The Giants have designated Jeff Samardzija for assignment and placed him on release waivers, per Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle (Twitter link). This officially ends the righty’s 2020 season, as we’ve long since passed the September 15 deadline for players to be eligible for an acquiring team’s postseason roster.
Of course, if Shark has his way, this won’t mark an end to his MLB tenure. The 35-year-old (36 in January) made clear last night he fully intends on continuing his career. He’ll hit the open market on the heels of disastrous 2020 season, though. Samardzija missed a month with a shoulder impingement and was limited to four starts overall. Those didn’t go well, as he was tagged for 19 runs on 21 hits (including seven homers) with only six strikeouts in 16.2 innings. The 29-29 Giants are up one game on the Brewers and Phillies for the National League’s final postseason spot. They’d evidently concluded that, even if they sew up a berth, Samardzija’s lackluster performance foreclosed him as an option for their playoff roster.
The move brings to an end Samardzija’s five-year tenure in San Francisco. The Giants inked him to a five-year, $90MM contract entering the 2016 season. At the time, the former Cubs, Athletics and White Sox hurler was coming off three consecutive 200-inning seasons. Then-executive vice president Brian Sabean and then-GM Bobby Evans surely envisioned Samardzija soaking up innings in the middle of the club’s rotation.
Over the first two seasons of the deal, that’s what he did. Samardzija combined for 411 innings of 4.12 ERA/3.73 FIP ball between 2016-17. He scuffled in 2018 before rebounding with a decent effort last year, running up 181.1 innings of 3.52 ERA ball (albeit with uninspiring peripherals). Unfortunately, the wheels fell off in the final season of the deal.
All told, Samardzija threw 653.2 innings over 110 starts as a Giant. He logged a 4.24 ERA/4.22 FIP with strikeout (20.3%) and walk (6.1%) rates a bit lower than league average. Samardzija was worth around seven wins above replacement over the course of the deal, in the estimate of both FanGraphs and Baseball Reference. That’s a bit of an underwhelming return on investment for the organization, but the deal was far from disastrous. Samardzija’s production in San Francisco was worth around $54.6MM in the estimate of FanGraphs’ dollars per WAR metric, to say nothing of any intangible value the well-traveled veteran brought in the clubhouse.
Welp. Hopefully the Shark can find work somewhere. There’s plenty of fish in the sea, after all
He can go to Japan the sushi
For the sushi*
Well that answers that question, if there was one.
Days before the season ends why wait so long
If the Giants need a roster spot, which was rarely an issue before in September, it makes sense.
Gives him a little bit of a head start talking to other teams, I guess.
Red Sox’s should take a look at him for next yr and maybe turn him into a closer or a 5th starter
I see them next yr being the same as this yr and there’s no telling if Sale and/or e-rod being ready for next season
Shark has been washed up for a while.
A beached shark
Probably since Theo dumped him off to Billy Beane. Beane’s genius because he got Marcus Semimen for him.
I’d rather have Jon Lester back. If he pitches 3 more years, he may get to 100 games over .500, which is an auto-entry into the HoF
He’s got 0 Cy Young awards or ERA titles, the 3 rings are great but Lester’s not a HoF pitcher
As a Yankees fan, I agree with you.
He will get shelled in the East.
Red Sox love old washed up Giants players lol
It didn’t end up working out but for half a season, Bobby Evans looked like he knew what he was doing when Cueto and Shark led the Giants in 2016 to the best first half record in baseball. If he had traded for Melancon before the deadline they probably beat the Cubs in the playoffs and win a 4th world series that year. Recognizing his mistake, Bobby tried to make up for it by signing Melancon after that year which ended up making things even worse. Trade for Cutch and Longo out of desperation and that about did it.
Now you have a fan base that is gun shy about spending money and thinks its ok to find players at the dime store and not worry about set roles like Closers and Set up men. Last night is a perfect example of why you shouldn’t be praising Farhan for being smart when all it would have taken this year to make the playoffs was a closer. Spend some damn money Farhan this isn’t Oakland!!
Actually they didn’t need to spend much money to get Rosenthal or Holland. Closers are a crap shoot. I wouldn’t spend big money on one.
Its assuming way too much to say the Giants win the title with Melancon. Even if you replace him for game 4 and he gets the save all that guarantees you is a 5th game at Wrigley. Cubs were a team of destiny that year and so were the Indians for that manner. SF would have lost along the way at some point.
There was a team of destiny in 2010, 2012, and 2014 and none of them were the Giants. The Rangers were great, the Tigers were a monster and the Royals were destined to win a world series it just happened a year later because of the Giants. They just knew how to win in the playoffs and if they closed out game 4 it would have been Cueto in game 5 at Wrigley. After the Cubs nobody knows but they had as good a chance as anyone if not better.
