The Giants have claimed first baseman/corner outfielder Taylor Jones off waivers from the Astros and optioned him to Triple-A Sacramento. Utilityman Jose Rojas has been designated for assignment to clear a spot on the 40-man roster. Houston had designated Jones for assignment earlier this week.
Jones changes organizations for the first time in his career. A 19th-round pick of the Astros in 2016, he’s spent the past six-plus years in the Houston system. The Gonzaga product has typically played well in the minor leagues, posting particularly strong numbers in the upper levels. Through parts of three seasons in Triple-A, Jones is a .279/.377/.487 hitter. That includes a quality .263/.370/.456 showing through 322 plate appearances this year. Jones has connected on 12 home runs and drawn walks at a quality 10.9% clip while striking out at a slightly higher than average rate (24.2%).
Despite the solid work in the minors, the 28-year-old hasn’t gotten much of a look in the big leagues. He’s appeared at the highest level in each of the past three years, but he’s picked up a cumulative 131 plate appearances in sporadic playing time. Jones hasn’t played well in that limited look, managing only a .234/.260/.395 line with a trio of longballs and an alarming 27.5% strikeout percentage.
The Giants are as active as any team at scouring the waiver wire, and they’ll take a shot on Jones’ upper minors productivity. He’s in his last minor league option year, meaning San Francisco can keep him in Triple-A for the final few weeks of the season. He’ll be out of options in 2023, though. If he holds his spot on the 40-man roster all winter, he’ll have to break camp on the MLB club or again be designated for assignment.
Rojas has been part of the Giants waiver wire churn. San Francisco snagged him from the Angels less than two weeks ago, and he’s spent his limited time in the organization with Sacramento. He’s appeared in seven games on optional assignment there and now loses his spot on the 40-man without having suited up in a big league contest.
A left-handed hitter, Rojas has appeared in the bigs with the Halos in each of the past two seasons. He’s not made much of an impact against MLB pitching, carrying a .188/.245/.339 slash with six homers through 241 trips to the plate. Like Jones, Rojas has been a very good hitter at the Triple-A level. Through parts of four seasons there, he sports a .277/.343/.525 line, including a .274/.346/.569 mark this season. The 29-year-old also offers a fair bit of defensive flexibility, suiting up at each of first, second and third base and in the corner outfield.
For the second time this month, Rojas will find himself on the waiver wire. He has an additional option remaining beyond this season and won’t reach arbitration for multiple years, so it’s possible another team will add him as an upper-level depth player. If he goes unclaimed, Rojas would have the right to reject an outright assignment in favor of free agency.