The SF Giants had a busy start to the offseason on Friday as they made a trio of waiver claims. Perhaps, the most notable of the three is right-handed hurler Hunter Harvey from the Baltimore Orioles.
SF Giants claim two pitchers, outfielder off of waivers
The Giants also scooped up southpaw Joe Palumbo from the Texas Rangers and outfielder Austin Dean from the St. Louis Cardinals. Since Farhan Zaidi took over as team president of baseball operations, the Giants have been in an endless pursuit for roster depth.
Given that nine Giants players elected free agency earlier this week, the 40-man roster was awfully light. However, the front office decided to make use of that vacancy by being aggressive on the waiver wire to start the offseason.
The Orioles selected Hunter Harvey in the first round of the 2013 draft out of Bandys High School in Catawba, North Carolina. The Giants have had a lot of success with high school pitchers who were drafted in the first round out of North Carolina in the past (See: Madison Bumgarner).
Harvey was regarded as a top prospect but battled several injuries before making his debut with the Orioles in 2019. He has appeared in each of the last three seasons, but in a very limited capacity. In total, the 26-year-old has allowed nine earned runs on 19 hits including four home runs against 23 strikeouts and nine walks.
Harvey came up as a starter but he has shown potential as a high-leverage reliever with a fastball that sits in the high 90's and a power curveball.
Similar to Harvey, Joe Palumbo has limited major league experience. He was drafted in the 30th round of the 2013 draft out of St. John the Baptist High School in West Islip, New York. It is impressive that Palumbo found a way to reach the majors after being a 30th-round pick. The odds are not in your favor at that point.
The left-handed hurler debuted with Rangers in 2019 and made a brief appearance in 2020 as well. He struggled to the tune of a 9.47 ERA in 19 innings while allowing 24 hits including eight home runs.
Lastly, outfielder Austin Dean was plucked away from the St. Louis Cardinals. The right-handed bat struggled to carve out a role in a Cardinals outfield that had a surplus of options. Dean has was selected in the fourth round of the 2012 draft by the Miami Marlins out of Klein Collins High School in Spring, Texas.
Interestingly, he posted better numbers as he climbed through the minor league ranks. In three seasons at Triple-A, the 28-year-old has slashed .322/.394/.535 with 28 home runs, 119 RBI, and 112 runs scored across 696 plate appearances.
That said, those strong numbers have not translated to the majors quite yet. He has appeared in parts of four seasons with the Marlins and Cardinals, registering a .225/.282/.391 line (80 OPS+) with 11 home runs, 42 RBI, and 39 runs scored in 356 plate appearances.
Dean brings a contact-oriented approach to the plate with a swing that generates plenty of line drives. As he has matured, he has flashed more power than earlier in his pro career.
The Giants have injected some new blood into the 40-man roster. However, they had the lowest priority on the waiver wire, meaning that every other team passed on each of these three players. More than likely, the Giants will try to sneak each player through waivers with the hopes that they go unclaimed and remain with the organization. The pursuit of depth never sleeps.