The SF Giants tendered contracts for all seven of their arbitration-eligible players last week, but they non-tendered three prospects in the roster flurry as well. Luis González, Joe Palumbo, and Sam Delaplane were all non-tendered by the Giants in a series of moves that took place as the CBA expired.
SF Giants non-tender three prospects in roster flurry
On the surface, this was a surprising set of transactions given that none of the three players were eligible for arbitration, but there was a very good reason for it as well. Pre-arbitration players can be non-tendered, thereby becoming free agents, without passing through waivers.
This last detail remains important to the Giants as they hope to retain one or more of the prospects. The front office likely felt as if they would have lost any of the three if they were placed on waivers, so they non-tendered them instead.
As a free agent, each player has a little more say in where they end up. The Giants put in midseason claims on Delaplane and González, whereas Palumbo was claimed off of waivers from the Texas Rangers earlier in the offseason.
Delaplane and González had Tommy John surgery and shoulder surgery, respectively, this past summer, meaning that neither one is likely to be ready by Opening Day. That said, Delaplane is a reliever who has posted massive strikeout numbers (15.1 K/9 in the minors) since being drafted in the 23rd round of the 2017 draft by the Seattle Mariners.
On the other hand, González was drafted in the third round of the 2017 draft by the Chicago White Sox. It is a mild surprise that Chicago decided to cut ties with the 26-year-old outfield prospect considering his draft pedigree. On that same note, the left-handed bat has been a consistent producer, slashing .266/.345/.414 with an 18 percent strikeout rate and a 10 percent walk rate in four seasons as a professional.
The left-handed bat has not demonstrated a lot of power, but he has a patient approach with good bat-to-ball skills that the Giants front office covets with minor-league depth. Perhaps, they can develop more power with his swing like they did with LaMonte Wade Jr. in 2021.
Both Delaplane and González bring some intrigue to the table and the Giants did them a small financial favor by placing a claim on them. Each player was claimed and placed on the 60-day IL, meaning that they made the league minimum salary. If they passed through waivers, then they would have made significantly less while recovering from their respective surgeries.
It is a goodwill gesture that the Giants hope will encourage either player to remain with the organization as they continue to recover. Lastly, Palumbo does not have quite the same connection to the Giants as the other two.
The left-handed hurler has posted a 2.92 ERA in eight seasons as a minor leaguer while working out of both the rotation and the bullpen. He was promoted to the major league roster in 2019 and has posted a 9.47 ERA in parts of two seasons with the Rangers. He flashes a fastball that sits in the mid-90's with good secondary offerings including a curveball and changeup but his command leaves a bit to be desired.
Nonetheless, all three prospects are free agents now. The Giants look at different ways to build organizational depth by either investing in prospects to be on the injured list in the case of Delaplane and González, or claiming a pitcher who has not had an extended look in the case of Palumbo. The front office will hope to retain some of that depth by re-signing one or more of these prospects.