Giants add Mota, Theriot to 40-man roster

Giants add Mota, Theriot to 40-man roster

Giants add Mota, Theriot to 40-man roster
SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants likely completed their pre-Spring Training procedural moves Wednesday by adding right-hander Guillermo Mota and infielder Ryan Theriot to the 40-man roster while designating outfielder Justin Christian for assignment.

The Christian transaction was necessary for the Giants to clear roster room for Mota and Theriot. San Francisco brought the roster to its full 40-man complement with the moves.

Mota, 38, agreed to terms in mid-December for one year and $1 million, but the Giants refrained from officially announcing his deal as they finalized contractual language. Lack of 40-man roster space forced Mota to sign Minor League contracts in each of the previous two seasons, though he pitched exclusively in the Majors.

The Giants want Mota to help fill the void created by Ramon Ramirez's departure to the Mets in the trade that brought outfielder Angel Pagan to San Francisco. Ramirez frequently worked in the sixth through eighth innings, though he wasn't always the right-handed setup reliever who immediately preceded closer Brian Wilson.

Mota ranks among the most durable relievers in the game, having exceeded 50 appearances in nine consecutive seasons. The 12-year veteran served primarily as San Francisco's long reliever in 2011, working two or more innings in 18 of 52 outings and posting a 1.31 ERA in those games.

Overall, Mota finished 2-2 with a 3.81 ERA and one save. He also recorded 77 strikeouts in 80 1/3 innings, though that was partly offset by the 10 home runs he allowed.

With 717 career appearances -- all but 34 in the National League -- Mota is one of six active players to pitch more than 700 games in the Majors. The others are Mariano Rivera (1,042), Arthur Rhodes (900), LaTroy Hawkins (823), Kyle Farnsworth (776) and Francisco Cordero (753).

The Giants signed Theriot on Jan. 27 to a one-year, $1.25 million contract that includes $750,000 in performance bonuses. The 32-year-old hit .271 last year for the eventual World Series champion St. Louis Cardinals in 132 games, including 91 at shortstop and 35 at second base.

In providing middle-infield depth, Theriot conceivably could serve as a right-handed-batting alternative at shortstop to Brandon Crawford, a left-handed hitter. Theriot also could fill in at second base if injury problems again befall Freddy Sanchez.

A Minor League vagabond, Christian hit .255 (12-for-47) in 18 games for the Giants last September. The 31-year-old earned the promotion by hitting .294 with 14 homers, 73 RBIs and 54 stolen bases at Double- and Triple-A. Christian's stint with the Giants represented his first Major League activity since a 24-game cameo with the New York Yankees in 2008.

Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.