The Cleveland Guardians have designated outfielder Oscar Mercado for assignment. The move was made prior to Tuesday’s win over the Minnesota Twins in order to clear roster space as DH Franmil Reyes and RHP Aaron Civale returned from the injured list.
Mercado, 27, appeared in 49 games for the Guardians this season, hitting .202 with four home runs and 16 runs batted in.
The outfielder was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in the second round of the 2013 MLB draft. In 2019, Cleveland acquired Mercado in exchange for prospects Connor Capel and Jhon Torres. In his four years with the team, Mercado showed signs of potential but struggled to maintain consistency at the plate, hitting just .185 since the start of the 2020 season. Mercado bounced between Cleveland and Triple-A Columbus for much of his career but is now out of minor league options.
This season, Mercado’s playing time was trending downward as rookies Steven Kwan and Oscar Gonzalez secured everyday positions in the outfield. Gonzalez, who was recalled from Triple-A on May 26 in response to Reyes’ hamstring injury, saw immediate success at the plate, recording 30 hits in his first 23 games.
These factors, along with the recent pinch-hitting heroics of rookie Richie Palacios, made Mercado essentially the odd man out of the Guardians’ young lineup. He has not yet been claimed and will remain on waivers until Thursday.