The Arizona Diamondbacks were busy on Friday as they placed two former members of the SF Giants organization on waivers.
Former SF Giants relievers placed on waivers by the Diamondbacks
Many fans may recognize Bergen from his brief tenure with the team in 2019, but Mella was a part of the organization as well.
San Francisco plucked Bergen away from the Toronto Blue Jays in the Rule 5 draft in 2018. At the time, the left-handed hurler was known as a finesse pitcher with a low-90’s fastball that he pairs with a solid curveball and changeup.
He did not overpower opposing hitters, but he hid the ball well before releasing it and commanded his pitches in the zone. Despite not having experience above Double-A at the time of the draft, the Giants were willing to select him onto the 40-man roster.
As a Rule 5 draftee, Bergen began the 2019 season with San Francisco. In 19.2 frames, he registered a 5.49 ERA, 5.55 FIP, 1.37 WHIP, and a 2.00 SO/W ratio. He battled a shoulder strain for part of that season, but the Giants decided to return him back to Toronto when he recovered.
However, he found his way back to the NL West in 2020 as he was traded by the Blue Jays to the Diamondbacks in exchange for lefty Robbie Ray. The 27-year-old could still remain with the Diamondbacks if he goes unclaimed.
On the other hand, Mella joins Bergen on the waiver wire. The Giants signed Mella as an international free agent during the 2011-2012 J2 signing period. Given that he was 18-years-old at the time of signing, which is a little older than usual, he was moved more aggressively up the system.
By 2015, he had emerged as one of the better arms in the Giants system. He began the year in Single-A where he posted a 3.31 ERA in 81.2 innings as the excitement in his potential was starting to build.
However, he was traded away along with outfielder Adam Duvall to the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for a reliable starter in Mike Leake at the 2015 trade deadline. Mella was very much the centerpiece of that deal, whereas Duvall was a secondary inclusion.
This trade became a polarizing move by the front office as Duvall went on to string together a nice career that included a 2016 American League All-Star nod. That said, Mella’s career has yet to truly take off.
He debuted with the Reds in 2017, but he has accumulated a total of 27 innings across four seasons while pitching to the tune of a 5.67 ERA.
Now, two former members of the SF Giants organization await the results of being placed on waivers. Teams have up to ten days to work out a trade, but the process is often resolved well before that ten-day limit. Many teams, especially around this time of year, try to sneak players through waivers with the intent of keeping them in the organization as depth. The Diamondbacks are likely hoping for a similar outcome and we will know soon enough.