Mariners Sign Tommy La Stella

Seattle Mariners Sign Tommy La Stella
(Photo by David Berding/Getty Images)

The Seattle Mariners have agreed to terms with Tommy La Stella on a one-year contract. This is a unique deal. The infielder is getting paid $11.5 million by the San Francisco Giants in 2023, so the Mariners only owe him the league minimum.

Never Worked Out

La Stella spent the past two seasons with the Giants, but was designated for assignment in late December. He had signed a three-year, $18.75 million deal before the 2021 season. However, in two uneventful seasons, he played in just 136 games and hit a combined .245.

Most of that can be attributed to nagging injuries. He also just never seemed settled in San Francisco. He ended up playing in just 12 games in the infield, and 43 games as their designated hitter in 2022.

Versatility

Tommy La Stella provides defensive versatility, playoff experience, and depth for their bench. He primarily plays second and third base, and will likely alternate at those positions in 2023. He has played 17 games at first base, so he could see time there as well.

Batting left-handed should get him plenty of starts at DH. And being left-handed he’s a contact-oriented hitter, and the new shift rules will certainly benefit him.

Winning Experience

La Stella has an aggressive style of play. His instincts and experience in winning environments will benefit this Mariners team. With his versatility and strike zone management skills, he will be counted on to provide leadership. His 24 games of playoff experience will only benefit a team that wants to make the playoffs in back-to-back seasons.

Looking to World Series

This Mariners team is ready to take the next step, which is an appearance in the World Series. After they won the AL Wild Card Series in 2022 over the Toronto Blue Jays, they were swept in AL Division Series by the Houston Astros. They were in all three games and felt with timely hitting they could have had a chance to play in the World Series.

No Risk

The Seattle Mariners have signed Tommy La Stella, a no-risk move for them money-wise. The team was looking to bolster their middle infield, and they had already added second baseman Kolten Wong (who brings 35 games of playoff experience of his own). With La Stella as a viable defender, it gives them some an extra veteran with leadership in the infield while adding a left-handed bat.

If La Stella can get back to his 2019 form when he hit 16 home runs and had a .295 average, and can remain healthy, he’ll be an asset to his new team. He’ll certainly have fun playing in the Pacific Northwest, and might just be part of a 2023 World Series team.

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James Marshall

James Marshall

Jim Marshall has lived in Phoenix, AZ for 50 years. He is an avid baseball fan, but enjoys all of Arizona's local sports teams, including Diamondbacks, Suns, Cardinals and Coyotes. In addition to the four major sports, he closely follows the Phoenix Mercury, Arizona Rattlers and Arizona State Sun Devils. Jim's passion for baseball continues beyond the field as he is an avid collector of baseball memorabilia. His favorite athlete of all time is Baseball Hall of Fame member Harmon Killebrew. In addition to watching, reading and talking about sports, he takes time to travel and appreciate the great state of Arizona with his lovely wife, Patti.

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