And the Cubs had Jon Lester going in game 5. No slouch.
So. Cal. Giants fan
Right on! Kapler is not an MLB manager, and Im starting to have my doubts about Zaidi. Yes, we’re supposedly rebuilding, but they’ve been playing decent ball and in playoff contention. They’ve needed a closer and should have made a move for a rental in anticipation of a playoff run. Their initial plan for a closer was a complete and utter failure!
With a team of nobodies and old vets and still have a .500 record he has done a good job. Problem is a lot of giant fans like you still think its 2010. its not its a rebuild year with some very unproven players. To me it sounds you are spoiled because even in Bochy days I doubt he could have done better..
So. Cal. Giants fan
Oh please, far from spoiled! One of Bochy’s best attributes was his ability to manage the bullpen! He would have never allowed Coonrod to close out a game and he would have been 3-4 moves ahead, instead of being placed in that position. Last night’s huge loss is squarely on Kapler’s shoulders! Face the music, your boy is not a manager, SMH.
(I can’t believe I’m starting out a sentence like this, but) In Kapler’s defense he legitimately has no closer. Everyone he tries in that spot gets bombed on. I’m not sure WHO I would have gone with there (though I agree it wouldn’t have been gott or coonrod)
So. Cal. Giants fan
Right on and concur! But kinda my point, Kapler goes with his gut. Closers have a mindset to come in and get three outs! Coonrod was nervous from his first pitch. I’m a nobody, but in my humble opinion, I would have pitched Coonrod in the 8th (because generally that’s when he usually pitches). I would have saved Anderson for the ninth, although he didn’t do much better in the 8th, but was able to get out of trouble. Anderson has at least closed out games in the past!
Farhan’s focus is the future.
What the hell are you talking about? You never make any sense.
But, what is the point on this? He’s going to be a free agent at the end of the season, meaning for SF, in about 24 hours…
Giants are still alive in the playoff race(barely). By releasing him now, opens up a spot on the roster for the playoffs ( if they make it)
Great point! I didn’t notice that they’re still holding that last WC spot…
They’re trying to improve their pitching staff though…
Based on what the Angels have now, he’d be an improvement.
Good call. Seems like a LAA move.
Wonder if Sandy take a look at him for the Mets
Jeff is a workhorse. I don’t care he had mostly a rough time here in San Francisco. We all deserve to get paid, Samardzija got paid what he deserved at the time he signed the contract with the Giants, period…
Thank you for your input Mrs. Samardzija
Ha came in with an ERA around 5. He most certainly did NOT deserve $90 MILLION
If you’re not a fan you could explain why without posting falsehoods. His career ERA up to the point he signed with SF was nowhere near 5. More precisely it was 9/100s of a point over 4. He was signed as a mid-rotation arm, not because of his ERA, but because if his ability to eat innings. He was averaging 206 IPs a season as a SP when he signed with SF.
Plus the $90M was precisely what mid-rotation arms were getting at the time. Mike Leake got almost that much, and both their ERA+s, since signing. were 97. Jordan Zimmermann got $110M the same year for the same 5 years, and he was much, much worse than Samardzija.
Quit making stuff up and try using actual stats/facts if you want to make a point.
With all due respect, I think he was referring to his what 2015 season. When he did come in sporting a 4.96 era with the White Sox’s
Okay, I see you’re correct about that. But that seems as if he’s cherry-picking stats. Career stats, with their larger sample are always more illustrative than a single season.
Plus it goes much deeper than ERA. I think the Giants saw he was throwing his FB much less, and his cutter and split finger more in 2015 than in previous seasons. In 2015 his GB/FB rate was way down, and he was getting much fewer GBs overall.
In 2016 the Giants got him to throw his FB much more and start throwing his CB again. His GB rate went up, and he got his ERA below 4 (3.81).
To criticize the Giants for signing Samardzija simply because of a single season ERA seems kind of a dull take. It’s far less insightful than it should.
I’m guessing they want to add another pitcher possibly Suarez for tonight.
Oh holy everything- NOT Suarez!
Cubs dodged a bullet on this one.
Damn, you mean no more listening to 5 references per game about how “he’s used to catching(etc) because he was a wide receiver in college”??
After a 480 ft bomb to Tatis which hurt.
Maybe the Cardinals in case Hudson is out for awhile!!
Sign all the Cubans
Most overrated pitcher of the last 20 years. Has ungodly stuff at times, but just couldn’t consistently put it together for more than half a season at a time.
He’ll easily find a job, and he’s probably make a really good bullpen piece for someone if he swallows his pride and accepts the role.
Sign all the Cubans:
I agree with everything you say except that he was the “Most overrated pitcher of the last 20 years”.
