SAN FRANCISCO - A familiar face could help provide starting pitching depth for the Giants next season.
Right-hander Chris Heston has signed a minor league deal with the organization, per a source, returning three years after his breakthrough season in orange and black. Heston posted a 3.95 ERA in 31 starts in 2015 and threw a no-hitter at Citi Field, but he was traded to the Seattle Mariners after the 2016 season.
The Giants tried to turn Heston into a reliever after his big rookie year, but an oblique strain cost him much of 2016. The 29-year-old appeared in two games for the Mariners and one for the Twins last year, while also pitching in the minors for the Dodgers organization. He threw a scoreless inning against the Giants on June 11 at AT&T Park.
Heston dealt with a shoulder issue last season but he's said to be back to full health, and he returns to an organization that is short on pitching depth. After trading Matt Moore to clear salary, the Giants are counting on Chris Stratton and Ty Blach to fill out the back of the rotation, with prospects Tyler Beede and Andrew Suarez behind them on the depth chart. Beyond the latter two, there are few options at the Triple-A level.