Getting to know more about infielder and former All-Star Tommy La Stella, who the Mariners have signed to a one-year deal.
With just over three weeks to go till pitchers and catchers report, the Mariners continue to make roster views. The latest such move has seen them sign infielder Tommy La Stella.
La Stalla has spent most of his career at second base, but also seen time at third base and as a designated hitter. Pitcher Justus Sheffield was designated for assignment, to make room on the 40-man roster.
Mariners President of Baseball Operations Jerry Dipoto shared his thoughts on the signing. He said:
“Tommy’s makeup, instincts and experience in winning environments will benefit our team as we look to make the next step. We value his versatility and strike zone management skills, as well as what I believe to be a high baseball IQ.”
The Mariners will be hoping La Stella provides invaluable veteran depth. Here are five things to know about the newest addition to the team:
1) La Stella played college baseball at St. John’s University and then Coastal Carolina University. He was picked in the eighth round of the 2011 MLB draft, by the Atlanta Braves.
2) The 33-year-old’s best individual season was 2019, when he was named an All-Star for the first time. He set career-highs in a number of offensive categories, including batting average, slugging percentage, home runs and RBI.
3) La Stella offers invaluable postseason experience, having appeared in 24 combined games for the Chicago Cubs, Oakland Athletics and San Francisco Giants. The highlight was undoubtedly being part of the 2016 Cubs team which won the 2016 World Series.
4) How much the Westwood, New Jersey native can help will depend on how durable he is. He was limited to 76 and 60 games in 2021 and 2022 respectively due to various injuries, including undergoing achilles surgery.
5) It helps that there is essentially no risk for Seattle, with San Francisco still owing La Stalla $11.5 million in 2023. He will be paid the prorated league minimum for any time on the Mariners roster, with the amount being subtracted from the Giants.
What is your opinion of La Stella? What impact — if any — do you predict he will have for the Mariners? Let us know in the comments section below.