Giants Sign Ryan Theriot

According to Jon Heyman, the Giants have signed infielder Ryan Theriot to a one-year contract worth $1.25M, with up to $750K in incentives. With Theriot in the picture, Brett Pill will presumably be starting the year in Triple-A Fresno. Josh mentioned Theriot as a potential platoon shortstop option back in November.

At first glance, Theriot’s a very uninspired signing. He’s coming off a .271/.321/.342 (84 wRC+) season, and he’s never been much of a hitter. His 2011 numbers, in fact, aren’t all that far off from his career numbers (.282/.344/.353, 86 wRC+). His defense is probably passable, but his defensive shortcomings are quite evident as well. As an everyday player, Theriot is mediocre at best; there’s a reason he’s amassed all of 0.6 wins above replacement over the past two seasons.

Theriot has his uses, however. The Giants’ shortstop depth chart currently reads Brandon Crawford and Mike Fontenot, in order. Both Crawford and Fontenot are left-handed hitters, and Emmanuel Burriss (career .636 OPS v. LHPs), isn’t exactly going to be reliable against southpaws. Theriot, as mediocre as he is with the bat, can hold his own against lefties, with a career line of .301/.373/.401, 107 wRC+. Of particular intrigue are his plate discipline splits — 9.9% BB rate, 6.8% K rate. He’ll put the ball in play with exceptional frequency, and he’ll get on base.

Theriot shouldn’t be penned into the lineup on a daily basis, but if utilized correctly (or even semi-correctly), he’ll do enough with the bat and the glove to bring some value to the team. He’s slightly worse than Jeff Keppinger at the plate, half as expensive as Keppinger would have been, and a much better defender. Anyway, solid deal.

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6 thoughts on “Giants Sign Ryan Theriot

  1. Here we go again…another washed up oldie SS for the Giants….Come on Sabean give us a break… I read they are considering sending Pill back to Fresno.
    How dumb can some be in sending a bat to AAA for a player we do not need…Why not dump Fontenot now and keep a right handed bat off the bench in Pill or better yet send Burriss packing.

  2. Nice cheap signing. LSU Tigers re-unite for the 2nd time in MLB, that’s a fun story. Good splits against lefties. Not a very good fielder, but he can fake it at short. Feisty. I’ll take the OBP, especially against lefties. Last year having Burriss and Whiteside/Stewie on the bench was brutal. Having a guy who has a shot to get on base is key. He’s a cheaper version of that pest Jamey Carroll, for one year, and they can waive him if it don’t look good during spring training. Decent upside, very little downside. Waiting out the middle infield madness pays off.

  3. Really?!?! Well I guess you know when your offense is bad when you sign theriot and he turns out to have the third highest obp on the team and thats coming off a bad year from him.

  4. Theriot is gonna have a great spring with the bat and beat out Crawford for opening day assignment. You’ve read the script, you know it will happen. He’s feisty with the bat and he’ll be feisty in the face of his challenge with this John Stamos kid.

    Perfect 8 hitter. He’ll hit above .200 for sure and he may approach .280 with a nice OBP. The same can be said about Fontenot. It’s like they were cut from the same cloth, mirror opposites, played in college together and are hetero-life-partners.

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