Sabean said that Piniella will handle a variety of scouting duties, including Major League special assignments, Spring Training coverage, American League coverage from Tampa Bay Rays home games and scrutinizing the Giants on satellite television or in person from the East Coast.
And, since Piniella's a consultant, the Giants will indeed consult him for advice regarding certain issues.
"He's a great sounding board," Sabean said. "We all know his passion for the game. And his baseball acumen's off the charts. It's an interesting opportunity for both parties -- one, to keep him involved, and more so for us to use him as a resource. He's excited about it."
Sabean, whose 1986-92 tenure in the Yankees' front office coincided with Piniella's 1986-88 stint as that club's manager, said that he dropped Piniella a hint about joining the Giants in the form of a text message after he left the Cubs.
"I assured him that if he wanted a place to hang his hat, we'd certainly welcome him coming with us," said Sabean, who also contacted Piniella's agent, Alan Nero.
Piniella, 67, compiled an 1,835-1,713 record in 23 seasons managing the Yankees, Reds, Mariners, Rays and Cubs. He guided the 1990 Reds to a World Series title and was named Manager of the Year with Seattle (1995 and 2001) and the Cubs (2008). A former outfielder, Piniella also hit .291 over 18 seasons, including 11 with the Yankees.
Piniella is on good terms with numerous members of the Giants organization, largely due to his Yankees background. His former New York teammates include vice president of player personnel Dick Tidrow and pitching coach Dave Righetti. Piniella also developed a friendship with manager Bruce Bochy when teams they formerly managed (Seattle and San Diego, respectively) shared Peoria, Ariz., as a Spring Training base.
"He has a lot of friends in the organization," Sabean said.
The San Francisco Chronicle initially reported the Giants' agreement with Piniella.