This is what happens when your front office personnel defect to the enemy. Otherwise, the San Francisco Giants never would've interrupted a standard roster procedure by the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Heading into 2022, the Dodgers had projected left-hander Darien Núñez to land a role in their bullpen, but he suffered an elbow injury that required Tommy John surgery in the offseason. Under the assumption nobody would be claiming a pitcher undergoing reconstructive surgery, the Dodgers designated him for assignment to make room on their roster -- something any other team would've done -- and kept in contact with Núñez's agent about next steps.
They were adamant about re-signing him to a minor-league contract and openly agreed to pay for his surgery and recovery. Done deal, right? A man with six MLB games under his belt and a career-altering surgery at 29 years old shouldn't garner much interest.
Then came the Giants, who unexpectedly claimed Núñez from the Dodgers and quickly stashed him on the roster because of the space they had with a number of players on the COVID list.
Per Núñez's agent, the Dodgers were "pissed" when that happened, because the Giants then did exactly what they were going to do: release him, watch him go unclaimed, and sign him to a two-year minor-league contract.
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And that, young Dodgers fans, is why nobody likes the Giants. Núñez had been with the Dodgers when Farhan Zaidi was working under Andrew Friedman, indicating Zaidi had clearly took any and every piece of intel with him to San Francisco.
Currently, Núñez is rehabbing at Triple-A Sacramento and is nearing his return to MLB for the first time since the second half of the 2021 campaign. The Giants close out the year with seven games against the Dodgers in the final week and a half, so we're looking at a timeline in which Núñez can directly play a role in affecting LA's playoff standing.
This by no means is a back-breaker for LA -- and in fact it relieved them of paying for yet another unproven injured reliever -- but the Giants doing this is the definition of a weasel move.
Zaidi knew what the Dodgers were doing. He knew what they had hoped to see in Núñez. He knew they needed left-handed help on their pitching staff. He knew they were probably guaranteeing him proper care on top of a fair deal because that's how they separate themselves from the rest of baseball.
The Dodgers will take the alternative, though. They're 11.5 games ahead of the Giants in the NL West, so no reliever is going to help them bridge that gap, which will only widen in the coming years assuming the Dodgers have their way in free agency.