The Giants have signed reliever Ljay Newsome to a minor league contract, according to his transactions log at MLB.com. The 26-year-old joins the third organization of his professional career.
Newsome entered the pro ranks in 2015, selected by the Mariners in the 26th round out of Chopticon High School in Maryland. He’d spend the next five seasons working his way through Seattle’s system, eventually joining the big league club’s alternate training site during the 2020 season and appearing in five games at the major league level, throwing 15 2/3 innings but giving up 20 hits and nine earned runs.
Nevertheless, the righty broke camp with the club during the 2021 season but would suffer a UCL injury in May, ending his year. The Mariners placed him on waivers following the season and he was subsequently picked up by the Cardinals. Newsome made his return midway through the 2022 season, but struggled across at Single-A and Triple-A levels of minor league ball, pitching to a combined 6 ERA in nine innings while giving up 11 hits, albeit with a solid 8:2 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
Following the 2022 season, Newsome was released but it did not take him long to secure a new home for 2023. Despite a poor cumulative 6.53 ERA in 30 1/3 innings at the major league level, he has shown elite control, walking only four of the 137 MLB hitters he’s faced (2.9%). Additionally, during his last full minor league season, Newsome pitched to a 3.54 ERA in 155 innings across three levels with a sparkling 169:17 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
Newsome has flashed elite control and is coming off a season of rehab. He’ll presumably start next year with the Giants’ highest affiliate in Sacramento but could put himself in the mix for an MLB bullpen job at some point. Newsome has three option years remaining, so if he cracks the 40-man roster at any point, the Giants can freely move him between San Francisco and Sacramento.