SAN FRANCISCO — Andres Torres is returning to the San Francisco Giants, who gave the outfielder his first chance as a regular two years ago.
Torres agreed to a $2 million, one-year contract Thursday with the reigning World Series champions. He must pass a physical to finalize the deal, Giants vice president of baseball operations Bobby Evans said.
"Great to have him back!" manager Bruce Bochy wrote in a text message. "He gives us that much more versatility and character in the clubhouse. Everybody loves Andres as a teammate."
Also Thursday, the Giants reached a minor league deal with right-hander Chad Gaudin, familiar with the Bay Area after pitching for Oakland from 2006 through part of the 2008 season and again for a short stint in 2010. If Gaudin is placed on the 40-man roster, he would earn $750,000 while in the majors and $150,000 while in the minors. He also could make an additional $50,000 each for 35, 40, 45, 50 and 55 games pitched in the big leagues.
The 34-year-old Torres spent last season with the New York Mets following three years with the Giants. He hit .230 this year with three home runs, 35 RBIs and 13 stolen bases in 132 games.
Now, Torres gets to play alongside the man the Giants traded him to New York for: center fielder Angel Pagan.
A fan favorite and strong clubhouse presence, Torres will play left field and still have Gregor Blanco to give Bochy plenty of options. Pagan last week received a $40 million, four-year contract.
Bochy said Torres also will back up Pagan and right fielder Hunter Pence. Blanco, an impact player during the postseason who took over in left following Melky Cabrera's 50-game suspension in August, also is likely to get ample opportunities.
As part of the deal negotiated by agents Sam and Seth Levinson, Torres can earn an additional $250,000 in performance bonuses: $50,000 each for 400, 425, 450, 475 and 500 plate appearances.
News of Torres' return quickly spread via Twitter, and fans appeared to be thrilled.
The switch-hitting Torres was a key member of the Giants' 2010 World Series championship run, which they followed up with another title this year. He was even in the stands at AT&T Park this fall for a couple of games to cheer on his old teammates.
Torres — who had toiled through the minors for more than a decade — became a regular in May 2010 as the center fielder and leadoff hitter. He batted .268 with 16 home runs and 63 RBIs in his first full big league season, then played through pain throughout the playoffs. He surprised the Giants and even himself with a rapid recovery to return from an emergency appendectomy late in the year to help San Francisco in the stretch run.
Torres had the procedure Sept. 12, 2010, in San Diego and played again Sept. 24 — missing all of 11 games. His fitness level and determination helped him return so quickly. Bochy had all but ruled out Torres for the remainder of the regular season.
From Sonoma Magazine: Summer of Love: Two Sonoma communes' psychedelic rise and fall