3 potential landing spots for SF Giants infielder Tommy La Stella in bad contract swap

Cincinnati Reds v San Francisco Giants
Cincinnati Reds v San Francisco Giants / Thearon W. Henderson/GettyImages
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Tommy La Stella's days in an SF Giants uniform are numbered. That should not be surprising to hear given that he has struggled so badly since inking a three-year, $18.75 million pact prior to the 2020 season. With that being said, is there any hope of trading the veteran infielder?

3 potential landing spots for SF Giants infielder Tommy La Stella in bad contract swap

Bob Nightengale added fuel to the fire recently when he confirmed that the Giants planned to move on from the left-handed bat this winter. They just do not have a role for him next year, so trying to find a trade partner makes sense.

Saying that you want to trade La Stella is the easy part, but finding a trade partner is the difficult part. From an economic standpoint, the veteran has some appeal as he is on an expiring contract that has a salary cap hit of $6.25 million. However, the final year of his deal was backloaded, so the Giants are on the hook for $11.5 million.

That is a lot of money for La Stella, who has struggled to the tune of a .677 OPS with a diminishing walk rate since putting on a Giants uniform. To make matters worse, he had surgery on both of his Achilles tendons last winter, which limited him to a total of 76 innings in the field this year.

Cutting him loose is the more likely option but they might just be able to find a trade partner in a swap of bad contracts. Those deals do not happen often, but there are some destinations that could make some sense for the Giants and La Stella.

1. The Cincinnati Reds - Infielder Mike Moustakas

Mike Moustakas' tenure in Cincinnati has been disastrous. The corner infielder has registered a .216/.300/.383 line (80 OPS+) in three seasons with the Reds. He signed a four-year, $64 million pact prior to the 2020 season and he has failed to eclipse 10 homers in each season since then.

Moustakas' deal includes a $20 million team option for 2024 with a $4 million buyout. He is still owed a substantial sum of money, which makes a potential deal complicated. The Reds were eager to cut payroll last winter as they moved on from Wade Miley, Nick Castellanos, and Sonny Gray.

Excluding Mike Minor's $9 million option that they will likely not exercise, the Reds only have a total of $38.5 million guaranteed for 2023. Their payroll will be higher than that, but the $38.5 million mark is a starting point. If they are motivated to cut payroll, then a trade could work.

A La Stella-for-Moustakas swap would make sense for the Reds because they would shed nearly $10 million against the cap. However, the Giants would need something in return if they are going to assume the remainder of Moustakas' contract.

Would the Reds be willing to part with a top prospect like infielder Matt McLain? That is likely the cost of doing business.