SF Giants designated right-handed-hitting outfielder for assignment

St Louis Cardinals v Washington Nationals
St Louis Cardinals v Washington Nationals / Patrick McDermott/GettyImages

The SF Giants finalized a deal with longtime Detroit Tigers starter Matthew Boyd on a one-year, $5.2 million pact with performance incentives. Given that the 40-man roster was full, they needed to make a corresponding roster move to create space for Boyd, so Austin Dean was designated for assignment.

SF Giants designated right-handed-hitting outfielder for assignment

The front office could have gone in a different direction if it wanted to preserve organizational depth. For example, the Giants designated José Godoy over the weekend to make room for the addition of Joc Pederson. Godoy was claimed by the Twins, so the Giants lost backup catcher.

However, Boyd is immediately going to be placed on the 60-day injured list as he recovers from arm surgery that he underwent at the end of the 2021 campaign. Placing a player on the 60-day injured list opens up a 40-man roster spot.

The Giants could have completed the Boyd signing first, put him on the 60-day injured list, and then add Pederson. This would have resulted in only one player being placed on waivers rather than two players.

Nevertheless, the Giants went in a different direction and Dean finds himself on the waiver wire for the second time since the end of last season. The Giants claimed the right-handed-hitting outfielder from the St. Louis Cardinals at the beginning of the offseason when they had a handful of open roster spots.

Dean was originally drafted in the fourth round of the 2012 draft by the Miami Marlins out of Kelin Collins High School in Spring, Texas. In nine minor league seasons, he has registered a .285/.349/.437 line with an 8.5 percent walk rate against a 17 percent strikeout rate.

He has not had quite that type of success at the major league level yet. Dean debuted with the Marlins in 2018 where he posted a .642 OPS across 122 plate appearances. He appeared again for Miami in 2019 and then played sparingly for the Cardinals in the ensuing two seasons.

In total, the 27-year-old outfielder has slashed .225/.282/.391 with 11 home runs, 39 runs scored, and 42 RBI in 356 plate appearances against major league pitching.

In the field, Dean has spent considerable time at the corner outfield spots with some work at center field and first base since becoming a pro. That said, he has spent the bulk of his time in left field in the majors.

For now, the Giants will have to wait to see if Dean gets scooped up by another organization. Of course, he would have to be added to the 40-man roster, so it is not as simple as just adding him to the organization. Since he was placed on waivers over the weekend, there should be some clarity on his status soon enough.