With the CBA expiring earlier this week, a lot of questions remain about the immediate future of baseball. However, one former SF Giants lefty is stuck in limbo after being designated for assignment just before the lockout.
Former SF Giants southpaw stuck in DFA limbo
Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports that that Los Angeles Angels have placed reliever Sam Selman on waivers on Wednesday. Given that it happened just hours before the expiration of the current CBA, Selman's status remains unknown until a new CBA is ratified.
Selman came over to the Angels just a few months prior along with relievers Jose Marte and Ivan Armstrong in a move that sent veteran hurler Tony Watson back to San Francisco. In that package, Marte was arguably the most appealing arm but Selman did come with some intrigue and major league experience.
Selman signed a minor-league pact with the Giants prior to the 2019 season after spending his first seven seasons as a pro in the Kansas City Royals organization. The left-handed reliever immediately impressed, registering a 1.80 ERA, 0.818 WHIP, 15.4 K/9, and a sterling 5.53 SO/W ratio in 55 innings split between two minor league levels.
That was enough to earn a promotion to the major league roster at the end of 2019 where he allowed five earned runs on 10 strikeouts and six walks in 10.1 innings with the Giants. The swing-and-miss stuff there was despite the subpar results.
Selman would continue to pitch in the Giants bullpen over the next two seasons as he was often moved to and from Sacramento. That said, the 31-year-old flashed moments where he might emerge as a legitimate high-leverage reliever with a devastating slider but he never found the consistency to stick.
In parts of three seasons with San Francisco, he recorded a 4.06 ERA, 5.00 FIP, 1.11 WHIP, 9.8 K/9, and a 2.16 SO/W ratio. On the surface those numbers do not jump off of the page, but a left-handed pitcher who can strikeout over a batter per inning will typically be in demand.
Selman struggled to the tune of a 6.35 ERA in 18 appearances with the Angels following the trade. Evidently, that was enough to convince the front office to move on and place him on waivers. Usually, a player's status is resolved within 10 days after being on waivers but that will not be the case for Selman.
His status will not be determined until a new CBA is ratified. However, it bears mentioning that many teams have filled their 40-man roster, so he could slip through waivers and elect free agency. That decision, unfortunately, will not be known for a while.