The Giants had to designate Basabe for assignment to clear room for Tommy La Stella.
The San Francisco Giants cut ties with an interesting prospect on Thursday, as outfielder Luis Alexander Basabe was designated for assignment. The move came to clear a spot on the 40-man roster for Tommy La Stella, whose three-year contract was made official.
The Giants announced the La Stella signing. It’s three years and $18.75 million. To make room on the 40-man roster for La Stella, the Giants designated OF Luis Alexander Básabe for assignment.
— Andrew Baggarly (@extrabaggs) February 4, 2021
The Giants added Basabe, a 24-year old switch-hitter, during the 2020 season. In early August the sent cash to the Chicago White Sox in exchange for Basabe, who had recently been DFA’d. He ended up playing in 9 games for the Giants, hitting 2-14 with 2 stolen bases, some quality defense, and 4 walks to 5 strikeouts.
But he was out of options, which always made him a more likely candidate to be cut than, say, Steven Duggar.
On the one hand, it’s a bummer to see the Giants have to get rid of a prospect who is still intriguing. On the other hand, it’s a sign of how much depth the team has started to acquire in the last few years that these types of players are on the margins.
Perhaps Basabe — who is the cousin of Giants prospect Luis Matos — will clear waivers and rejoin the Giants on a Minor League deal.