The San Francisco Giants have signed Travis Ishikawa to a minor league contract, per MLB Trade Rumors. This comes after Ishikawa declared free agency after being let go from the Pittsburgh Pirates roster this past week. He’ll report to the Triple-A Fresno Grizzlies.
Ishikawa chose to become a free agent on Wednesday after he was outrighted off the Pirates’ roster and the 30-year-old now returns to the team that originally drafted him in the 21st round of the 2002 amateur draft. Ishikawa made 665 PA for San Francisco between 2006-10, earning a World Series ring as part of the Giants’ championship team in 2010. He has bounced around since then, spending time with the Brewers, Orioles, Yankees and Pirates over the last two seasons. - Mark Polishuk, MLB Trade Rumors
Giants fans will remember Ishikawa as he played for San Francisco from 2006 – 2010. He’s a lifetime .257 1st baseman with just a little bit of pop. In 2009, he hit 9 home runs in the big leagues with the Giants. He spent 2011 in the minor leagues in Fresno after being DFA’s and clearing waivers, making room for Belt on the roster. Since then, he’s been with the Brewers, Orioles, Yankees, and Pirates.
I don’t believe Ishikawa has what it takes to be an everyday player for San Francisco, but with the limited power on the bench right now, I’d expect to see him back in the big leagues fairly soon if he plays well in Fresno. He’s not really needed at 1B since Brandon Belt has finally come into his own, and Buster Posey typically take’s Belt’s days off at 1B. However, he could be good for a late inning substitution to give Belt some rest, and bring in some added power as a pinch hitter in a double switch.