SAN FRANCISCO – The Giants signed five players to minor league contracts last week, adding a couple of candidates for their rotation at Triple-A Fresno while also bringing back catcher Guillermo Quiroz.
Quiroz, who served as Buster Posey’s backup at times last season, is expected to receive an invitation to major league camp and provide minor league depth. He’ll be working with two new right-handers, Jason Berken and Caleb Clay, who agreed to minor league pacts.
Berken, 29, has 110 games of major league experience (including 28 starts), mostly with the Baltimore Orioles, and has a 5.36 ERA on 248.2 innings. He pitched in the rotation for the White Sox’s Triple-A club in Charlotte last season, posting a 3.80 ERA.
Clay, 25, is a former supplemental first-round pick whose career was derailed by Tommy John surgery. But he’s coming off a breakthrough season in which he combined to go 11-5 with a 2.96 ERA and 1.03 WHIP in 27 games (26 starts) between the Washington Nationals’ Double-A and Triple-A clubs. He struck out 110 and walked just 31.
The Giants need candidates to pitch at Fresno because Boof Bonser isn’t expected to return and Yusmeiro Petit is out of minor league options. Who knows? Maybe Clay could become a success story along the lines of Ryan Vogelsong.
The club also re-signed right-hander Mason Tobin, who was injured most of last season, and right-hander Daryl Maday, who has pitched at every level in the Giants system over the past seven years.