3 potential landing spots for SF Giants infielder Tommy La Stella in bad contract swap
3. The Colorado Rockies - Randal Grichuk
A Tommy La Stella-for-Randal Grichuk swap is a weird idea but the Colorado Rockies are a weird organization, so it is a perfect fit. Grichuk is in the final year of a five-year, $52 million pact that he signed with the Toronto Blue Jays at the beginning of the 2019 season.
This move made some sense at the time but the Rockies are likely eager to get out from under this deal but so are the Giants with La Stella.
Grichuk's deal has a cap hit of $10.4 million, which is much higher than La Stella's cap hit of $6.25 million. His deal is not backloaded, so it would be a swap of contract types. La Stella is owed more in 2023, but Grichuk has the higher average annual value. It might be a weird, net-zero trade.
San Francisco saw plenty of Grichuk in 2022 as he registered a .259/.299/.425 line (92 OPS+) with 19 home runs, 73 RBI, and 60 runs in 538 plate appearances. He still hits for plenty of power but strikes out a lot with minimal plate discipline.
The nine-year veteran was considered a solid outfielder earlier in his career but the defensive metrics have begun to slide in recent seasons. Giants outfielders struggled badly this year, so Grichuk's passable defense would be a major upgrade.
The Rockies would make this type of move if they wanted to get a player with a lower cap hit. La Stella does not offer much overall upside, but he still makes plenty of contact and that could hold some value for a team that plays half of its games in the most hitter-friendly ballpark in baseball in Coors Field.
Nevertheless, it would be like putting a square peg in a round hole. That is often the case with these types of deals. Neither team really benefits, but a swap of bad contracts might make more roster sense for the teams making the trade.