The San Francisco Giant have signed Josh Rutledge on a minor league deal according to reports. The club has yet to confirm.
When Bobby Evans and Brian Sabean hinted that the next deal was imminent and almost as big as Evan Longoria, boy were they right. They have signed 6’1″ infielder, Josh Rutledge on a minor league deal, who is only an inch shorter than Evan Longoria. Oh…they weren’t meaning height were they…well…oh well.
Chris Cotillo of SB Nation’s Daily Dish tweeted out that the deal was done according to his sources early this Thursday afternoon.
Josh Rutledge will likely be given an opportunity to beat out Kelby Tomlinson, or whoever else the Giants deem worthy of the backup infield spot now that they’ve traded away virtual shoe-in backup infielder, if not everyday player, Christian Arroyo.
Rutledge won’t be owed anything unless he makes the big league roster out of Spring Training, so experimental deals are always nice.
Rutledge has spent the last three years under contract with the Boston Red Sox, but has only gotten 230 plate appearances in those three years. That’s four times less than what he got in his initial three year stint with the Colorado Rockies, whose system he came up through.
Rutledge has a career .258/.310/.384/.695 slash-line in just over 1,200 plate appearances. He has slowly dropped off his production at the plate throughout his career. He can play anywhere in the infield, but mainly has featured as a second and third baseman.
What does this mean?
Welp, this simply means that despite his consistent production at the big league level, the Giants have little belief that Kelby Tomlinson can be a routine backup infielder throughout his career. It also means that the Giants want to give some competition to Pablo Sandoval. That’s fine with me, although Pablo would likely win that unless Rutledge has been taking some incredible performance enhancers this offseason.
Overall, the move is just going to bring another face into the fold for Spring Training. He win-win situation. If he’s good, cool, they can keep him. If not, they don’t owe him anything unless he elects to play in the minors. Unless he makes the team out of Spring Training he won’t take up a 40-Man spot. So I’m all for moves like this. Who knows? Maybe they strike fools-gold? We’ll see what happens, but don’t read too much into this move.