The roster landscaping never ends for the SF Giants front office. They have added a former Rookie of the Month on a waiver claim from the Chicago White Sox.
SF Giants add former Rookie of the Month in waiver claim
Yermín Mercedes is the Giants' newest addition and he has been optioned to Triple-A. Recent acquisition Michael Papierski was designated for assignment in a corresponding move, per the team's transaction page.
Mercedes signed as an international free agent with the Washington Nationals in March of 2011 but he was released in 2013. The Baltimore Orioles reeled him in on a minor-league pact in 2014, but Mercedes was plucked away by the White Sox in the minor-league portion of the 2017 Rule 5 draft.
The 29-year-old prospect was with the White Sox organization until he was designated for assignment earlier this week. The Giants will take a flyer on him as he showed some upside as a rookie in 2021.
Mercedes got off to a torrid pace last year, slashing .415/.455/.659 with five home runs, 16 RBI, and 10 runs in 88 plate appearances during the first month of the season. He earned the AL Rookie of the Month in April, but experienced a slide at the plate shortly thereafter.
Oddly enough, Mercedes will have a connection to the Giants organization in Luis González, who was in the White Sox organization before joining the Giants midway through 2021.
Mercedes finished last year with a .271/.328/.404 line (99 OPS+) with seven home runs, 37 RBI, and 26 runs in 262 plate appearances before being sent back down to Triple-A in June.
However, there was some controversy surrounding the 29-year-old prospect last season. Mercedes stepped to the plate against a position player in Willians Astudillo of the Minnesota Twins with a 15-4 lead during a game in the middle of May. He worked a 3-0 count and then blasted the fourth pitch of the at-bat for a home run.
White Sox manager Tony La Russa was frustrated by the decision from Mercedes, but many people came to Mercedes' defense. The right-handed bat likely will not experience that type of situation in San Francisco as manager Gabe Kapler has defended his own players in situations like that.
In the field, Mereces has experience as a pro at catcher, first base, third base, left field, and right field. However, he was used primarily as a DH with the White Sox. It will be interesting to see how the Giants use him in Sacramento, but he does not have extensive experience at any position besides catcher and first base.
The Giants add an intriguing bat at the expense of Michael Papierski's roster spot. Papierski was acquired last month in a trade that sent Mauricio Dubón to the Houston Astros. The switch-hitting catcher recorded nine hitless at-bats in a Giants uniform before being placed on waivers.