SF Giants add a pair of veterans on minor league deals

Los Angeles Angels v Oakland Athletics
Los Angeles Angels v Oakland Athletics / Thearon W. Henderson/GettyImages

The SF Giants published their list of non-roster invitees for spring training on Monday. That list confirmed that the Giants had previously agreed to deals with outfielder Stephen Piscotty and pitcher Sean Newcomb.

SF Giants add a pair of veterans on minor league deals

Piscotty is more of a known commodity as he has spent the last five seasons with the Oakland A's before being released midway through the 2022 season. The right-handed bat was originally drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in the first round of the 2011 draft out of Stanford University in Palo Alto, California.

He was regarded as one of the best prospects in baseball, ranking as high as No. 32 according to Baseball Prospectus prior to the 2015 season. He debuted with the Cardinals that same season, posting an .830 OPS with seven homers across 256 plate appearances while finishing in sixth place in the NL Rookie of the Year voting.

Piscotty spent the next couple of seasons with the Cardinals before he was shipped to the A's in exchange for Yairo Munoz and Max Schrock after the 2017 season. This is one of those moves that transcend baseball as he was traded to Oakland so that he could be closer to his mother, who was diagnosed with ALS that same season.

The veteran outfielder's first season with the A's was a solid one as he slashed .267/.331/.491 (124 OPS) with 27 home runs, 88 RBI, and 78 runs in 605 plate appearances. This included a 6.9 percent walk rate against an 18.8 percent strikeout rate.

However, Piscotty was unable to sustain that performance as he struggled to the tune of a .665 OPS over the next four seasons. The minor league deal is a no-risk move that gives him a chance to stay local to northern California while continuing his baseball career.

On the other hand, the Giants also added an experienced starter in Newcomb. Similar to Piscotty, he was also a first round pick and considered one of the game's top prospects in the mid 2010's. The left-handed hurler debuted for the Atlanta Braves in 2017 where he posted a 4.32 ERA in 19 appearances.

Across six major league seasons, Newcomb has tallied a 4.52 ERA, 4.43 FIP, 1.47 WHIP, 9.2 K/9, and a 1.89 SO/W ratio. He has good strikeout stuff but he has struggled badly with his command (4.9 BB/9) throughout his career.

Both Piscotty and Newcomb join the Giants on minor league deals with camp invites. It is going to be tough for either to make the club out of camp, but both will serve as a necessarily depth. They have had stretches of success in the majors, but have been unable to maintain it.