Diamondbacks Sign Gregor Blanco to Minor League Deal

With the San Francisco Giants for five seasons, Gregor Blanco played a pivotal role for the 2012 and 2014 championship teams. The 33-year-old outfielder could help out the Giants’ division rival in 2017.

On Tuesday, Jan. 17, the Arizona Diamondbacks signed utility outfielder Gregor Blanco to a Minor League deal. The deal also included an invite to Spring Training. SB Nation reporter Chris Cotillo was first to report the deal.

If Blanco makes it onto the big-league roster, he’ll receive $1 million. With incentives, he could earn up to $3.3 million. He could serve as a great outfielder off the bench for the D-backs.

Blanco broke into the league in 2008 with the Atlanta Braves. After the 2010 season, the Braves sent Blanco to the Kansas City Royals. The Royals then traded Blanco to the Washington Nationals in 2011. As a free agent in the 2011 offseason, Blanco signed a Minor League deal with the Giants, and earned his way into the Majors in 2012.

In San Francisco, Blanco become part of the Giants outfield for five seasons. His bWAR hit 2.1 in 2012 and 2.3 in 2013, the two highest of his career. In addition, Blanco won two World Series with the team. While not always starting, Blanco also provided a spark from the bench.

The speedy outfielder has a career batting average of .258, 210 RBIs, 332 runs and 101 stolen bases. But Blanco had a down year in 2016. He hit just .224, knocked in only 18 RBIs, scored just 28 times and stole 6 bases.

The Giants decided to let Blanco go, but could he make them pay for it in 2017? More than likely not, but that doesn’t mean he won’t fair well for Arizona. At the very least, he’ll add a veteran presence to the clubhouse.

The current outfielders for the D-backs include A.J. Pollock, Yasmany Tomas and David Peralta. Pollock is coming off of an injury-plagued 2016 season, so Blanco may see some time in center field if he makes the big-league club.

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