SF Giants let go of top middle infield signing from 2019 international class

San Francisco Giants v Seattle Mariners
San Francisco Giants v Seattle Mariners / John E. Moore III/GettyImages

The SF Giants trimmed organizational headcount recently. On Monday, they released middle infield prospect Anthony Rodriguez, per the team's transaction log.

SF Giants let go of top middle infield signing from 2019 international class

The Giants recently acquired bullpen prospect Austin Strickland in a trade that sent Joey Bart to the Pittsburgh Pirates. Strickland has yet to make his pro debut since being drafted in the eighth round of last year's draft out of the University of Kentucky.

On the surface, this should not impact Rodriguez in any way. However, Minor League Baseball recently agreed to its first Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). The new CBA has had its benefits as it has led to substantial raises for minor leaguers. That said, there is still a lot of work to be done in that area.

On the other hand, the CBA states that teams have to reduce their headcount to 165 players. This is down from 180 minor leaguers from last year, meaning that 450 jobs in affiliated ball have essentially been eliminated overnight. It is one of the reasons why a team like the Giants was less active in minor league free agency this past winter.

This could prove to be a boon for the independent leagues as those leagues may become more appealing for players who are looking to continue their playing careers.

There is a good chance that the Giants are right up against the 165-player limit in the minors. That is why they were unable to keep players like Amir Garrett, Yoshi Tsutsugo, and Pablo Sandoval in the organization. Perhaps, there was no role for any of those players either. This means that a new addition will likely be met with a corresponding deletion.

That could be the case with Anthony Rodriguez. He originally agreed to an $800,000 signing bonus with San Francisco during the 2019 international signing period. It was the second-highest signing bonus handed out by the Giants during that cycle. Aeverson Arteaga led the way with a $1 million bonus.

Unfortunately, Rodriguez's career never really took off with the Giants. He was considered an above-average defensive infielder with experience all around the diamond. However, the switch-hitter's bat was considered a work in progress. After three years, Rodriguez registered a .231/.318/.358 line with a 10.0 percent walk rate, 33.7 percent strikeout rate, and a .127 ISO.

The 21-year-old infielder spent the first two seasons of his pro career in the Arizona Complex League before joining the San Jose Giants in 2023. Perhaps, he is someone who would have benefitted from short-season ball as the competition gap going from Rookie Ball to Low-A is steep. However, that division no longer exists within affiliated baseball. Rodriguez now has a chance to catch on with another team if an opportunity presents itself.