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Friday, January 20, 2023

Seattle Mariners sign infielder Tommy La Stella to 1-year deal

The Seattle Mariners signed infielder Tommy La Stella to a one-year contract on Thursday, adding another versatile veteran to their roster.

La Stella spent the past two seasons with San Francisco, but was designated for assignment by the Giants in late December. La Stella signed a three-year, $18.75 million deal before the 2021 season, but played in just 136 games and hit .245 over his two seasons with the Giants.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 20, 2023 at 03:51 PM | 7 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: mariners, tommy la stella

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   1. John Reynard Posted: January 20, 2023 at 11:51 PM (#6113816)
I guess they want to at least have a chance of less Dylan Moore. That probably isn't a bad concept. La Stella might be sub-Moorian now though, so, maybe not here.
   2. The Gary DiSarcina Fan Club (JAHV) Posted: January 21, 2023 at 12:55 AM (#6113819)
I really enjoyed watching La Stella during his brief time with the Angels. He's a fun player - high contact, low strikeout, hustles his butt off. He's got hands made of stone, but hey, no one's perfect.
   3. Walt Davis Posted: January 21, 2023 at 01:45 PM (#6113835)
They get him for league min (still being paid by the Giants) so nothing to lose really. At the moment he seems to be set up for a heated battle for the 13th man slot with Evan White and Cooper Hummell:

OF: JRod, Teoscar, Pollock, Trammell, Kelenic
IF: France, Crawford, Wong, Suarez, Moore (the only other "SS" on the roster)
C: Raleigh, Murphy
13th: LaStella, White, Hummell

As it stands, DH is whichever of the OF not playing that day hits from the platoon side. LaStella probably has the inside track on the 13th man since he can fake 2B, 3B, 1B but Hummell provides a 3rd C (and OF). White is one of those guys who throws L but bats R and that's probably not helping him here and he can only play 1B as far as I know. Of course if Kelenic hits 100 during spring, he could lose his spot. This seems like a team that could really use an IF/OF type which is not really what LaStella is. But he does provide a LH DH alternative to Kelenic.

Wait ... WTF ... Even White is owed 3/$20??? Ms gave him a 6/$24 buyout before he'd made his debut -- per Cot's it was (at least at the time) the "largest ever deal for US player who has not played above Double-A." $24 M is chicken feed of course but file that one in the "whoops" bucket although I suppose he could still turn it around. He's missed most of the last 2 years so maybe he's healthy. Anyway they have motivation to keep him on the 26-man.
   4. vortex of dissipation Posted: January 21, 2023 at 02:06 PM (#6113838)
White has a .165 career BA, but won a Gold Glove as a rookie in 2020, so he must have made an impression with his fielding to do that.
   5. John Reynard Posted: January 22, 2023 at 04:41 AM (#6113887)
This seems like a team that could really use an IF/OF type which is not really what LaStella is.

Moore is the Chris Taylor lite guy on the Ms. La Stella might be in town so Moore can play even more OF I guess.

La Stella is around so Moore doesn't play 2B against righties too much I assume. And, I mean, Moore is semi-useful for his ability to swing hard and occasionally drive a ball, while also being a decent-enough baserunner and base stealer, while doing better than faking any position other than P/C.
   6. GhostofBedard Posted: January 22, 2023 at 07:04 AM (#6113888)
Sam Haggerty shouldn't be left out of this conversation. He was injured right before the ALDS but throughout 2022 he was worth 2.2 bWAR as the M's fourth outfielder. The injury was only severe enough to sit him for the post season.
   7. bookbook Posted: January 22, 2023 at 10:01 AM (#6113893)
Trammell is not a lock to make the team. Haggerty probably is.

Haggerty can play 1b/2b/3b if needed, but will probably back up OF positions, while Moore does the IF.

If La Stella can be stashed at AAA, I see the value. Otherwise, you’re probably pushing out a better current player—and one with potential future value— to keep him on the roster.

I’d rather see Trammell or Hummel than La Stella.

Evan White has to prove he’s healthy (hip conditions are more than a minor impediment). Then he has to establish that he can hit AAA pitching. He won’t see the majors before July unless a whole lot goes wrong with the rest of the team.

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