The SF Giants officially announced the Taylor Rogers signing on Tuesday. The 40-man roster was full, so the Giants designated veteran infielder Tommy La Stella for assignment as the corresponding roster move.
SF Giants designate veteran infielder for assignment
The move ends La Stella's disappointing tenure with San Francisco as he will go unclaimed and become a free agent. The Giants will be on the hook for the remainder of his three-year, $18.75 million deal that was signed prior to the 2021 season. They still owe La Stella $11.5 million for 2023, but he will carry a $6.25 million cap hit.
The La Stella deal represented one of the larger investments made by the front office and the first three-year deal as well. The Giants were hoping that they were be getting a solid left-handed bat that they could leverage against right-handed pitching while seeing time at second base and third base.
It just did not go as planned as the 33-year-old infielder slashed .245/.297/.380 (86 OPS+) with nine home runs, 41 RBI, and 43 runs in two seasons with the Giants. This included a 6.6 percent walk rate against a 12.8 percent strikeout rate.
La Stella was limited to just 60 games in 2022 after undergoing surgery on both of his Achilles tendons last winter. Oddly enough, it was originally reported that surgery had been done on only his left leg before this was clarified at the end of last season.
The veteran infielder did not look right in the field or in the batter's box as he recorded a .632 OPS in 195 plate appearances while seeing just under 80 innings of work in the field.
The Giants likely planned to part ways with La Stella this offseason after adding a pair of left-handed-hitting infielders in Isan Díaz and Brett Wisely to the 40-man roster. Díaz is coming off of a strong season with the Sacramento River Cats as he tallied a .950 OPS with 23 home runs in 332 plate appearances.
The 26-year-old infielder has a shot at making the Opening Day roster if the Giants do not make another addition to the infield who hits from the left side. Hopefully, La Stella can return to health and become a productive contributor yet again.