Former Philadelphia Phillies reliever José Álvarez agreed to a one-year/$1.15 million contract with the San Francisco Giants that was finalized Sunday. Maria I. Guardado of MLB.com says that the pact also includes a $1.5 million club option for the 2022 season.
The signing will reunite Álvarez with Gabe Kapler, who managed him during the 2019 season with the Phillies. The Giants were better than expected in 2020, going 29-31, a game better than the Phillies. They have their work cut out for them in the National League West, but Álvarez bolsters their bullpen, and could turn into an interesting trade candidate if the Giants are unable to contend.
Álvarez was initially acquired by the Phillies in a December 2018 swap that saw the Phillies send reliever Luis Garcia to the Los Angeles Angels. In 75 games with the Phillies, Álvarez posted a 3.17 ERA and 4.07 FIP.
Unfortunately for all parties involved, Álvarez’s season (and Phillies tenure) was ended on Aug. 20, 2020 when he suffered a testicular contusion after a ball was lined off of him in a game against the Toronto Blue Jays.
Prior to his injury, Álvarez was one of the few reliable options in an otherwise disastrous bullpen for Joe Girardi. Last month, president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said that the Phillies remained in contact with Álvarez. It’s unclear what ultimately went into the decision to not re-sign the 31-year-old.
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