It isn’t the splashiest of offseason moves, but it is one that makes the Giants better as Farhan Zaidi, president of baseball operations, attempts to bring the team back to a championship level.
Second baseman Tommy La Stella signed a three-year, $18.75 million contract with the Giants, the team announced Thursday. The heavily backloaded deal adds another left-handed bat to the Giants’ lineup and maintains good defense at second base. An agreement between the two sides had been reported last week, but became official Thursday after La Stella passed a physical.
To make room on the 40-man roster, the Giants designated outfielder Luis Alexander Basabe for assignment. Basabe made his major-league debut in 2020 with the Giants, appearing in nine games and getting two hits and 14 at-bats (.143 average).
The deal will pay La Stella $2 million in 2021, $5.25 in 2022 and $11.5 million in 2023, which makes financial sense considering the unknown amount of revenue MLB teams will bring in this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Currently, spring training is scheduled to start in two weeks with exhibition games to begin Feb. 27.
La Stella, who turned 32 Sunday, is a career .274 hitter with 31 homers and 163 RBIs across seven seasons with the A’s, Atlanta Braves, Chicago Cubs and Los Angeles Angels. In 2020 with the A’s and Angels, he hit .281 with five homers and 25 RBIs. La Stella had a career-best 16 homers in 90 games with the Angels in 2019.
With La Stella’s addition, Donovan Solano — who saw much of the action at second base in 2020 — will move into a utility role.