Former SF Giants reliever Tony Watson retired following the 2021 season. However, the 11-year veteran has returned to the game, landing a player development gig with the Tampa Bay Rays, per Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times.
Tampa Bay Rays hire former SF Giants reliever for job in the front office
Watson quietly had a very effective career while working in the biggest spots of the game. He spent seven seasons with the Pittsburgh Pirates, serving as a setup man to Mark Melancon. San Francisco is where he spent much of the latter part of his career.
The submarine-style pitcher also had brief stops with the Los Angeles Dodgers and Los Angeles Angels as well. He also had a odd tryout with the Philadelphia Phillies prior to the 2021 season and did not make the club out of camp.
Nevertheless, the 38-year-old reliever was an effective option in parts of four seasons with the Giants. During his first stint, he posted a 3.20 ERA, 3.62 FIP, 1.10 WHIP, 8.3 K/9, and a 4.41 SO/W ratio across 138 innings. In 2020, he had an ERA below one for much of the season but allowed four runs in his last two appearances to balloon his ERA up to 2.50.
Watson latched on with the Angels for the start of the 2021 season but he was shipped back to San Francisco at the trade deadline in exchance for a trio of players including Ivan Armstrong, José Marte and Sam Selman.
He seamlessly fit back into the Giants' bullpen as he posted a 2.96 ERA in 26 appearances following the trade. Unfortunately, Watson finished the year on the injured list as he battled shoulder problems. The shoulder ailment did force him to retire, but he was still a very good pitcher up until his final outing.
Of course, the lefty pitcher could not stay away from the game for long. He will be working in a front office that is generally regarded as one of the best in baseball. Watson will now assist on the player development side, working with their director of pitching Winston Doom. Interestingly, he is not the only former Giants player to be hired in Tampa Bay's front office.