With Spring Training underway, the San Francisco Giants made a move for a versatile utility player by trade.
The Giants acquired Luke Williams from the Philadelphia Phillies in trade for minor league utility player Will Toffey and cash considerations. Williams had previously been designated for assignment by the Phillies after they signed free agent Nick Castellanos.
Williams is notable for his versatility. In 2021, Williams played seven different positions, including all four infield spots and all three outfield spots, both in the majors and minors. He made his Major League debut in 2021, batting .245/.315/.316 over 58 games. He also played 32 games in the minors, where he hit .270/.329/.341. He had just one home run on the season, which he hit in the majors. He hit that in his first Major League start, which was a walk-off home run to beat the Atlanta Braves on June 9th.
Williams also has three years of options left, which gives him extra versatility for the upcoming season. Other utility players the Giants might use, including Mauricio Dubón and Thairo Estrada do not have any options remaining.
To make room on the 40-man roster for Williams, the Giants placed Matthew Boyd on the 60-day injured list. Boyd was signed as a free agent earlier in March, on a $5.2 million deal, even though he was recovering from flexor tendon surgery.
Will Toffey, 27, was acquired by the Giants on July 2, 2021, in a trade with the Mets in exchange for minor league reliever Anthony Banda. Toffey was used as a utility players throughout 2021 by both the Mets and Giants. He played 28 games at third, 15 games at first, six games in left, five games in right field, and four games at second. In 31 games at Triple-A Sacramento, Toffey hit .270/.407/.378 with two home runs, after he had hit just .178/.317/.386 over 34 games in Double-A Binghamton with the Mets before the trade. Toffey was originally drafted in the 4th round of the 2017 draft by the Oakland Athletics, and was traded to the Mets in 2018 as part of the Jeurys Familia trade.
This is the second spring in a row where the Giants have made a trade with the Phillies. In 2021, the Giants acquired Carson Ragsdale, the Phillies 2020 first round pick, for reliever Hunter Strickland. Ragsdale went on to be one the Low-A West League’s leading pitchers in strikeouts.