Last week, MLB teams needed to make room on their rosters to protect prospects from being taken in the Rule 5 Draft, or to make room for new signings.
Minor league players should be added to the 40-man roster when they get to a certain amount of years in the farm system.
If they aren’t added to the MLB roster, they are at risk of being taken by other clubs in the Rule 5 Draft.
Alex Dickerson, however, fell out of favor with the San Francisco Giants this year and was designated for assignment because the team needed to make room for the recently re-signed Anthony DeSclafani.
The Giants placed the outfielder on release waivers this week, according John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle.
Official: Giants place Alex Dickerson on unconditional release waivers.
— John Shea (@JohnSheaHey) November 24, 2021
The Giants Released A Perfectly Capable Hitter
It was a somewhat surprising turn of events because Dickerson, while he didn’t have a good 2021 because of injuries, is a talented offensive player who can help more than a few contenders.
He got to San Francisco in the summer of 2019, and debuted with a six-RBI game.
Between 2019 and 2020, Dickerson was actually a very productive hitter, with a .294/.361/.552 line, 16 homers, 23 doubles, and four triples in 341 plate appearances.
However, 2021 was a year filled with obstacles and injuries for the 31-year-old outfielder.
He had to endure a shoulder ailment in May, a back strain in June, and a hamstring strain in September.
He couldn’t get into a rhythm and hit .233/.304/.420 over 312 plate appearances (with 13 home runs), a much worse performance than what he showed in 2019-20.
Despite the seemingly underwhelming line, he was basically average offensively, judging by his 97 wRC+.
The wRC+ stat means weighted Runs Created Plus and helps us gather and process data about the offensive production of a hitter while taking into context things like ballpark, era, and others.
A 100 wRC+ is considered average, so Dickerson’s 97 mark tells us he was only slightly below-average.
He Is Injury-Prone And Bad Defensively, But He Should Provide Offense
He was comfortably above-average in 2018 (111), 2019 (112), and 2020 (151).
He is quite bad defensively, but the evidence suggests that contending teams with offensive problems should take a long look at Dickerson.
He went unclaimed in release waivers, so he is now free to sign with a new club for any amount.
Release waivers indicate he needs to go unclaimed to be free to sign with a new club for any amount, and he did.
He is not precisely the model of consistency and health (he is 31 and only has 326 career games), but his career .260/.330/.470 slash line at the Major League level, together with his 113 wRC+, indicates he could be a dangerous weapon as a fourth outfielder, starting designated hitter, or pinch-hitter.
Lots of contending teams were offensively-challenged in 2021: the New York Yankees, New York Mets, Seattle Mariners, San Diego Padres, and the Milwaukee Brewers are just a few examples.
Thanks you too! Ask Billy about Alex Dickerson for left field. He would be a good fit. Just look into him!
— Owen Mumma-Berman (@berman_owen) November 26, 2021
They should all be calling Dickerson’s agent as you read this.