Teams have been tinkering with their 60-man player pools throughout the 2020 season, at times cutting veterans to make room for prospects and at times cutting bait on some lower-tier organizational pieces in order to make room for more experienced additions (be they via waiver claim, free-agent signing, etc.). There have been several clubs to announce additions to their player pools already Friday, and while such moves seem innocuous, it’s of course worth pointing out that adding a player to the 60-man pool makes him eligible to be traded.
That doesn’t mean all of the players added to pools today are on the trading block — far from it. We’ve also already seen the Marlins (in the Richard Bleier trade) and the Blue Jays (in the Taijuan Walker trade) take advantage of using players to be named later to get around the rule that only players in a 60-man pool are eligible to be traded. Both sent a PTBNL to their trade partner, each of whom is expected to be a non-60-man player that will be announced after the season.
So while not all of today’s additions will change hands, it’s still notable that some of these players now could change hands without needing to be listed as a PTBNL. In that scenario, a new club could get a look at said player at its alternate training site and, if close enough to the Majors, perhaps even promote them in September.
Here’s a quick rundown…
- The Giants announced that first baseman/outfielder Chris Shaw and righty Melvin Adon were added to the 60-man player pool. Shaw, 26, was San Francisco’s first-round pick (No. 31 overall) back in 2015 and rated among the club’s best prospects for several years. His shine has worn off, however, after some shaky showings in the upper minors and the Majors. Shaw carries a .280/.328/.538 slash in 1092 Triple-A plate appearances but has struck out at a 30 percent clip there. He’s hit .153/.244/.222 in 82 big league PAs. Speculatively, he seems like a change-of-scenery candidate. Adon, also 26, received an 80 grade on his heater at FanGraphs this offseason and was called the hardest thrower in the minors by Eric Longenhagen and Kiley McDaniel. However, they also gave him just 30 command on the 20-80 scale and called his chances of realizing his ceiling low due to his inability to locate. Adon walked 34 batters, hit another and threw 11 wild pitches in 55 1/3 innings last year.
- The Mets added third baseman Brett Baty, tweets Anthony DiComo of MLB.com. Baty, 20, was the No. 12 pick in the 2019 draft and is considered to be among the organization’s top prospects. He divided last year between rookie and Low-A ball, where he batted .234/.368/.452 with seven home runs in 228 plate appearances. Now that Baty’s in the fold, the Mets have all of their top five prospects in the player pool — including Andres Gimenez in the Majors — as DiComo points out.
- Right-hander Brent Honeywell has been added to the Rays’ pool and reported to their alternate site in Port Charlotte, tweets MLB.com’s Juan Toribio. The highly touted Honeywell underwent Tommy John surgery in February 2018, hasn’t pitched since and may not take the mound for the Rays this season. By adding Honeywell to their pool, though, the Rays will give the 25-year-old an opportunity to rehab while facing professional hitters, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times notes. For now, though, “there are still plenty of boxes” for Honeywell to check before he makes his MLB debut, according to manager Kevin Cash.
- The Nationals already added righty Sterling Sharp and outfielder Jeremy De La Rosa earlier today (as covered here), and this afternoon they announced two more additions: infielders Jackson Cluff and Drew Mendoza. Both have reported to the alternate site in Fredricksburg. Cluff was a 2019 sixth-rounder who spent his first pro season in Single-A, where he batted .229/.320/.367 with five homers and 11 steals in 280 trips to the plate. The 23-year-old is now generally regarded as one of the Nationals’ top 20 prospects. Mendoza, another 2019 draft choice (third round, No. 94), hovers around Washington’s top 10 farmhands at multiple outlets. The 22-year-old also spent 2019 at Single-A, slashing .264/.377/.383 with four HRs and three steals in 239 plate appearances.