Prior to the start of the 2012 season the San Francisco Giants pulled off a trade with the New York Yankees. No, it wasn’t’ a blockbuster trade. The Giants had a heap of catchers at their disposal with Buster Posey and Hector Sanchez on their roster, The Yankees were in need of a catcher at the time so it was a perfect fit.
The Giants were willing to part ways with a catcher so they traded Chris Stewart to the Yankees for relief pitcher George Kontos. Kontos had only had seven games of big league experience at the time. However, that didn’t stop the Giants from pulling the trigger for this bullpen arm.
Kontos started the season with AAA-Fresno, but it didn’t take long for him to show that he was ready to contribute at the Major League level. Kontos was called up in June and went on to put up solid numbers on the back of his baseball card. He pitched in 44 games for the Giants and finished the season with a 2-1 record, 2.47 ERA and 1.053 WHIP.
Kontos proved to be a very reliable arm down the stretch, and helped solidify the Giants bullpen. This wasn’t just recognized by Giants fans. Kontos is from the Chicago area, and recently received the Chicago area MLB Player of the Year Award at The Pitch & Hit Club 67th Annual Awards Banquet.
The good news for Giants fans is that Kontos shouldn’t be going anywhere for a while. He’s in the pre-arbitration stages and not arbitration eligible till 2016. He should be a fixture in the Giants pen for years to come.