6:41pm: Joe Frisaro of MLB.com has confirmed that the deal is final.
6:20pm: According to FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal, the Dodgers have inked outfielder Alfredo Amezaga to a minor league contract. The deal will be worth $650,000 if he makes the big league club and carries another $800,000 worth of performance-based incentives.
Amezaga, who just turned 32, hit .217/.267/.261 last season in 69 at-bats and will compete with Xavier Paul and Jason Repko this spring for the backup outfield spot vacated
by Juan Pierre. Amezaga is the owner of a .251/.311/.341 career batting line in 1,331 major league at-bats and has played nearly every position during his seven professional seasons. Perhaps that versatility will land him a spot on Los Angeles’ Opening Day roster over some of the other worthy candidates in Dodgers camp.
The Giants placed outfielder Hunter Pence on the 10-day disabled list with a right thumb sprain, per an official announcement on Friday. Pence initially sustained the injury during the club’s home opener on April 3, when he dove to intercept a line drive double from Robinson Cano and jammed his thumb. Weeks of playing through the pain hasn’t worked, so he’ll take a breather while the Giants give outfielder Mac Williamson a chance to start in left after getting called up from Triple-A Fresno.
Pence, 35, wouldn’t pin his recent struggles on his injury, but it’s clear that he’s having difficulty finding his footing this year. He slashed a meager .172/.197/.190 through 61 plate appearances in 2018, collecting just one extra-base hit and two walks during the Giants’ dismal 7-11 stretch. While it’s far too early in the season to make any final judgments, it doesn’t look like the veteran outfielder will be replicating the .275+ average, 4.0+ fWAR totals of years past (at least, not anytime soon).
Williamson, meanwhile, has gotten off to a hot start in Triple-A. Prior to his call-up this weekend, the 27-year-old batted an incredible .487/.600/1.026 with six home runs and a 1.626 OPS through his first 50 PA. A hot Triple-A bat doesn’t always survive the transition to the majors, but the Giants will use all the help they can get — especially as they take on the AL West-leading Angels this weekend.