SF Giants welcome back Opening Day right fielder, option Luis Matos in wave of moves

San Francisco Giants v San Diego Padres
San Francisco Giants v San Diego Padres / Andy Kuno/San Francisco Giants/GettyImages

The season is just getting underway but the front office never sleeps when it comes to tweaking the roster. On Monday, SF Giants Opening Day right fielder Mike Yastrzemski returned from the paternity list, whereas Luis Matos was optioned. Additionally, Nick Avila's contract was selected and he was added to the active roster with Daulton Jefferies being optioned and Otto López being sent on waivers.

SF Giants welcome back Opening Day right fielder, option Luis Matos in wave of moves

Despite a strong spring, Matos' stay on the active roster was expected to be short. He recorded four hitless at-bats before being optioned to Triple-A. If he performs with Sacramento like he did last season, it will only be a matter of time before he is back up with the Giants for good.

Yastrzemski was placed on paternity leave on Friday and that can only last for up to three days. The Yastrzemski family did welcome their second child, Michael, to the family during that time. The left-handed bat appeared in the first game of the season before going on leave. He should return to seeing regular playing time in left field.

Perhaps, the most surprising move was placing López on waivers. The speedy utility bat was acquired in a minor trade with the Toronto Blue Jays right before spring training got underway. He has experience all around the field on defense. López does not have much power upside, but he grinds out at-bats, puts the ball in play, and uses the entire field. He tallied one hit in six at-bats with Sacramento to start the season.

Similar to Matos, Jefferies impressed the Giants in camp with his performance. They rewarded him by adding him to the 40-man roster and tabbing him to start against a solid San Diego Padres lineup on Sunday. That did not go as planned as he yielded nine runs (five earned) in just two innings. For Jefferies, it marked his first major league appearance in nearly two years.

Lastly, Nick Avila was added to the bullpen mix. He was not on the 40-man roster, so the Giants needed to create space, which they did by putting López on waivers. The 26-year-old pitcher had a strong 2023 season with Sacramento where he posted a 14-0 record to go with a 3.00 ERA in 72 innings. He tallied one scoreless outing in Triple-A this year before his contract was purchased.