SF Giants re-sign veteran minor league infielder to minors pact
The transaction log also confirms the Yoshi Tsutsugo signing, which had been previously reported. The left-handed bat was signed by the Giants late in the 2023 campaign and was a candidate to be added to the active roster before he sustained a fractured thumb in a game against Salt Lake Bees on September 23 that sidelined him for the remainder of the year. The thumb has fully recovered.
The Walton news is the more surprising nugget. It is a minor league deal, so it carries no risk and he likely would not block any prospects from playing time in Triple-A. Presumably, this includes a camp invite. The Giants acquired him from the Seattle Mariners in 2022 in exchange for pitching prospect Prelander Berroa in one of the many moves between the two organizations that season.
The Giants sought middle infield depth and he had a lot of experience at both shortstop and second base as a pro. His time in a Giants uniform was rough as he slashed .158/.179/.303 (34 OPS+) with one home run, eight RBI, and eight runs in 78 plate appearances following the move.
Oddly, nine of his 12 hits with the Giants went for extra bases. His lone home run was a grand slam. Despite the below-average offensive production, Walton did flash a competent glove at second base, but does not have the arm strength to stick at shortstop.
The 29-year-old finished the 2022 season on the 60-day injured list before undergoing offseason shoulder surgery. He reunited with the Giants on a minor league deal for 2023 with the expectation that he would miss a bit of time.
When he did return to Triple-A, the lefty bat struggled to the tune of a .208/.278/.354 line with four home runs, 14 RBI, and 10 runs in 109 plate appearances for the Sacramento River Cats. He was one of the many Giants minor leaguers to hit free agency earlier in the offseason but he will return to familiar territory for 2024.