The SF Giants went nearly two months without making a waiver claim. That is probably a record for the current front office. However, every streak has to come to an end and that was the case as the Giants made a combined three waiver claims on Wednesday and Thursday. Catcher Dom Núñez (Colorado Rockies), pitcher Drew Strotman (Texas Rangers), and catcher Meibrys Viloria (Rangers) have joined the Giants as waiver claims in recent days.
What do the SF Giants plan to do with recent waiver claims?
Núñez is perhaps the most notable name among the bunch as he has spent his entire career with the Colorado Rockies organization. He was originally drafted by the Rockies in the sixth round of the 2013 draft out of Elk Grove High School in Elk Grove, California.
The fact that he is local to northern California likely carries some significance that I will touch on in just a bit. The Giants have seen the 27-year-old backstop in recent years as he has appeared in parts of three seasons with the Rockies.
Núñez has slashed .180/.280/.373 (66 OPS+) with 12 home runs, 39 RBI, and 38 runs in 347 plate appearances as a major leaguer. This comes with a solid 12.4 percent walk rate against a concerning 34.0 percent strikeout rate.
Despite his offensive struggles, the three-year veteran has graded out as roughly an average catcher. According to Baseball Prospectus, Núñez has been worth 0.8 Catcher Defensive Adjustment (CDA) throughout his career. Teams have shown a willingness to overlook subpar offensive output from a catcher if he offers good defensive upside.
Joining Núñez is Drew Strotman and Meibrys Viloria from the Rangers organization. Strotman was originally a fourth-round pick by the Tampa bay Rays out of Saint Mary's College in Moraga California. He has not yet debuted in the majors, but he has posted a 4.51 ERA in five minor league seasons while splitting time as a starter and a reliever.
In 2022, the right-handed hurler registered a 6.32 ERA in 42 appearances out of the bullpen, so he has spent more time as a reliever in recent years.
On the other hand, Viloria was signed as an international free agent by the Kansas City Royals out of Cartagena, Colombia. He debuted with the Royals in 2018 and he has posted a .533 OPS in parts of four seasons as a major leaguer.
San Francisco is light on catching depth in the upper minors, so it seems that the plan is to eventually sneak both Viloria and Núñez through waivers, hoping that they clear. The same can be said for Strotman.
It is likely that both Strotman and Núñez would accept a minor league assignment to Sacramento if they clear waivers given that they are both local to the area. That has been a trend in recent years for Giants waiver claims.
Teams will need to protect prospects from the Rule 5 draft in the coming days by adding them to the 40-man roster. The Giants' 40-man roster is full, so there should be some activity coming up soon and that could affect one of the players they just claimed.