SEATTLE MARINERS

Mariners sign veteran utility player Tommy La Stella, DFA Sheffield

Jan 19, 2023, 4:15 PM | Updated: 4:25 pm

Mariners Tommy La Stella...

Tommy La Stella hits a sacrifice fly for the Giants against the Twins on Aug. 27, 2022. (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images)

(Photo by David Berding/Getty Images)

The Mariners have filled one of the last remaining holes on their roster for the 2023 season, signing veteran utility player Tommy La Stella to a one-year major league contract.

Drayer: Dipoto details how Mariners use projections, plan for Celesten

Seattle announced the move Thursday afternoon. To make room for La Stella on the 40-man roster, the Mariners have designated left-handed pitcher Justus Sheffield for assignment.

La Stella, 33, gives the Mariners a needed left-handed bat off the bench that can spell two of their key everyday players who are right-handed hitters – first baseman Ty France and third baseman Eugenio Suárez. He will also be a veteran presence with playoff experience, having played in the postseason in six separate seasons.

“Tommy’s makeup, instincts and experience in winning environments will benefit our team as we look to make the next step,” Mariners president of baseball operations Jerry Dipoto said in a press release. “We value his versatility and strike zone management skills, as well as what I believe to be a high baseball IQ.”

The Mariners will only need to pay La Stella the league minimum salary, which will be $720,000 this season, because the San Francisco Giants released La Stella from his previous contract on Jan. 5. According to MLB.com Mariners reporter Daniel Kramer, La Stella is still due $11.5 million from the Giants.

La Stella played 60 games with San Francisco in 2022 coming off offseason Achilles surgery, hitting .239 with a .282 on-base percentage and .350 slugging for a .632 OPS. He hit two home runs and 14 doubles in 195 plate appearances, and while he mainly was a designated hitter, he appeared at first base, second base and third base.

La Stella was an All-Star in 2019 while a member of the Los Angeles Angels. He hit a career-high 16 home runs that season along with a slash line of .295/.346/.486 for an .832 OPS.

Seattle will likely ask La Stella to mainly face right-handed pitching. He had a slash of .245/.285/.365 (.650 OPS) against righties last season, and his career numbers vs. right-handers are .270/.339/.410 (.749 OPS).

In addition to his time with the Giants and Angels, La Stella has played for Atlanta, Oakland and the Chicago Cubs in his career. He was a member of the World Series-winning Cubs team in 2016.

Sheffield, 26, appeared in six games last season for Seattle, spending the majority of the year with Triple-A Tacoma. He made his MLB debut with the Yankees in 2018 and has appeared in games for the M’s in each of the past four years following a trade from New York to Seattle. He had a strong 2020 campaign, posting a 3.58 ERA in 10 starts, but struggled to stick in the big leagues in the following years.

Baseball America’s Glaser on differing career arcs of Mariners’ Kelenic, Rodríguez

Mariners Roof Report

Brought to you by
Partly Sunny
High 69° | Low 51°
Mariners are on the road.
Mariners at Rays today at 3:50pm

Seattle Mariners

Texas Rangers Max Scherzer Royals 2024...

Cameron Van Til

AL West Check-In: Texas Rangers ace dazzles in season debut

Three-time Cy Young winner Max Scherzer pitched five scoreless innings of one-hit ball for the Texas Rangers in his return from the IL.

4 hours ago

Seattle Mariners Cal Raleigh Marlins 2024...

Cameron Van Til

Mariners Breakdown: Where things stand after 2nd straight series loss

An update on the standings, who's hot, who's not, injury news and more following the Seattle Mariners' series loss to the Miami Marlins.

7 hours ago

Seattle Mariners Bryce Miller Marlins 2024...

The Associated Press

Miller struggles as Mariners fall 6-4, drop series to lowly Marlins

Bryce Miller gave up six runs in four innings and the Seattle Mariners lost 6-4 to the last-place Miami Marlins in the series rubber match.

11 hours ago

Mariners Trade Targets Jazz Chisholm...

Zac Hereth

Mariners Trade Targets: Three Marlins to keep an eye on

With the Seattle Mariners in Miami this weekend, here's a look at three potential trade targets from the National League-worst Marlins.

15 hours ago

Seattle Mariners pitcher Logan Gilbert...

The Associated Press

Logan Gilbert dominates as Mariners race past Marlins 9-0

Logan Glibert spins eight shutout innings and the Seattle Mariners rebound for a 9-0 victory over the Miami Marlins.

1 day ago

Seattle Mariners reliever Gregory Santos...

Shannon Drayer

Gregory Santos takes big step toward Mariners debut

Rehabbing Seattle Mariners reliever Gregory Santos threw a live batting practice before Saturday's game in Miami.

1 day ago

Mariners sign veteran utility player Tommy La Stella, DFA Sheffield