Giants sign right-handed reliever; Lee set to lead off

February 15th, 2024

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- A new face belatedly joined the fold as Giants pitchers and catchers assembled for their first workout of the spring at Scottsdale Stadium on Wednesday.

The Giants announced a one-year Major League contract with right-hander , who was released by the Angels last week.

Warren, 28, is coming off Tommy John surgery, but he recorded a 3.55 ERA over 32 career relief appearances with Los Angeles. His deal is worth $755,000, according to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle, putting it a smidge over the Major League minimum of $740,000.

To clear a spot for Warren on the 40-man roster, the Giants placed left-hander Robbie Ray on the 60-day injured list. Like Warren, Ray is on the mend from Tommy John surgery and is expected to miss the first half of the season while rehabbing.

Warren is unlikely to be ready for the start of the season after undergoing his elbow reconstruction surgery last May, so he could end up joining Ray on the 60-day IL relatively soon. The Giants will need to open up another spot on the 40-man roster once they finalize their deal with slugger Jorge Soler, who agreed to a three-year, $42 million contract earlier this week.

While Soler’s deal has not been made official by the club, new manager Bob Melvin referred to the veteran outfielder while discussing the Giants’ projected lineup, though he couched the unprompted remark with a caveat.

“If indeed that comes to fruition, there’s another guy in the middle of the order that’s going to get all the at-bats,” Melvin said. “He’s always scared me. Hopefully he’s on our team scaring the other side.”

Lee settling in
Melvin said he “would be shocked” if new center fielder wasn’t batting leadoff for the Giants on Opening Day. Position players aren’t required to report to camp until Sunday, but Lee has been among the early arrivals and took batting practice on the field Wednesday in front of nearly a dozen Korean media members.

“There’s a lot of excitement around him,” Melvin said. “He embraces it. We’re embracing it. I’ve had a ton of high-profile Japanese players over the course of my career. I had Ha-Seong Kim in San Diego. It’s glaring how quickly it seems like [Lee’s] fit in and how comfortable he’s been. He’s joking around with the guys. It usually takes a while to kind of feel your way around and fit in, but he’s got the type of personality that makes it easy on you to have conversations with him. Everything’s been great so far.”

Worth noting

• After splitting time between the outfield and catcher last year, could be tasked with learning a new position this spring. Melvin said the Giants could try Sabol at first base to give the club another left-handed option there behind Sabol, 26, hit .235 with a .695 OPS and 13 homers over 110 games as a rookie in 2023, but he’ll be able to be optioned to the Minors now that he’s shed his Rule 5 Draft status.

's future with the Giants is unclear now that he’s been supplanted on the catching depth chart by and new veteran , but the former No. 2 overall pick drew praise from Melvin for the physical conditioning and attitude he brought into camp this year. Bart, 27, is out of options, so he could be a candidate to be traded if he doesn’t end up cracking the Opening Day roster.

“He just seems like he’s in great spirits,” Melvin said. “Everybody knows he’s out of options. If someone picks him up, he’s in the big leagues somewhere. It’s not a horrible situation for him.”