SF Giants News: Kervin Castro, Anthony DeSclafani, and Opt-Outs

Oakland Athletics v San Francisco Giants
Oakland Athletics v San Francisco Giants / Thearon W. Henderson/GettyImages

A former SF Giants reliever found a new home as Kervin Castro inked a minor league deal with the Detroit Tigers. The Tigers will have some familiarity to Castro as Detroit's president of baseball operations Scott Harris was the Giants' general manager for the past two seasons.

SF Giants News: Kervin Castro signs minor league deal with the Tigers

Castro made a pretty meteoric rise to the 40-man roster after becoming eligible for the Rule 5 draft two offseasons ago. The right-handed hurler was originally scouted as a catcher before transitioning to the mound after signing with the Giants as an international free agent.

At the time of being added to the 40-man roster, Castro had a total of 89.2 innings of work under his belt as a pro. He had not even reached full-season minor league ball prior to the 2021 season. Of course, this might be one of those instances where the Rule 5 draft hurt development as he was forced to Triple-A by the 2021 season. This was a result of being on the 40-man roster.

The 23-year-old pitcher tallied 13.1 scoreless innings as a rookie in 2021 but struggled badly in two outings with the Giants this past season. A dip in velocity and command issues led the Giants to place him on waivers where he was claimed by the Chicago Cubs. Eventually, he became a free agent after being outrighted off of the Cubs' 40-man roster. He still has an extremely young arm.

SF Giants News: Update on Anthony DeSclafani's health

Anthony DeSclafani made 31 starts for the Giants in 2021. After making just five starts in 2022, will the veteran starter return to being a rotation workhouse? Maria Guardardo of MLB.Com cautions that his workload has yet to be determined.

DeSclafani missed most of last season due to an ankle injury that required season-ending surgery. Guardado notes that his progress appears to be going well. However, the Giants may not be counting on him to manage a full workload as they already have a rotation that consists of DeSclafani, Alex Wood, Alex Cobb, Logan Webb, Sean Manaea, and Ross Stripling.

Other options like Jakob Junis, Sean Hjelle, Sam Long, and Tristan Beck could be options as well in th rotation at some point. DeScafani posted a 3.17 ERA in 167.2 innings for the Giants in 2021 and was rewarded with a three-year, $36 million deal. The early returns of that contract have not been promising.

SF Giants News: Opt-outs have become the new trend with the front office

Opt-out clauses are a popular lever in contract talks with players as it gives them the flexibility of a guaranteed salary as well as the opportunity to seek a larger payday if performance merits it. The Giants did that with Carlos Rodón last offseason.

He signed a two-year, $44 million pact with an opt-out after the first season. He exercised that clause and eventually signed with the New York Yankees on a six-year, $162 million pact. The Giants have not slowed down in including opt-outs as they have been added to contracts for Stripling, Manaea, Mitch Haniger, and Michael Conforto.

It is an interesting tool by the front office. On one hand, they might be trying to maximize the value of a contract by getting a player who is motivated to land another large payday. They do not like having dead money on the books, so the opt-outs reduce the risk that comes with that.

On the other hand, it is tough from a product standpoint as anyone who performs will likely opt-out and be wearing a different uniform in the following season. Rodón is a perfect example of that, but he will likely not be the last.