The San Francisco Giants announced on Saturday morning that right-handed pitcher Jeff Samardzija had been designated for assignment.
ROSTER MOVES:— SFGiants (@SFGiants) September 26, 2020
• Jeff Samardzija designated for assignment and placed on unconditional release waivers.#SFGiants
Samardzija started Game 2 of Friday’s doubleheader against the San Diego Padres, making his first appearance since Aug. 7. He was great for two innings before giving up 3 runs in the third, in a game the Giants would eventually lose in heartbreaking fashion.
He struggled with injuries early in the year, making just three disastrous starts before being placed on the Injured List.
A lot of Giants fans hold less than stellar thoughts about Samardzija, because he was signed to a large contract prior to the 2016 season, when the Giants probably should have been resetting rather than retooling. But that was not Samardzija’s fault, and he had some really good years, and deserves to be remembered fondly for those.
In 2017 he led the league in innings pitched, with 207.2, while recording 205 strikeouts. He had a mere 32 walks that year — just one per start — resulting in a league-leading 1.4 walks per nine innings. The Giants bad offense and bad defense behind him inflated his ERA and left him with a poor record, but his 3.61 FIP while eating innings was mighty impressive.
Per Baseball-Reference, the former standout college football player was worth 2.7 Wins Above Replacement that year, after being worth 2.6 WAR in 2016, his first year with the Giants. And while the team may have struggled in 2019, the Shark was worth 3.1 WAR.
He was good, even if fans don’t always remember him that way, and even if his final year in a Giants jersey didn’t go the way anyone hoped. But the veteran seemed to enjoy his time with the Giants, and is ready to keep his career going somewhere else.
Jeff Samardzija said he will "100 percent" pitch somewhere next season. Said he appreciated way Giants and especially the training staff treated him, got him ready to come back today. "It's been great," he said. "First class all the way through."— Alex Pavlovic (@PavlovicNBCS) September 26, 2020
Samardzija said he "100 percent" wants to pitch next year and wants to go somewhere he was treated as well as he was treated in S.F. from ownership on down. #SFGiants— Henry Schulman (@hankschulman) September 26, 2020
Getting rid of Samardzija doesn’t open up a spot on the active roster for the Giants, since he was the doubleheader-designated 29th player on Friday. It does, however, open up a spot on the 40-man roster if the Giants want to make moves for the final games of the season or the postseason, if they get there.
Thanks for everything, Shark.