TODAY: The Giants recalled Gonzalez from Triple-A today and placed him on the Major League version of the 60-day IL.
AUGUST 12: The Giants officially announced González has been claimed off waivers. He has been optioned to Triple-A Sacramento. With third baseman Evan Longoria expected to return from the 60-day injured list in the coming days, it seems likely González will wind up on the 60-day IL whenever Longoria’s ready for reinstatement.
AUGUST 11: The Giants are claiming outfielder Luis González off release waivers from the White Sox, reports Kiley McDaniel of ESPN (Twitter link). González was released on Monday when the Sox reinstated Luis Robert from the 60-day injured list.
The move was a cost savings measure on Chicago’s part. González suffered a season-ending shoulder injury during an optional assignment to Triple-A Charlotte. Players on the minor league IL remain on the 40-man roster and can’t be outrighted. To remove González from the 40-man, the ChiSox had to either place him on the major league 60-day IL — where he’d receive MLB pay and service time — or release him.
Chicago elected for the latter course of action, presumably with the intent of re-signing González to a minor league deal if he cleared waivers. Doing so saved the White Sox from paying the 25-year-old the major league minimum salary for the remainder of the year. (They’re not unique in this regard, as the Tigers and Diamondbacks did the same thing with Franklin Pérez and Jon Duplantier, respectively, this season). Releasing the player instead of adding him to the major league IL comes with the risk of losing him, however — either via claim or the player signing elsewhere after clearing waivers.
The Giants intervened to add an interesting young player with an eye towards 2022 and beyond. Baseball America ranked González the #19 prospect in the White Sox system midseason, writing that he projects as an average hitter with gap power and the ability to play some center field. He had a decent season with Charlotte, hitting .241/.352/.423 with seven homers over 163 plate appearances.
San Francisco figures to immediately place González on the 60-day IL. He’ll make the major league minimum for the remainder of the year and won’t cost the team a 40-man roster spot during the season. González will have to be reinstated from the IL at the start of the offseason. If he sticks on the 40-man roster all winter, he’ll offer the Giants a lefty-hitting depth option for the outfield. González has one minor league option year remaining beyond this season.