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La Stella finalizing deal with Giants, sources say

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Published in Baseball
Tuesday, 26 January 2021 19:18

Second baseman Tommy La Stella and the San Francisco Giants are finalizing a contract, sources familiar with the deal told ESPN's Jeff Passan.

The deal is expected to be for three years.

The Oakland Athletics, needing an everyday second baseman who could provide consistent offensive production, acquired La Stella in a late-August trade with the Los Angeles Angels. He immediately paid dividends, finishing the season with a .289 batting average in 27 games with the A's.

One thing that the former utility infielder rarely does is strike out. Between the Angels and A's, La Stella struck out only 12 times in 196 at-bats this season -- a rate of one per 16.3 at-bats, which led the American League by a huge margin (DJ LeMahieu was second at 9.3).

Overall, the 32-year-old infielder finished the season with a .281 average with 5 home runs, 31 runs scored and 25 RBIs. According to ESPN Stats & Information research, La Stella pulled the ball on a career-high 50.8% of the time he made contact, which ranked 12th in the majors.

La Stella has shown a little more pop over the past two seasons -- his 21 home runs in that span is more than double what he had in his first five seasons combined (10).

Prior to joining the Angels in 2019, La Stella was utilized primarily as a pinch hitter with the Atlanta Braves and Chicago Cubs in his first five seasons. His breakout season came with the Angels in 2019, when he set career highs with a .295 batting average, 16 home runs and 44 RBIs in 80 games before suffering a fractured right tibia. He earned his first All-Star selection, but he was unable to play due to the injury.

NBC Sports Bay Area first reported the sides were nearing a deal.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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