Giants add veteran Hill to infield competition

Giants add veteran Hill to infield competition

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Continuing to chant their mantra of depth and experience, the Giants signed free-agent infielder Aaron Hill to a Minor League deal with an invitation to big league spring camp, the club announced Friday.

The Giants' Spring Training infield contingent includes Jimmy Rollins, 38; Hill, 34; Gordon Beckham, 30; and Michael Morse, 34, who'll be tested at first base as well as left field. Each has spent at least eight years in the Majors.

The foursome will compete with returnees Kelby Tomlinson and Conor Gillaspie for backup spots.

"Each of these guys brings something different to the table," Giants general manager Bobby Evans said. "Each of them has a different level of experience or a different strength. Ultimately, we have to determine who the best fit is for the spots we have. Each guy has the potential to help us off the bench in different ways."

Hill, a 12-year veteran who has spent most of his career with Toronto and Arizona, felt wary of being caught on the outside looking in.

"I didn't want to sit around and wait for an injury," he said before participating in the Giants' initial full-squad workout Friday. "I wanted to go play and everything will take care of itself."

Hill will receive a $2 million base salary if he makes the Opening Day roster, an industry source confirmed. MLB Network insider Jon Heyman reported Hill can earn up to an additional $1.425 million in incentives and performance bonuses.

Like the other veterans the Giants have signed, Hill has an opt-out clause in his contract that will enable him to become a free agent late in Spring Training if he's not projected to make the Opening Day roster.

Hill played 125 games for the Brewers and Red Sox in 2016, recording a slash line of .262/.336/.378, with 10 home runs and 38 RBIs. Hill made the Red Sox's postseason roster but struck out in his only at-bat in their American League Division Series loss to the Indians. The right-handed batter owns a .267 career batting average with 161 home runs.

• Right fielder Hunter Pence participated in the entirety of Friday's initial full-squad workout but, due to a mild muscle pull in his right side, did not take batting practice against coaches as a precaution. Pence said he "soon" will be able to take regular batting practice.

Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.