Giants sign Todd Greene

The Giants pick up someone to compete with the minor leaguers to back-up the Gold Glove Mike Matheny

The San Francisco Giants signed Todd Greene to a minor league contract, according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports.

Greene, 34, requested his release by the San Diego Padres earlier this year after the Padres signed free agent Mike Piazza.  Greene had signed a minor league deal with San Diego earlier this offseason to compete with David Ross for the backup job there.  With San Francisco, he’s expected to compete with minor leaguers Eliezer Alfonzo, Yamid Haad and Justin Knoedler for the job of backing up reigning Gold Glover Mike Matheny.

The Giants had pursued Greene earlier in the offseason, but reportedly would not agree to stop looking for other catching options should they have signed him.  The Padres had agreed to that, but changed their minds when Piazza became available.

Greene played with the Rockies the past two seasons, batting .254/.299/.452 with 7 home runs in 38 games in 2005 after missing more than two months with a hamstring injury.  He played 75 games for the Rockies in 2004, hitting .282/.325/.508 with 10 home runs.  He’s a career .248/.281/.446 hitter.  Greene has a reputation of calling good games and working with young pitchers, but struggles at throwing out baserunners, catching only 11 of 66 in the past two years (.167 percentage).

Earlier in the offseason, Giants General Manager Brian Sabean had indicated that there had been problems finding a veteran backup catcher because of how many games Matheny caught last year, and the likelihood a backup wouldn’t see much time.

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