Happy Friday, San Francisco Giants fans. We’re at the point in the offseason where news is limited, but there are still some small things happening that impact the Giants.
Most notably, on Thursday infielder Tommy La Stella signed a contract with the Seattle Mariners.
Because the Mariners signed La Stella to a Major League deal — which was by no stretch a guaranteed thing — it will save the Giants a little bit of money. La Stella is owed $11.5 million for the 2023 season, and the Giants were on the hook for that price after they designated him for assignment. His deal with the Mariners is for the league minimum of $720,000, which goes towards what the Giants owe him. So they’ll now pay him $10.78 million instead.
The Mariners were interested in La Stella two offseasons ago when he was a free agent, but he chose to sign with the Giants instead. Here’s hoping he can regain his magic in Seattle, as he was a pretty good player (and an All-Star!) prior to his two disappointing seasons in San Francisco.
In other Giants news, San Francisco signed veteran Ronald Guzmán to a Minor League deal. Guzmán, a 28 year old left-handed hitting first baseman, has struggled during his five-year MLB career, and the “five” in that sentence is doing a lot — he played just 26 games in 2020, seven games in 2021, and three games in 2022. He’s a career .225/.302/.410 (84 OPS+) hitter, and hit .255/.344/.478 (116 wRC+) in AAA last season.
Is Guzmán a reclamation project (he was a highly-regarded prospect) and/or Minor League depth for a team that doesn’t have any notable players slotted to play first base in AAA? Or is he something more intriguing? After struggling to stick in the Majors as a hitter, Guzmán has spent his offseason training as a pitcher.
Giants signed 1B/LHP Ronald Guzmán (28.2Y, 6'5" 225) to a minor league contract. 2011 IFA signing by TEX-D.R.— GPT (@giantsprospects) January 19, 2023
MLB: 832 PA, 84 DRC+.
Guzmán has worked to convert to pitching this winter. 94-96 FB w/ high spin SL, CH, decent feel. Don't know if Giants signed him as P or 1B. pic.twitter.com/TLmv1ROx1Q
Only time will tell how the Giants plan to use him. Maybe he’ll be the Shohei Ohtani of AAA!