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With a roster spot to play with, Giants scoop up young outfielder

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Farhan Zaidi and Scott Harris never let a roster spot go to waste, and they took advantage of some shuffling this week to add a young outfielder who has a pretty solid reputation as a prospect.

The Giants had an open roster spot because they DFA'd Aaron Sanchez over the weekend and have not yet taken Evan Longoria off the 60-day IL. They used it, at least temporarily, on Luis Gonzalez, a 25-year-old outfielder who was claimed off waivers from the Chicago White Sox.

Gonzalez was taken off Chicago's 40-man roster when Luis Robert was activated, and he needs season-ending right shoulder surgery, which he will have next week. The White Sox could have put him on their 60-day IL, but teams often try to sneak injured players off the roster so they don't have to pay them a big league salary to rehab, and that appears to be what happened here. 

As they often do, the Giants snuck in and grabbed some depth. 

The Giants figure to have Gonzalez on their 40-man roster for just a couple of days before shifting him to the 60-day IL if Longoria returns as hoped this weekend. That means they'll spend a little extra money to control the rights of a rehabbing player, something they already have done this season with right-hander Sam Delaplane, who had Tommy John surgery shortly before the Giants picked him up.

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It's a smart way to add talent to the organization, and Gonzalez could be worth the risk. The former third-round pick was ranked 19th among Chicago's top prospects in Baseball America's midseason report. Gonzalez has primarily played center field in the minors -- manager Gabe Kapler said he watched some film and believes he can handle the position -- and has a .345 OBP, but he has not hit for much power.

 

Gonzalez has 32 career homers in more than 1,500 minor league plate appearances, but he did have seven in 163 plate appearances at Triple-A this season. The Giants might be better than anyone at handling this type of player, though. Mike Yastrzemski and LaMonte Wade Jr. both flashed solid all-around profiles in the minors but didn't hit for much power until they got into the Giants organization. 

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