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LOS ANGELES – Roger Kieschnick might get a big league opportunity in the near future, but it won’t be with the Giants.
The Arizona Diamondbacks claimed the left-handed hitting outfielder off waivers on Friday and added him to their 40-man roster. Kieschnick had been designated for assignment last week when the Giants needed to clear roster space for infielder Brandon Hicks and right-hander Juan Gutierrez.
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The Giants attempted to trade Kieschnick with no luck. He hit .202 with just a .226 slugging percentage in 38 games last season.
Kieschnick, a third-rounder, was part of a celebrated 2008 draft class that included Buster Posey and Brandon Crawford. He was a groomsman in Crawford's wedding and they've been friends going back to when they roomed together on a Team USA collegiate squad.
“We’re sorry our roster got to where it got and forced us to make a decision,” Giants vice president Bobby Evans said. “He really should get an opportunity on a 25-man roster and that’s ultimately where you hope he gets to. His window may be larger in Arizona, and it’s always good for us when players in our system do well.”
Why designate Kieschnick when the Giants could have taken off Angel Villalona? Evans said that players have elevated value when they have multiple minor league option years remaining. Villalona has one after this season, and the 23-year-old is still viewed as having elite-level power potential. He’s four years younger than Kieschnick, too.
“When you take guys off with options remaining, the risk is greater (they will be claimed) because you don’t have to keep them on the 25-man,” Evans said.