Giants claim one of the longest-tenured Orioles off waivers after DFA

Ryan McKenna drinking from the Homer Hydration Station in the dugout at Great American Ballpark
Ryan McKenna drinking from the Homer Hydration Station in the dugout at Great American Ballpark / Dylan Buell/GettyImages

It is crazy to think Ryan McKenna was in his 10th year with the Baltimore Orioles. He was drafted back in 2015, which featured many other familiar Orioles draftees: Ryan Mountcastle, Dillon Tate and Dean Kremer (though he didn't sign that year).

McKenna, the fourth-round pick out of high school, who is no longer with the club after Saturday's news.

After yet another DFA from the Orioles earlier in the week, the San Francisco Giants decided to pick up the 27-year-old outfielder who Baltimore once saw as a potential everyday regular. It is a bittersweet moment for Orioles fans, as you hate to see a mainstay like that go. But honestly, it was only a matter of time.

In fact, outside of trading him away, this might have been the best thing that could have happened on Baltimore's side of things. They were starting to get handcuffed by the outfield position, with guys like Heston Kjerstad, Dylan Beavers and Enrique Bradfield Jr. itching to get opportunities or more playing time at the major league level. Now the Orioles have pretty much no choice but to pull one of those guys up if they want to have an outfield fill-in when players inevitably hit the IL throughout the rest of this season.

On the flip side, the Giants just picked up a serviceable outfielder in McKenna following the news that one of their leading hitters, Jung Hoo Lee, is done for the season. They get a guy in McKenna who has a lot of professional baseball experience for being only 27 and who is a pretty solid fielder. Plus, despite his overall underwhelming batting performance throughout his career (both majors and minors), McKenna has been a decent hitter this season in limited at-bats, according to next-gen stats.

Maybe a change of scenery will help him break into being an everyday major leaguer. After all, he has something to bond with Mike Yastrzemski over, who spent parts of six seasons with the Orioles before being traded to the Giants back in 2019.

As for the Orioles, they can really start looking toward the future and getting other players some major league reps. They also now get a better valuation come trade deadline time when it's time to consider a bigger move. It is ultimately unfortunate the franchise could not keep McKenna any longer, but having the minor-league system Baltimore does is not a bad problem.

Best of luck, McKenna! We'll always remember the "defensive replacement, offensive winner" walk-off moment. See you September 17.