Versatile INF La Stella, Giants reach $18.75M, 3-year deal

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Oakland Athletics second baseman Tommy La Stella, top, throws to first base after forcing out Houston Astros’ Alex Bregman (2) at second base on a double play hit into by Carlos Correa during the second inning of Game 4 of a baseball American League Division Series in Los Angeles, Thursday, Oct. 8, 2020. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Versatile infielder Tommy La Stella completed an $18.75 million, three-year contract with the San Francisco Giants on Thursday, giving the club a reliable left-handed hitter with a track record of getting on base.

The 32-year-old La Stella was a key contributor down the stretch for the Athletics across the bay in Oakland last season after the 2019 All-Star got traded by the Los Angeles Angels in late August.

Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi values versatility, and La Stella provides it. He played 33 games at second base during the shortened 60-game 2020 schedule, 10 at first, six at third and another nine as designated hitter.

“Tommy has a rare offensive profile. The combination of excellent plate discipline and contact skills and some power is one we value,” manager Gabe Kapler wrote in a text message. “Tommy was obviously a key piece of Oakland’s run last year, and between the Angels and A’s, we saw the competitiveness up close. What people may not know is how Tommy constantly looks for the best way for him to get to and stay at his personal peak performance level. It’s as good as any player out there. His attention to detail has put him in this sought-after position.”

La Stella is set to earn $2 million this season, $5.25 million in 2022 and $11.5 million in 2023. The contract includes La Stella making yearly donations to the Giants Community Fund of $10,000 this year, $26,250 in ‘22 and $57,500 in ’23.

He batted .281 last season between the Angels and A’s with five home runs, 14 doubles and two triples. His .370 on-base percentage helped make him one of the hardest players to strike out among qualified players with just 12 Ks in 228 plate appearances.

San Francisco went 29-31 last year in Kapler’s first season, missing a playoff berth on the season’s final day with a 5-4 loss to playoff-bound rival San Diego.

To open room for La Stella on the 40-man roster, San Francisco designated outfielder Luis Alexander Básabe for assignment.

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