The Giants have recently signed right-hander Corey Oswalt, left-hander Joe Palumbo, and outfielder Luis Gonzalez to minor league contracts, as reported by Baseball America’s Chris Hilburn-Trenkle. All three players were minor league free agents, and thus eligible to be signed during the lockout.
Gonzalez and Palumbo are both back for what is technically their second stint with the Giants, as San Francisco claimed both off waivers in 2021 (Gonzalez from the White Sox in August, Palumbo from the Rangers in November) before releasing the duo back at the November 30 non-tender deadline. There was speculation at the time that the Giants would look to re-sign both to fresh contracts post-deadline, and now both Gonzalez and Palumbo are back and clear of the 40-man roster.
Oswalt is the new face, joining the Giants after being outrighted off the Mets’ 40-man in October and opting for free agency. A seventh-round pick for the Mets in the 2012 draft, Oswalt has spent his entire pro career with New York, including 94 2/3 innings over parts of the last four seasons. The majority (64 2/3 frames) of that work came in Oswalt’s 2018 rookie season, and he has since been back and forth between New York and Triple-A Syracuse on multiple occasions.
The righty has a 5.89 ERA and a 17.2% strikeout rate during his MLB career. Oswalt has worked mostly as a starter in the minor leagues, but the Mets experimented with him as something of a swingman or a multi-inning reliever. Given the Giants’ success at unlocking potential in seemingly unheralded pitchers in recent years, Oswalt’s flexible usage could provide the team with an interesting weapon if the coaching staff can get him on track.
Gonzalez underwent a season-ending shoulder surgery in August, which also triggered his release from the White Sox due to some 40-man roster machinations. San Francisco jumped in to claim Gonzalez off release waivers, giving the Giants some extra outfield depth heading into 2022. The 26-year-old Gonzalez was a third-round pick for the White Sox in 2017, and he has hit .266/.345/.414 with 32 home runs over 1539 minor league plate appearances. Gonzalez has appeared in each of the last two Major League seasons, playing in nine total games in a White Sox uniform.
Palumbo is another longtime member of another organization, having been a member of the Rangers since being selected in the 30th round of the 2013 draft. Splitting time between starting and relief duties, Palumbo has a strong 2.92 ERA and 28.4% strikeout rate in 363 2/3 career innings in the Texas farm system, though he was limited to only 6 2/3 frames in 2021 due to injury. Palumbo tossed 19 innings over nine games at the Major League level in 2019-20 without much success, with a 9.47 ERA to show for that brief time in The Show.