.