The Diamondbacks announced that they have selected the contract of outfielder Stone Garrett. To create room for him on the active roster, infielder Seth Beer was optioned to Reno. To open a spot on the 40-man roster, left-hander Paul Fry was designated for assignment. Robert Murray of FanSided reported Garrett’s promotion before the official announcement.
Garrett, 26, was a second round pick of the Marlins in 2014. He got some love from prospect evaluators in that time, ranking among the top ten Marlin farmhands in 2016 and 2017 by Baseball America. He made it as high as Double-A in Miami’s system in 2019, getting into 119 games, hitting 14 home runs and stealing 15 bases. His 28.7% strikeout rate and 4.1% walk rate were both worse than average, however, leading to a final batting line of .243/.289/.413, wRC+ of 103.
The minor leagues were canceled by the pandemic in 2020, with Garrett reaching free agency that fall. He signed on with the Diamondbacks and has since taken steps forward at the plate. He spent most of last year at Double-A, hitting 25 homers and swiping 17 bases, also making slight improvements in terms of walks and strikeouts. His .280/.317/.516 batting line in that time was 16% better than league average, by measure of wRC+. This year, a bump up to Triple-A has resulted in more progress, particularly in terms of plate discipline. His 7.6% walk rate and 23.4% strikeout rate are vaguely average-ish, a marked improvement over previous seasons. That doesn’t seem to have cost him in other areas, as he’s added 28 more long balls this year and another 15 steals. His .278/335/.574 batting line amounts to a 114 wRC+.
Arizona currently has a record of 53-63 and is 10 1/2 games out of the final Wild Card spot in the National League. Given that they’re unlikely to be in serious contention down the stretch, they can give Garrett some playing time to see if he can translate any of those minor league results to the big league level and perhaps earn himself a role on next year’s team. He will jump into an outfield mix that includes Alek Thomas, Daulton Varsho, Jake McCarthy and Jordan Luplow. Down the road, that group will also include Corbin Carroll, who is widely considered one of the best prospects in all of baseball and was promoted to Triple-A in July.
As for Fry, 30, he was acquired from the Orioles in a trade earlier this season. He’s only thrown one inning for the big league club, spending most of the year in the minors. In 18 Triple-A innings, he has a 5.50 ERA, 18.8% strikeout rate, 11.8% walk rate and 40.7% ground ball rate. Given those lackluster results, he will relinquish his spot on the 40-man roster. Since the trade deadline has passed, Arizona’s only options will be to place Fry on outright waivers or release waivers.
Players who clear waivers can reject an outright assignment and elect free agency if they have previously been outrighted in their career or if they have over three years of MLB service time. Fry qualifies in both cases, but since he has less than five years of service time, electing free agency would mean forfeiting the remainder of his salary. While still with the Orioles, Fry qualified for arbitration and agreed to a salary of $850K. That leaves just under $223K left to be paid out.