SF Giants: Joe McCarthy among those to declare free agency
The Giants originally acquired McCarthy from the Tampa Bay Rays at the 2019 trade deadline in exchange for minor league pitcher Jacob Lopez. The Rays had a roster crunch on the 40-man roster, so the Giants saw an opportunity by trading for McCarthy.
Interestingly, the front office and coaching staff had positive things to say about McCarthy's patient approach at the plate and there was the belief that he could develop into a major league player. In a modest surprise, he made the Opening Day roster in 2020. Though, his time in a Giants uniform would be brief as he did not register a hit in 10 at-bats with five strikeouts.
The left-handed-hitting outfielder remained in the Giants organization for the 2021 season and made some promising adjustments at the plate. He recorded a career-high in home runs (15) while demonstrating his usual selective approach at the plate. He did miss some time due to an injury, which is something that has plagued him since college.
Similar to McCarthy, Luis Alexander Basabe and Rico Garcia made brief appearances with the Orange and Black in 2020. Basabe made a favorable impression on Giants fans and there was hope that he could serve in a fourth-outfielder role. However, his season came to an end prematurely after sustaining a hamstring strain. The switch-hitter suffered a wrist injury in spring training this past season, so he missed significant time in 2021.
On the other hand, Garcia flashed a power fastball with a good changeup and a curveball that needed further development. He served as bullpen depth, totaling 10 innings where he allowed six earned runs. Garcia underwent Tommy John surgery in March of 2021.
Sandro Fabian was once one of the better outfield prospects in the Giants system, whereas Tyler Cyr generated promising results earlier in his pro career. Braden Bishop was scooped up off of waivers from the Seattle Mariners last season and Matt Shoemaker was reeled on a minor league contract as pitching depth wore thin.
That leaves us with Sam Wolff. The hard-throwing righty features a good curveball and slider but all three pitchers play down due to subpar command. At times, it seemed like the 30-year-old would have an outside shot of cracking the roster but it never came to fruition.
Fans may not recognize the name as Wolff was not a household name on the Giants top prospect lists. However, he was acquired along with another pitching prospect, Israel Cruz, in a salary dump trade that sent Matt Moore to the Texas Rangers.
Moore appeared in one season with the Rangers and Cruz has not pitched in affiliated baseball since 2019. With Wolff departing via free agency, the ledger from that trade is fully cleared.
Typically, the Giants bring in a lot of depth to serve in the upper minor-league affiliates, so it is no surprise to see so many names become free agents. This is part of the process and the Giants will likely bring in a lot of new faces to the organization this offseason as well.