Giants sign LHP Álvarez to 1-year MLB deal

March 6th, 2021

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The Giants added another established arm to their bullpen mix on Saturday, announcing that they’ve signed left-hander José Álvarez to a one-year, $1.15 million deal.

Álvarez’s contract includes a club option for the 2022 season worth $1.5 million. If the Giants decline the option, Álvarez would be entitled to a $100,000 buyout.

Right-hander Jordan Humphreys was designated for assignment and claimed off waivers by the Padres, clearing a spot on the 40-man roster for Álvarez. It was the second time the Giants have lost Humphreys, who had recently been reacquired via a waiver claim from Cleveland.

Álvarez, 31, has a 3.59 ERA over eight Major League seasons with the Tigers, Angels and Phillies, with whom he pitched under current Giants manager Gabe Kapler in 2019. Álvarez posted a 1.42 ERA over eight appearances in 2020, but his season came to an end when he was struck in the groin by a 105.3-mph comebacker on Aug. 20. He was subsequently placed on the 45-day injured list with a testicular contusion.

“I have some familiarity with José from my time with him in Philly,” Kapler said. “He’s a very dependable, durable reliever who is ready to take the ball in any situation. He throws strikes, misses some bats. He’s pretty good against left and right. A nice addition to our ‘pen. He’s going to fit right in.”

The Giants were already fairly deep with left-handed relief options, as they signed veteran Jake McGee to a two-year, $5 million deal over the offseason and also have Jarlín García, Wandy Peralta, Sam Selman and Caleb Baragar on their 40-man roster. Still, the club has been prioritizing pitching depth to help ensure that it has enough arms to get through a 162-game season.

Kapler said he’s confident Álvarez will have enough time to build up for Opening Day despite his late arrival, which should make him a lock for the Giants’ bullpen, along with McGee and García. Peralta, Selman and Baragar have Minor League options, so they could open the season at Triple-A Sacramento if they’re left off the Opening Day roster.