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Torres agrees to return to Giants on one-year deal

Associated Press

12/13/2012 6:14:11 PM

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 signed a $2 million, one-year contract Thursday with the reigning World Series champions. He passed a physical to finalize the deal, the Giants 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 on 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: centre fielder Angel Pagan.

A fan favourite and strong clubhouse presence, Torres will play left field. The Giants still have Gregor Blanco there as well, giving 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 post-season 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.

The switch-hitting Torres was a key member of the Giants' 2010 World Series championship run. He was in the stands at AT&T Park this fall for a couple of post-season games to cheer on his old teammates as they won their second title in three years.

Torres, who had toiled in the minors for more than a decade, became a regular in May 2010 as the centre 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 during 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.

He then hit .276 with a home run and three RBIs in 15 post-season games. He hit four doubles and stole two bases.

Torres also has been open about his struggles with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. In 2007, he began taking medication for the condition and it has made a huge difference.

He was recognized as the team's 2010 "Willie Mac" Award winner. The honour is named for Hall of Famer Willie McCovey and is voted on by the players, coaches and training staff to recognize the team's most inspirational player both on the field and in the clubhouse.

Torres' plight to reach the majors after a modest upbringing in Puerto Rico and his struggles with ADHD were the subject of a documentary. He spent parts of 12 years in the minors -- eight of those at the Triple-A level -- before getting his shot.

The 29-year-old Gaudin went 4-2 with a 4.54 ERA in 46 appearances last season with the Marlins.