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Giants sign Andres Blanco to minor-league deal

The veteran utility infielder will have the chance to compete for a spot on the Giants’ roster this spring.

Philadelphia Phillies v San Francisco Giants Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

The Giants have signed utility infielder Andres Blanco to a minor-league deal with an invitation to major-league spring training, as Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports first reported on Tuesday afternoon. The move comes one day after the Giants brought back veteran outfielder Gregor Blanco, who is also a native of Caracas, Venezuela but is unrelated.

Blanco will compete with Kelby Tomlinson and Pablo Sandoval for a couple of backup infield spots that are likely to be available on the Giants’ bench. He’ll earn $1.1 million if he makes the major-league roster and will have the opportunity to earn up to $400,000 in incentives. Blanco’s contract also includes an out to sign with an Asian club if he doesn’t make San Francisco’s big-league roster.

Blanco, 33, is coming off a disappointing 2017 campaign with the Phillies during which he posted a .192/.257/.292 slash line with three homers in 144 plate appearances. He continued to provide defensive versatility, however, playing 16 games at third base, 15 at second, 11 at first, and four at shortstop.

Blanco has had a rather odd career path, as he came up at the age of 20 with the Royals in 2004 but has since had two separate two-year stints (2007-08 and 2012-13) during which he didn’t appear in a major-league game. Despite being just 5-foot-10 and 195 pounds, he’s historically exhibited some surprising doubles power, posting an OPS above .700 in each season from 2014-16, including a career-high .863 mark in that category in 2015.