FEB. 11: Basabe cleared waivers and was outrighted to Triple-A Sacramento, Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area tweets.
FEB. 4: The Giants have designated outfielder Luis Alexander Basabe for assignment, tweets Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle. His spot on the 40-man roster will go to infielder Tommy La Stella, whose three-year deal with the Giants has now been officially announced.
Basabe, 24, was originally signed by the Red Sox but flipped to the White Sox as one of the secondary pieces — behind Michael Kopech and Yoan Moncada — in the blockbuster that brought Chris Sale to Boston. Basabe struggled at Class-A Advanced in 2017 and bounced back with a nice showing between High-A and Double-A in 2018, but he slumped again at those same levels in 2019.
The Giants picked up Basabe in exchange for cash during the 2020 season and afforded him the opportunity to make his MLB debut late in the year. He appeared in nine games and went 2-for-14 with four walks, five strikeouts and a pair of stolen bases.
Basabe was at one point a rather well-regarded prospect — a potential regular in center field who was seen as having a high floor due to above-average range and a strong throwing arm. Another club in need of some center field depth could give him a look based on that defensive prowess, though Basabe is also out of minor league options, so a new team would need to either carry him on the Opening Day roster or again designate him for assignment. A rebuilding club willing to take on a center field project could make some sense, but it’s also possible that the Giants will be able to retain Basabe by passing him through waivers. They’ll have a week to either go that route or trade him now that he’s been removed from the 40-man roster.