Former SF Giants catcher Tim Federowicz and reliever Fernando Abad each inked minor-league deals this week.
Federowicz, originally a seventh-round pick in the 2008 draft by the Boston Red Sox, made a cameo appearance with the Giants in 2017. In a very small sample of 14 plate appearances, the right-handed bat slashed .231/.286/.692 (146 OPS+) with two home runs and three RBI.
While he did not spend a lot of time in a Giants uniform, his impact is an interesting footnote in Giants history. Federowicz had worked out with a private hitting coach Latta, known for helping Justin Turner rebuild his swing. Looking for a similar breakthrough, Mac Williamson ended up meeting Latta through Federowicz.
Williamson promptly scheduled a workout with Latta, and went 3-3 with a home run off of Los Angeles Dodgers lefty Clayton Kershaw in the next game at the end of 2017. This began a late-career renaissance for Williamson before a career-altering concussion disrupted his progress.
Federowicz previously played for the Dodgers in 2014, and is returning to Los Angeles on a minor league pact with a Spring Training invite. The right-handed bat has struggled to the tune of a .568 OPS across eight seasons, but he has received positive marks as a backstop. That type of skill set tends to have a long professional career as the 33-year-old looks to try and crack the Dodgers roster.
On the other hand, Fernando Abad is looking to make the Orioles bullpen after inking a minor-league pact. The nine-year veteran has a registered a 3.67 ERA, 20 percent strikeout rate, and a 41.5 percent groundball rate throughout his career.
The southpaw last appeared in the majors with the Giants where he produced a 4.15 ERA across 13 September innings in 2019. Albeit in a small sample, Abad flashed the best fastball velocity of his career at 93.3 MPH, so he may still have some left in the tank.
Interestingly, the Giants held a team option on the 35-year-old in 2020, but they chose to decline it. The unique nugget from that is that the Giants originally signed Abad to a minor-league pact, and team options are not common for those types of deals.
Either way, Abad might have a shot of making the Orioles bullpen given his track record and the fact that he is a lefty. However, the Orioles bullpen posted a 3.90 ERA in 2020, so he will face more competition than one might expect from one of the worst teams in the league.
Fernando Abad and Tim Federowicz only had short tenures in SF Giants uniforms. However, it’s always fun to keep tabs on the many names and faces that get a chance to suit up for the Orange and Black. Both well into their careers, they surely hope to get another crack at the big-league level.