The Giants have agreed to a minor league contract with veteran infielder Aaron Hill, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (via Twitter). The 34-year-old Legacy Agency client will head to camp and compete for a roster spot in San Francisco. Hill’s deal comes with a $2MM base salary if he makes the Majors, according to FanRag’s Jon Heyman (Twitter link), and ESPN’s Buster Olney adds that Hill can also earn up to $1MM worth of incentives.
Hill split the 2016 season between the Brewers and Red Sox, hitting a combined .262/.336/.378 with 10 homers in 429 plate appearances. Hill was among the game’s most productive second basemen back in 2012-13, but his bat has gone quiet in the three seasons following that strong stretch of production. Since 2014, Hill has batted a collective .246/.305/.365 (81 OPS+) in 1323 Major League plate appearances.
While he was primarily a second baseman earlier in his career, Hill has spent more time at third base than at second in the past two seasons. The Giants’ starting infield is largely set with Brandon Belt at first, Joe Panik at second, Brandon Crawford at shortstop and Eduardo Nunez at third base. But, San Francisco doesn’t have a clearly defined bench just yet, and Hill will seek to earn a reserve role with the club. He’ll join Korean star Jae-gyun Hwang in that regard, as Hwang (who also plays both third base and second base) also inked a minor league pact with the Giants earlier this winter.