Giants Sign Travis Ishikawa

The Giants have signed first baseman Travis Ishikawa to a minor league contract, MLBTR’s Zach Links reports (Twitter links).  Ishikawa will report to Triple-A Fresno after taking his physical today, and the contract contains an out clause if Ishikawa doesn’t make the club’s 25-man roster.  Ishikawa is represented by Jim McDowell.

Ishikawa chose to become a free agent on Wednesday after he was outrighted off the Pirates’ roster and the 30-year-old now returns to the team that originally drafted him in the 21st round of the 2002 amateur draft.  Ishikawa made 665 PA for San Francisco between 2006-10, earning a World Series ring as part of the Giants’ championship team in 2010.  He has bounced around since then, spending time with the Brewers, Orioles, Yankees and Pirates over the last two seasons.

The left-handed hitting Ishikawa has a .259/.326/.407 career line against right-handed pitching and just a .603 OPS against southpaws, which is why Pittsburgh used him as a platoon partner for Gaby Sanchez at first base.  The Giants, of course, already have a notable lefty-swinging first baseman in Brandon Belt, though since Belt has virtually equal career numbers against left- and right-handed pitching, there’s room for Ishikawa to potentially win a job as a defensive-minded (career +13 UZR/150) backup to occasionally spell Belt at first base when a righty is on the mound.

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11 Comments on "Giants Sign Travis Ishikawa"

Jason Day
1 year 5 months ago

Giants have been getting nothing from pinch-hitters all season. He would be a better option than Arias, Perez, and Adrianza for late game at bats.

Glenn O'Brien
1 year 5 months ago

Agreed thing is, can he play in the OF? If not then he probably won’t be called up anytime soon as I’m sure Giants are keeping Belt at 1B.

Jason Day
1 year 5 months ago

He probably would be used as a one-time pinch hitter more than a spot starter. Giants tried doing this with Brett Pill in August last year, and he struggled.

1 year 5 months ago

Don’t forget slugger Blanco!

1 year 5 months ago

Greatest walk in Giants history. Welcome back Travis.

1 year 5 months ago

Good for Travis. He was a victim of the numbers game after the Ike Davis trade. He played admirably in his short time in Pittsburgh, hope to see him back in the bigs.

1 year 5 months ago

..and once again Brett Pill gets lost in the 1st base shuffle :-( I hope he is doing OK in Korean baseball ? :-)

1 year 5 months ago

nice guy. 30 years old. no place for him. a ridiculous signing. What… they just want him to retire as a Giant?

This franchise has poked itself in the eye over the last couple years, beginning when they didn’t sign Beltran. They get rid of Zito, but then pay too much for over the hill Timmy. They get rid of Rowand, but then pay too much for over the hill Pence. It’s like treading water. I’d rather bring in young guys and watch them grow and lose a few games than watch Timmy last once through the batting order and Pence wave at breaking balls, both for ridiculous money. You watch, they’ll sign an over the hill Panda for ridiculous money as well. Weight isn’t his only problem, or hadn’t anyone noticed? The freaks and platespinners just don’t last in baseball, with the possible exception of knuckleballers. And those are three freaks in the way they try to play the game. Not to mention an aged Scutaro.
Not that I’m bitter…two WS wins in three years was fantastic, greatness, etc. But the Giants aren’t going to get back there with this kind of judgement. Maybe Sabes is over the hill, too….
Gratitude for past accomplishments is misplaced when you have already paid someone enough for them to not have to work the rest of their lives and they have the ring, etc.

1 year 5 months ago

Quite a spectacular speech over a minor league signing…
– Ishikawa is about a serviceable a bat as you can have as your 26th guy who will likely spend the rest of the season in AAA, but is there when needed. He can hit Major League pitching and is a quality glove at first. He has limitations, but can you think of a better player available off the open market right now?
– While I can’t argue the Lincecum contract was outrageous, there were a lot of peripherals built into the contract, such as potential upside, and that the fans come to see him pitch (whether he is good or bad). The Giants are basically betting that IF Lincecum has a resurgence, it’s not with an opposing ballclub.
– Rowand and Pence are not comparable players. Rowand’s BEST year wasn’t much of an improvement over Pence’s average seasons. Pence is a streaky hitter, so he’ll come around.
– Panda is also not over the hill. He is 27 years old, and the market will be depleted for hitting next season, so he basically represents the Giant’s best hope at third.
– While having younger pitchers come in and get seasoning is a great approach, which “young guys” do you expect to bring in, exactly? The guys in the Giant’s farm are not ready yet, and young guys with upside don’t just appear. Any young pitcher with upside that are available to the Giants carry just as much risk as Lincecum.

Kurt Wilkins
1 year 5 months ago

Casey…are you high? You really want to criticize Pence over Rowand? You really wanted Zito back over Timmy….keep on toking

1 year 5 months ago

Another head scratcher of a move by Sabean. Ishikawa is a good guy, but the Giants do not need another first baseman, and he will probably not make the parent club anyway, so he will bolt for another team. Yeah I guess he could pinch hit once in a while but this is Pill all over again.