Despite being a consistent .300 hitter in the minors Johnny Giavotella never got an extended shot in Kansas City, but the Angels acquired him on the cheap in December and now he’s in line to replace Howie Kendrick as their starting second baseman.
Giavotella is hitting .412 this spring and manager Mike Scioscia told Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times:
He’s getting a chance, and he’s feeling more comfortable on the defensive end. We need someone to step up, and he’s doing a nice job.
Giavotella hit just .238 with a .612 OPS in 125 games for the Royals, but never received as many as 200 plate appearances in a season. He’s still just 27 years old and is a career .315 hitter in 413 games at Triple-A, where he’s drawn 184 walks compared to 192 strikeouts and shown a decent power-speed combo.
ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports that the Rockies and shortstop Trevor Story have come to terms on a two-year, $27.5 million deal, buying out his two remaining years of arbitration eligibility.
Story, 27, and the Rockies did not agree on a salary before the deadline earlier this month. Story filed for $11.5 million while the team countered at $10.75 million. The average annual value of this deal — $13.75 million — puts him a little bit ahead this year and likely a little bit behind next year.
This past season in Colorado, Story hit .294/.363/.554 with 35 home runs, 85 RBI, 111 runs scored, and 23 stolen bases over 656 trips to the plate. He also continued to rank among the game’s best defensive shortstops. Per FanGraphs, Story’s 10.9 Wins Above Replacement over the last two seasons is fifth-best among shortstops (min. 1,000 PA) behind Alex Bregman, Francisco Lindor, Xander Bogaerts, and Marcus Semien.
With third baseman Nolan Arenado likely on his way out via trade, one wonders if the same fate awaits Story at some point over the next two seasons.