The Giants signed infielder Donovan Walton to a minor league contract two weeks ago, as per Walton’s MLB.com profile page. Walton became a minor league free agent at the conclusion of the 2023 season, but he’ll now return for what will be a third season in San Francisco’s organization.
Acquired in a trade with the Mariners in May 2022, Walton hit .158/.179/.303 over 78 plate appearance and 24 games with the Giants over the remainder of the 2022 campaign. Walton was frequently shuttled back and forth between Triple-A and the big league roster, yet his season was cut short entirely by a shoulder injury that eventually required surgery that September. San Francisco non-tendered Walton that winter but quickly re-signed him to a minors deal, and he ended up playing 71 games across four different levels of the Giants’ minor league ladder as he rehabbed his shoulder.
2023 therefore marked the first big league season since Walton’s 2019 MLB debut that he didn’t receive at least some action in the Show. Walton played in 37 games with the Mariners across parts of the 2019-22 seasons, with only a .179/.225/.310 slash line over 180 career PA. While he hasn’t hit much with the Giants’ Triple-A affiliate, his overall career numbers (.274/.364/.463 in 588 PA) are still strong overall.
Walton has spent most of his time as a second baseman and shortstop, with a handful of other appearances as a left fielder and corner infielder. This defensive utility will add to his usage as a depth option at Spring Training or in the minor leagues, since while the Giants are known to be looking for some veteran shortstop help, Walton’s lack of a track record doesn’t make him an ideal complement to top prospect Marco Luciano.