The Giants announced a series of minor league contracts with invitations to Major League Spring Training today, with right-handers Dominic Leone, Silvino Bracho and Rico Garcia among them. Lefty Anthony Banda, whom the Giants outrighted at season’s end, is also back on a minors pact. Others invited to camp include right-handers Melvin Adon, Daniel Alvarez, Yunior Marte, Raffi Vizcaino and Sam Wolff, as well as lefty Sam Long and infielder/outfielder Jason Krizan.
Of the group, Leone comes with far and away the most big league experience. The 29-year-old reliever has appeared in parts of seven MLB seasons, pitching to a combined 4.09 ERA with 9.6 K/9 against 3.7 BB/9 over the course of 253 innings out of the bullpen. Leone’s peak season came with the Blue Jays in 2017, when he racked up a career-high 70 1/3 innings and struck out a hearty 29 percent of the batters he faced (10.4 K/9).
Following that strong effort, Leone was traded to the Cardinals alongside righty Conner Greene in the deal that sent Randal Grichuk to Toronto. Things didn’t pan out in St. Louis for Leone, who limped through a pair of injury-plagued seasons and ultimately record a 5.15 ERA and 4.77 FIP in 64 2/3 frames as a Cardinal. Although he’s been inconsistent, Leone makes for a sensible enough flier by a Giants club looking high and low for bullpen depth after seeing several key relievers depart in recent years.
Others in the group with MLB experience include former Bracho, a former D-backs reliever, Garcia and Banda. Garcia tossed 10 innings with the Giants in 2019 but has generally been hit hard between his brief time between San Francisco and Colorado. Banda was at one point considered to be one of the game’s top overall pitching prospects but has since had his career derailed by injuries, including Tommy John surgery. He was with the Giants org late in the season but did not pitch in a big league game.
Bracho, 28, was up and down with Arizona from 2015-17 but looked to turn a corner in 2018 when he pitched 31 innings with a 3.19 ERA/3.26 FIP and a 34-to-12 K/BB ratio. However, he missed the entire 2019 season due to Tommy John surgery and had his 2020 return slowed this summer when he tested positive for Covid-19. Bracho did make it back to toss an inning with the D-backs, but he hasn’t had a full, healthy season since 2018. With three-plus big years of MLB service, he’s technically controllable through at least the 2023 campaign if he can crack the MLB roster and seize a spot in the San Francisco bullpen.