He was a mediocre pitcher that couldn’t find a way to harness the stuff he possessed. I don’t think most really thought he was anything more than that. It’s simply hyperbole to call him the most overrated for the last 20 years.
I don’t think he was so much overrated as he was expected to translate his potential into effectiveness. He’s not the first pitcher unable to harness good stuff.
He was signed as a mid-rotation innings eater, and that’s what he was for the most part of 3 years. Injuries curtailed him the other two.
But, mediocre? absolutely. Overrated? maybe. Most overrated for two decades? hardly.
I’ve been saying that for years, and I couldn’t agree more. The man was never nearly as good as he was given credit for. I’m not even sure you can say his next team will give him a pillow contract given his age. It’s gonna be, “Hey, this is our best offer (maybe ~$5M) for one year, but we’re gonna use you as we see fit. Tbh, your days in the rotation are basically over.”
It’s about time! He’s going to be 52 years old and people will still be talking about his potential
That’s what I’m saying! Whoever the moron was writing that script for the past 10+ years needs to start overhyping someone else who’s in the process of putting together a league average career.
Giants overpaid by about 45 mill. Again, that and getting burned on trades is the m.o. of Sabean and Evans
VTGiant. GM Sabean and Assistant GM and GM Evans won 3 World Championships and made the playoffs in 2016. You don’t win a World Championship every year. You are hard to please.
Not sure if he had a not terrible batting average, but if that provided any leverage, it’s gone now.
If the Cardinals pick him up, can he pitch on Monday. (Assuming they need to play on Monday.)
I guess probably not since he pitched Friday.
He’ll probably get picked up by the Yankees for a trial run. Another experiment… gone wrong
This is funny. Huge waste of money from tbe moment they signed him.
Samardzija was definitely not worth the 90 million the Giants gave him. He’ll get a spot somewhere next season but its not going to be anywhere close to the money he was getting
He’ll get that long relief spot emergency spot start. Blow out loss in the 2nd inning. Probbaly the pirates for league minimum maybe Detroit, Boston ,NYM are other options.
The Shark is gone and the contract turned out not to be so good. It’s one of the reasons Bobby Evans was fired.
It’s time to channel all our energy to the Giants tomorrow and will a win. If they win and the Brewers lose it’s playoff time. Let’s stop crying about how bad the Samardzija contract was and get ready to back the Giants on Sunday, they need our support!
Just remember this: The Giants can be very dangerous in a short series and they’ve proven that anything can happen once you get into the dance. Dodgers definitely don’t want to see this team.
Well glad that $90M is coming off the books, what a waste. Pitching Jeff in the second game yesterday was a huge mistake (he should have stayed home, we were fine without him), 3 runs in 3 inns,, and a 9+ ERA for the year….then we had to blow up the bullpen to finish the game (5 more pitchers) forcing Coonrod into a situation where our playoff chances are on the line, may prove to be the fatal move for the Giants in 2020. We now have lost control of our own destiny, let’s win tomorrow, and say and pray GO CARDS!!
Considering the last few years (thank goodness Hensley Mullens, is gone, the Giants were 22nd/25th/27th of 30 teams in hitting from 2017-19), I would say this scrappy bunch of position players has been very entertaining to follow, to me it’s the best hitting Giants team in many, many years I like seeing Yaz, Donovan, Crawford, Dickerson, Belt, Flores, Dubon, Slater, Ruf, Posey as a strong foundation going into 2021…….their performances this year (other than Posey who sat out) were solid, let’s hope they can build upon this years effort.
Finally, in the off-season lets focus on starting pitching and a lock-down 9th inning guy…..So many blown saves, we could have clinched a playoff spot a few days ago if we would have had anything close to a legitimate closer.
smart move by the giants he has been awful the whole time he was with the giants terrible contract i hope the mets are not stupid enough to sign him
This is a sad day. Jeff was one of the greatest pitchers ever to don a Giants uniform. Without him they wouldnt have won so many games. He really worked so hard during his time with the Giants. Hopefully the Giants have the monetary resources to resign this excellent starting pitcher, really the heart of the team!
He was far from one of the Giants greatest pitchers
I would say Jeff was better than both Dave Burba and Tim Lincecum in their prime. Maybe on the same level as Clayton Kershaw during his prime. Pedro Martinez as well.
If it were my call , I’d take a flyer on him and Archer for next year. The mets need to stockpile all the arms they can get.
I think he can extend his career going back to relief work.
Yes, Samardzija had some success as a reliever earlier in his career. I don’t understand why the Giants didn’t try Shark in the pen, in the second half of 2020. It seems he was always good for an inning or two, then imploded. In fact, if Samardzija is closer on the 2020 Giants, perhaps they make the playoffs.