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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