The Angels announced that the Giants have claimed infielder/outfielder Jose Rojas off waivers. San Francisco has also announced the move, with Brandon Belt (who is undergoing season-ending knee surgery) moved to the 60-day injured list to create space for Rojas on the 40-man roster. Rojas and outfielder Steven Duggar were both designated for assignment by the Angels on September 1. Duggar cleared waivers and opted to become a free agent, rather than accept an outright assignment to Triple-A.
Rojas will change teams for the first time in his pro career, as he has been an Angel since being selected in the 36th round of the 2016 draft. (And, Rojas is even an Anaheim native.) After posting some nice numbers in the minors, Rojas has seen some big league playing time in each of the last two seasons, resulting in a .188/.245/.339 slash line over 241 total plate appearances. Much of that modest production came in 2021, as Rojas had a .676 OPS last season but only a .301 OPS in 57 PA this year.
As noted, the minor leagues was a different story for Rojas, who slashed .287/.347/.503 with 90 home runs over 2298 career PA in the Angels farm system. The hitter-friendly environment of the Triple-A Pacific Coast League is certainly a factor in gauging Rojas’ numbers, but overall, it is easy to see why the Giants might have interest in the 29-year-old. San Francisco has also favored versatile players, and Rojas fits that model with his experience at third base, second base, first base, and both corner outfield spots.
Duggar is a former Giant himself, spending his first five MLB seasons in the Bay Area before being traded to the Rangers for Willie Calhoun in June. Duggar didn’t last long in Texas, as the Rangers DFA’ed him in early August and the Angels claimed him away a few days later.
While Duggar has been a strong defensive player during his career, he has had trouble staying healthy and generating any kind of consistent production at the plate. Duggar has had a few flashes of offensive protential, but over 846 career PA, he has hit only .236/.293/.367. All of the changes of scenery haven’t helped his bat this year, as Duggar has just a .447 OPS over 80 combined PA with Anaheim, Texas, and San Francisco. Now that he’s back on the open market, it’s possible to see another team in need of outfield depth or a defensive boost inking Duggar to a minor league contract.