Giants sign this infielder for 'significant role'

Vosler, 27, joins SF after impressive work in Minors with Padres

November 19th, 2020

The Giants have had their eyes on for a while.

During Vosler’s time with the Padres organization, Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi had tried acquiring the 27-year-old infielder on a couple of occasions. When Vosler became available via Minor League free agency this month, the Giants wasted little time in making their interest known.

“The Giants called multiple times,” Vosler said in a phone interview. “It just felt to me like they were the most aggressive. They were the most interested, so it put me in, I don't want to say a one-track mind, but they jumped to the front of my list right away, just because of how much they seemed to know about me, how much research they did on me and just the aggressiveness of it all.”

Manager Gabe Kapler participated in the recruiting effort as well, arranging a phone call with Vosler to discuss the coaching resources that would be available to him with the Giants and offer his thoughts on potential landing spots. That gesture ultimately helped convince Vosler, a former Cubs and Padres prospect, to join the Giants on a Major League deal last week.

“That phone call really meant a lot, and it was another thing that really swayed my decision,” Vosler said. “Just the fact that the manager would take time out of his day and give me a call. That was awesome.”

Vosler has yet to appear in the Majors, but he fills a big need for next season as a left-handed-hitting infielder who could form a platoon partner with veteran Evan Longoria at third base and potentially fill in at second and first. Vosler batted .291/.367/.523 -- all career highs -- with 20 home runs over 116 games with Triple-A El Paso last year, and he spent the final two months of the 2020 campaign working out at the Padres’ alternate training site.

San Diego didn’t have a spot for Vosler due to the presence of infielders Manny Machado, Fernando Tatis Jr., Jake Cronenworth and Eric Hosmer, but the Giants plan on giving him an opportunity to carve out a role on their 26-man roster in 2021. They followed a similar blueprint with Mike Yastrzemski, Donovan Solano and Alex Dickerson, who each grew into key roles with the Giants after being overlooked in other organizations.

“[Vosler] was a guy that we had asked the Padres about a couple of times,” Zaidi said Wednesday. “He's taken a step forward over the last couple of years offensively. He’s hit for power, has hit for average in the Minor Leagues. He’s a guy who has a chance to be an all-around player and be one of those guys that maybe isn't a quote-unquote 'everyday player' but could wind up getting 300 at-bats at the end of season.

“We expected that his market would require a Major League deal, and we're very comfortable doing that, because we think he's got a shot of making our Opening Day roster and playing a pretty significant role for us.”

While he didn’t log any official game action outside of Spring Training this year, Vosler said he still feels like he accrued enough competitive reps at the Padres’ training site to continue building off the success he enjoyed in 2019. He’s spending the offseason in his native New York, though he plans to fly to Arizona early next year to begin working with the Giants’ coaching staff and start acclimating to his new club.

“I think it would be a lot easier to say it was a lost year if I hadn't been able to get those at-bats at the alternate site,” Vosler said. “I was able to work on a lot of things, since it was more like a Spring Training, instructional league-type environment. We had a lot of one-on-one coaching. I got to take a lot of ground balls and stuff like that. I think I definitely am on track for next year. I probably improved more than I would have in a normal season, just based on the setting.”