The SF Giants have agreed to a minor-league contract with veteran first baseman Justin Bour. The news was first reported by an anonymous minor-league transactions Twitter account but was later confirmed by KNBR’s Mark W. Sanchez. Bour adds another experienced veteran to an already cluttered Giants competition at first base. It has not been reported whether Bour will receive an invite to big-league camp, but given his years of experience, it would seem likely.
While on the surface, Bour has no real clear path to a role on the Opening Day roster, starting first baseman Brandon Belt is coming off an offseason surgery and has yet to play in spring training as he continues recovering from an illness. As it seems more likely that Belt will begin the season on the injured list, Bour could replace him on the big-league roster until he recovers.
The SF Giants signed 1B Justin Bour to a MiLB deal.
Bour peaked as the starting first baseman for the Miami Marlins from 2015-2018 before a late-season trade to the Phillies, where he worked primarily in a platoon under current Giants manager Gabe Kapler. As a free agent, Bour signed with the Los Angeles Angels, but he hit just .172/.259/.364 in 52 games before he was released.
In 2020, Bour agreed to a one-year deal with the Hanshin Tigers of Nippon Professional Baseball in Japan. Across 102 games, Bour bashed 17 home runs and accrued 45 RBI but posted an underwhelming .243/.343/.421 triple-slash.
Bour has consistently shown severe platoon splits, hitting far better against right-handed hitters than southpaws. The left-handed batter could easily slot into a platoon with right-handed bats like Wilmer Flores or Darin Ruf at first base if Belt is not ready to start the season on the active roster.
With uncertainty for the SF Giants at first base, the organization has added veteran Justin Bour to the mix on a minor-league contract. Assuming Belt is healthy to start the year, Bour is probably ticketed to Triple-A but could receive a callup if injuries strike the big-league roster.