The Giants signed right-hander Raynel Espinal to a minor league contract earlier this week, according to the team’s official transactions page. Formerly a member of the Red Sox organization, Espinal elected minor league free agency back in November, as was his option as a non-40-man player with at least seven years on a minor league roster.
Espinal made his Major League debut in August and appeared in exactly one game with the Red Sox before he was removed from the 40-man and sent back to Triple-A. While a brief stay in the Show, Espinal can at least say he got a cup of coffee in the big leagues after seven pro seasons, and the 30-year-old now heads to San Francisco looking to build off an overall solid 2021 Triple-A campaign.
Over 117 2/3 innings and 23 games (21 of them starts) for the Worcester Red Sox, Espinal posted a 3.44 ERA, 23.7% strikeout rate, and 8.8% walk rate. It was enough for Espinal to be named the Worecester pitcher of the year, and a nice comeback for a pitcher who see any official game action in 2020 due to the canceled minor league season.
The Yankees originally acquired Espinal as an international signing back in 2012, and he spent six seasons in New York’s farm system before Boston selected him in the minor league phase of the 2019 Rule 5 draft. Over 465 total innings in the minors, Espinal has a 3.35 ERA, 27.18% strikeout rate, and 7.34% walk rate.
While he has started only 51 of his 162 minor league appearances, 33 of those starts have come over Espinal’s last two seasons. The Giants could therefore see him as a potential depth starter in the minors, or perhaps a multi-inning reliever or swingman. It’s easy to see why the Giants (or any team) would be intrigued by Espinal’s interesting track record, and given San Francisco’s recent success at finding hidden gems, we shouldn’t be surprised if Espinal were to emerge as a contributor to the club’s 2022 roster.
Is it me, or does it seem the Giants have been signing a lot of pitchers on minor league deals recently?
recently? as in as long as Farhan Zaidi has been POBO?
Depth. It’s what Farhan does. Get a bunch of depth and 1 will be a difference maker. 80% of his acquisitions throughout his career have been randoms that turn a corner
Well, if you took a look at the minor league starting pitching, you’d be signing guys too!! Last year I’m pretty sure the starters had an average ERA of above 5.20. It’s rough down there, and most of the guys they’ve signed are younger than the guys they have in Triple-A anyways. This dude is 4-7 years younger than Matt Shoemaker and Scott Kazmir, both 2021 SF minor league starters.
40 man roster includes all SF Giants and about half the AAA pitchers. Since AAA will be playing 150 games this year someone needs to pitch those games if the lockout goes into April and May! Half of a pitching staff simply will not cut it…..every team has been signing minor league pitching just a few more than every year. It is that most “fans” do not notice or make the stupid comment that this or that minor leaguer will put the team in the World Series…..so tire of ill informed “fans” comments about minor league signings as they are needed for every team..
yes–its most definitely since FZ has been POBO–but i meant in the last week or two–just seem like every time i see a FA pitcher signed to a minors deal, a good portion of that time its been SF–its how he stays ahead of the curve in finding those guys, in reality only a few that make the team –but its enough for us to notice–
5 in the last week. Staying busy.
Jesse–is that you??–quick career in the early 2000s—
No. But I did have high hopes for him. First rookie pitcher that came up after I found the Giants and got into baseball.
Jesse Foppert, Noah Lowry, Jerome Williams lol time flies
Nothing else he can do with the owner initiated lockout. Only minor league /non 40 man roster transactions can happen
Excellent pickup who will undoubtedly get a spot start or two this season—if there is a season.
Another excellent move!
Remember this name: Dietrich Enns. The Giants should add this Tampa Bay Free Agent to the mix ASAP. As it stands they have one lefty starter in Alex Wood, so this lefty starter could shake up the mix as a starter, reliever opener or long reliever soaking up a needed 60-100 innings. at a low cost.