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The San Francisco Giants re-signed left-hander Thomas Szapucki to a minor-league deal after non-tendering him on Nov. 17. Szapucki had thoracic outlet surgery in May and hasn't pitched in a competitive setting since 2022 due to his shoulder injury. The 27-year-old southpaw appeared in 12 major-league games (one start) in 2021 and 2022 with the New York Mets and Giants, allowing 18 earned runs on 26 hits (eight home runs) while walking 10 and striking out 22 in just 13 2/3 innings. Shoulder injuries like his are pretty unpredictable, so Szapucki may not be ready health-wise to open the 2024 minor-league season.
The San Francisco Giants signed free-agent outfielder Yusniel Diaz to a minor-league deal on Tuesday. Diaz made his major-league debut in 2022 with the Baltimore Orioles but struck out in his only plate appearance in one game. The 27-year-old Cuban was once an interesting top prospect with the Los Angeles Dodgers, but he hasn't exactly turned out in the big leagues. In 94 games for Double-A Tulsa in 2023, he hit .278 (96-for-345) with 16 home runs, 21 doubles, a triple, 60 RBI, seven stolen bases and 54 runs scored. Diaz is still on the right side of 30 and will be hoping to impress the Giants enough in the minors early in 2024 to eventually get a call-up to the Show.
The San Francisco Giants re-signed outfielders Mike Yastrzemski and Austin Slater on Friday to avoid salary arbitration. Yastrzemski's deal will be for one year and $7.9 million for the 2024 season, while Slater signed for $4 million. Yastrzemski made his Giants debut in 2019 and impressed right away, hitting .272 with 21 home runs in 107 games. He hasn't been as good the last couple of years, though, and he hit .233 with 15 home runs in 2023 while missing time due to injuries. The 33-year-old can play all over the outfield, though, and will remain in play in platoon role again next year against right-handed pitching. Slater, 30, had two separate stints on the injured list due to a hamstring injury this year but hit a strong .270 with a .748 OPS and 20 RBI in 207 plate appearances. He should be ready for spring training after undergoing right-elbow surgery in October.
The San Francisco Giants shut down 2021 first-rounder Will Bednar (back) from the Arizona Fall League after just six outings because of recurring back discomfort. His back injury limited him to just four Arizona Complex League games in 2023. "I know he's concerned. We're concerned as well," president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi said. The 23-year-old wasn't effective in his six outings in the AFL either, allowing eight runs in 5 1/3 innings before being shut down. Bednar hasn't pitched in Single-A since 2022 and may not be ready for spring training in 2024. Per MLB Pipeline, Bednar ranked as San Fran's No. 26 prospect in 2023.
San Francisco Giants right-hander Ross Stripling exercised his $12.5 million player option for the 2024 season over the weekend. After signing a two-year, $25 million deal before the 2023 season, Stripling went 0-5 with a 5.36 ERA (5.21 FIP), 1.35 WHIP, 16 walks and 70 strikeouts in 89 innings over 22 outings (11 starts) in his first year in the Bay Area. The 33-year-old will look to bounce back in 2024. He was much better in 2022 with the Toronto Blue Jays, as he posted a 3.01 ERA (3.11 FIP) and 1.02 WHIP with 20 walks and 111 strikeouts in a career-high 134 1/3 frames over 32 appearances (24 starts). But his strikeout rate dipped from 20.7 percent in 2022 to just 18.4 percent this year, and his walk rate also went the wrong direction from 3.7 percent to 4.2 percent.