The Giants have a glaring hole in their infield. And similar to the target they are close to landing, they probably will not strike out.
San Francisco was nearing a deal with Tommy La Stella on Tuesday, according to multiple reports. The parameters of the contract were unclear. NBC Sports was first to report the development.
La Stella is a lefty-hitting infielder with excellent plate discipline and the ability to move around the infield, which makes him virtually the perfect piece for the club. The Giants have needed a solid lefty bat to spell Evan Longoria and get at-bats at second base against righty pitching, allowing Donovan Solano and Wilmer Flores to face lefties more often.
La Stella, 32 this week, was a 2019 All-Star with the Angels, when he added power (16 homers) to his arsenal, and posted an even better season split between Los Angeles and Oakland last year, when he slashed .281/.370/.449 with five home runs in 228 plate appearances.
He does a lot well, but it’s especially notable what he does little: strike out. At 5.3 percent, no qualified batter fanned at a better rate than La Stella last season. He controls the strike zone and struck out (12) less than half as often as he walked (27) last season.
Adding La Stella would mean the 27-year-old Jason Vosler, another lefty bat who primarily plays third, would have a much harder time making the big-league roster out of camp.
The Giants have consistently pegged a lefty bat as the missing link on offense but didn’t specify infield or outfield. If La Stella is the final addition, it would mean Mauricio Dubon has little competition at center field, with only Mike Yastrzemski and perhaps Steven Duggar as lefty-hitting options who could play the position.