TODAY: The deal is complete pending physical, Andrew Baggarly of the Mercury News tweets.
YESTERDAY: The Giants are “close to finalizing” a minor-league deal with free agent outfielder/first baseman Kyle Blanks, John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle reports on Twitter. The oft-injured slugger is expected to have a solid shot at breaking camp with the big club, Shea adds.
Blanks, 29, has at times looked like a possible big league regular. There have been ups and downs, but he owns a useful .241/.322/.416 batting line in 933 career plate appearances at the major league level, spread widely over seven seasons.
There are other reasons to believe that Blanks is worth a roll of the dice. For one thing, he’s dominated the Triple-A level to the tune of a .300/.400/.568 slash line. And defensive metrics have generally viewed him as an average (if not slightly above average) defender in the corner outfield and at first.
The biggest difficulty to date has been health. Blanks has suffered from elbow, shoulder, and foot issues over the last five years, and most recently underwent surgical procedures on both Achilles tendons.
It appears that San Francisco has in mind to utilize Blanks as a right-handed-hitting bench bat, if he cracks the roster. He could theoretically spell Brandon Belt at first, though Buster Posey also figures to see some time there. It’s also possible to imagine Blanks spending time in left field — at least if the club does not add a big-name free agent to play there.