MLB Waiver targets for the San Francisco Giants

Aug 30, 2023, 9:57 AM

NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 24: Harrison Bader #22 of the New York Yankees catches a fly ball during the ...

(Photo by Mary DeCicco/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

(Photo by Mary DeCicco/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

While the NFL stole headlines as teams made their roster cuts on Tuesday afternoon, Major League Baseball also got in on the roster-shuffling action.

Several big-name players were placed on waivers by their teams on Tuesday as the two-day waiver window was opened for teams looking to shed salary or add talent for the playoff push.

After pushing all of its chips in during the August 1st trade deadline, the Los Angeles Angels placed a fifth of its active roster on waivers to open up the floodgates, as outfielders Hunter Renfroe and Randal Grichuk joined starting pitcher Lucas Giolito and relievers Matt Moore and Reynaldo Lopez on the waiver wire.

Other teams like the New York Yankees, Chicago White Sox, and Cleveland Guardians also placed players on waivers, giving teams until Thursday, August 31st to add to their roster for the season’s final stretch.

How does the MLB ‘Waiver Wire’ work?

When a player is placed on outright waivers, all 29 other teams have a chance to claim him.

Waiver priority works in reverse order of record. Ties are broken by last year’s record. The team with the worst record that submits a claim will receive the player, add him to its 40-man roster, and pay the remainder of his contract.

If a player goes unclaimed, his original team continues paying his salary.

For a player to be postseason-eligible, he must be on a roster by September 1st. The waiver window is open for two days. That means players will be awarded to a claiming team on Thursday, August 31st.

This makes the Angels’ move to shed players and salary much more apparent as Los Angeles would like to save some money and get below the luxury tax as they prepare to set their sights on retaining superstar free-agent-to-be Shohei Ohtani this offseason.

Where do the San Francisco Giants fit into this wavier madness?

Entering play on Wednesday, the Giants (69-63) hold a slim half-game lead over the Arizona Diamondbacks in the National League Wild Card standings.

The NL Wild Card will be a wild sprint for the finish in September, with six teams battling it out for three spots.

Since San Francisco is in the third-and-final Wild Card spot, they have priority for waiver targets over teams like the Chicago Cubs, Philadelphia Phillies, Los Angeles Dodgers, and Atlanta Braves.

While teams beneath the Giants in the standings like Miami, Cincinnati, and Arizona will have priority over San Francisco for waiver additions, plenty of options are on the market for the taking.

Here are some intriguing players that the Giants could make a move for as they look to make a push toward October baseball.

YouTube video

Lucas Gioloto | SP | Los Angeles Angels

Gioloto was Los Angeles’ marquee trade deadline addition earlier this month, and now it’s looking like the right-hander will be finishing the season on a new team.

The 29-year-old posted a 6-6 record with a 3.79 ERA over 21 starts with the Chicago White Sox before being traded to the Angels on deadline day.

Since joining the Halos, Giolito has struggled to a 1-5 record and 6.89 ERA while seeing his walk rate rise from 8.3% to 10.1%.

Los Angeles has placed the 2019 All-Star on waivers to clear off Gioloto’s remaining salary (making $10.4 million this season) and set their sights on the upcoming offseason.

San Francisco has struggled to find stability in its rotation this season, as Logan Webb and Alex Cobb have been the lone mainstays in 2023. The emergence of rookie phenom Kyle Harrison has been a solid addition to the team’s pitching arsenal, but adding another starter like Gioloto would be a low-risk, high-reward type of move for the stretch run.

Gioloto will likely get plenty of attention from teams ahead of San Francisco in the waiver claim process, but if he falls into the Giants’ lap by some chance, they should take a flier on the righty.

Harrison Bader | CF | New York Yankees

As the New York Yankees wave the white flag on its disappointing 2023 season, the club placed center fielder Harrison Bader on waivers before taking the field on Tuesday night.

Bader, a slick-fielding and speedy outfielder, will be available for other teams to claim the 29-year-old and the remaining $1 million from his $5 million salary.

The Giants could use some defensive help in center field, where they hold a -1 DRS (defensive runs saved) at the position in 2023, per Fielding Bible.

Bader, a Gold Glove Award winner at center field in 2021 while playing for the St. Louis Cardinals, ranks ninth in MLB regarding defensive runs saved, an area of need that could address San Francisco’s center field position for the remainder of the season.

The outfield is Bader’s primary office, but he’s no slouch at the plate. Bader is hitting .240 with seven home runs, 37 RBI, and 16 stolen bases in 2023, making him a threat on the bases as well.

While the Giants have Mitch Haniger and Mike Yastrzemski returning from injuries and Austin Slater playing well over the past couple of weeks, it wouldn’t hurt to add one of the best defensive center fielders in the game to the roster for the final month of the season.

Bullpen Arms

Multiple bullpen options will be available for the taking over the next two days, and San Francisco could add another arm to its roster for the playoff push.

  • Matt Moore | LHP | Angels: Could Moore return for his second stint as a Giant? The southpaw holds a 2.30 ERA over 40 appearances in 2023.
  • Reynaldo Lopez | RHP | Angels: Lopez posted a 2.31 ERA in 12 games with Los Angeles after being acquired from the White Sox at the deadline.

Upcoming San Francisco Giants Schedule

  • Monday, August 28th-Wednesday, August 30th – vs. Cincinnati Reds
  • Thursday, August 31st-Sunday, September 3rd – @ San Diego Padres
  • Monday, September 4th-Wednesday, September 6th – @ Chicago Cubs
  • Friday, September 8th-Sunday, September 10th – @ Colorado Rockies
  • Monday, September 11th-Wednesday, September 13th – vs. Cleveland Guardians

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