SF Giants News: 5-year veteran elects free agency after clearing waivers

San Francisco Giants v Cleveland Guardians
San Francisco Giants v Cleveland Guardians / Chris Coduto/GettyImages

Austin Wynns' time with the SF Giants organization has come to an end. It was an eventful week for the veteran backstop as he was added back to the active roster, placed on waivers, cleared waivers, and then elected to become a free agent.

SF Giants News: 5-year veteran elects free agency after clearing waivers

The Giants needed an catcher after Roberto Pérez landed on the injured list with a shoulder strain, so Wynns was added back to the roster. However, he was placed on waivers after just one game to make room for Joey Bart.

That was likely the plan all along and I bet Wynns was aware of it. Bart was beginning a rehab assignment at the end of last week and did not need a lot of game reps to get ready, so this was just a temporary role for Wynns.

The 32-year-old came over to the Giants in a midseason trade last year from the Philadelphia Phillies in exchange for pitching prospect Michael Plassmeyer. At the time of the move, Joey Bart was struggling to the tune of a .596 OPS through the first two months of the season and needed a chance to reset in the minors.

Wynns was added to give Bart that break by filling in as one of the two catchers at the major league level along with Curt Casali. Wynns slashed .259/.313/.358 (91 OPS+) with three home runs , 21 RBI, and 14 runs in 177 plate appearances. This included a 5.7 percent walk rate against a 21.5 percent strikeout rate.

The five-year veteran proved to be a serviceable backstop and became the preferred catcher for both Logan Webb and Carlos Rodón down the stretch in 2022. He finished the year with the club but was designated for assignment in the offseason. Wynns cleared waivers, but elected to remain with the club.

He entered spring training with an outside shot of making the Opening Day roster. And, he eventually made the roster for a brief period of time. The veteran catcher will look for his next opportunity after becoming a free agent.

Editor's note: Austin Wynns signed a major league deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday morning.