A trio of SF Giants players from the 2022 season elected free agency earlier this week but it looks like one more player is joining them. Outfielder Willer Calhoun has become a free agent as well, per the team's transaction log.
One more SF Giants player from the 2022 season reaches free agency
This is merely a formality and part of the roster landscaping that tends to take place at the beginning of each season. Calhoun had over six years of minor-league service time, so he was eligible to become a free agent.
The left-handed bat was originally drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the fourth round of the 2015 draft out of Yavapai College in Prescott, Arizona. He was considered a top prospect as he climbed the minor league ladder, ranking as high as No. 36 according to Baseball America prior to the 2018 season.
Calhoun was shipped to the Texas Rangers in 2017 along with a pair of prospects in A.J. Alexy and Brendon Davis in a move that sent star pitcher Yu Darvish to the Dodgers. Calhoun was the headliner in the deal for Texas but he never lived up to those expectations.
In six seasons with the Rangers, the 27-year-old registered a .241/.300/.407 line (85 OPS+) with a 15.3 percent strikeout rate against a 7.1 percent walk rate. This does include a modest breakout season in which he blasted 21 home runs with an .848 OPS in 337 plate appearances in 2019 but he failed to replicate those numbers in the ensuing seasons.
By the middle of 2022, the Rangers designated the former top prospect for assignment where he went unclaimed and accepted an assignment to Triple-A. The Giants worked a trade to acquire Calhoun in a move that sent speedy outfielder Steven Duggar back to the Rangers.
Calhoun was not on the 40-man roster, so he was assigned to the Sacramento River Cats where he put together a nice finish to the season. With Sacramento, Calhoun tallied five home runs with an .829 OPS in 170 plate appearances before earning a promotion to the Giants' active roster.
San Francisco was auditioning a handful of players by the time Calhoun received a promotion. That said, the power-hitting outfielder recorded just one hit with two walks in nine plate appearances before being designated for assignment.
He returned to Sacramento to finish out the season. It bears mentioning that he grew up in the Bay Area, so a return to the San Francisco remains a possibility. However, Calhoun is young enough that he will likely want to join an organization that offers more potential for playing time.