SF Giants sign former Rays pitching prospect to minor-league deal

Tampa Bay Rays v Oakland Athletics
Tampa Bay Rays v Oakland Athletics / Michael Zagaris/GettyImages

The SF Giants bolstered organizational depth recently. Former Tampa Bay Rays pitching prospect Phoenix Sanders has agreed to a minor-league deal with the Giants and has been assigned to Triple-A per the team's transaction log.

SF Giants sign former Rays pitching prospect to minor-league deal

The was not the only move San Francisco made. The Giants also signed Cameron Cotter to a minor-league deal as well. Cotter has pitched exclusively in the non-affiliated ranks since his collegiate career came to an end after the 2021 season.

Interestingly, Cotter attended North Carolina State University where he was teammates with a trio of Giants prospects including Patrick Bailey, Will Wilson, and Nick Swiney. Bailey has already been promoted to the majors, whereas Wilson and Swiney are just one call away at Sacramento.

On the other hand, Sanders was recently released by the Baltimore Orioles despite solid results. Oddly, the right-handed hurler has put together quality numbers throughout his career, so it is a bit surprising to see him on the market.

The Rays originally drafted Sanders in the 10th round of the 2017 draft out of the University of South Florida in Tampa, Florida. Across six minor-league seasons, the righty posted a 3.07 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, 10.9 K/9, and a 4.35 SO/W ratio while working primarily out of the bullpen.

These are solid numbers for someone who was a free agent. It is not as if Sanders plateaued in the lower minors. He has a respectable 3.94 ERA in 94 appearances at Triple-A, including a 2.00 ERA across nine innings earlier this year.

Sanders did reach the majors with the Rays last year where he allowed five earned runs on 12 strikeouts against three walks in 14.1 frames. He relies heavily on a slider-curveball mix that he pairs with a high 80's four-seam fastball.

In today's game, if a reliever does not possess premium velocity, it is tough to stick in the bullpen. Despite quality results, the Rays placed him on waivers near the end of the 2022 campaign. He was claimed by the Orioles and eventually outrighted off of the 40-man roster. At this point, it is unclear as to why the 27-year-old was released by Baltimore, but he brings a nice track record of performance to the Giants organization.