A pair of SF Giants non-roster players in camp will have a decision to make in the coming days. Both Roberto Pérez and Joe Ross will be eligible to opt-out of their contract with the club on March 25.
SF Giants News: Opt-out decision looming for pair of non-roster players
Previously, players would be able to negotiate opt-out clauses in their contract. However, a clause in the new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) stipulates that players have three chances to opt-out if they have not been added to the 40-man roster. The dates for these opt-outs include five days before the start of the season (March 25 in 2023), May 1, and June 1.
The first landmark is coming as both Pérez and Ross will have a chance to opt-out if they are not added to the 40-man roster by March 25. The decision for Ross is an easy one as he continues to recover from Tommy John surgery.
The veteran starter had surgery at the end of May last year, so he should begin rehab starts midway through this season if everything goes according to plan. When he was healthy, the right-handed hurler posted a 4.26 ERA, 8.2 K/9, and a 2.86 SO/W ratio in six seasons with the Washington Nationals.
On the other hand, Pérez could have an actual decision to make. The 34-year-old has a reputation for strong defense behind the plate. He earned two straight Gold Glove awards at catcher in 2019 and 2020.
The Giants brought him in to add an experienced veteran to the competition at catcher. Joey Bart is penciled in to be the everyday catcher, but Giants manager Gabe Kapler labeled it as an open competition at the start of camp.
In theory, the Giants could begin the season with three catchers in Pérez, Bart, and Blake Sabol. Sabol is in camp as a Rule 5 pick and has made a solid first impression. With the injury to Austin Slater, Sabol could also see time in the outfield as well.
Pérez has tallied four hits, including one home run, in 18 at-bats in the Cactus League. He has struggled to stay on the field in recent seasons, appearing in only 97 games since the start of 2020.
With that being said, teams are putting a premium on a strong defender at catcher, so Pérez could generate some interest from other teams as a free agent. Though, the Giants likely remain one of the better opportunities with playing time for the nine-year veteran as Bart has not yet found his footing in the majors.