The SF Giants designated Jeff Samardzija for assignment on Saturday. It brings an end to Shark’s five-year career in San Francisco.
Following Friday’s doubleheader against the San Diego Padres, the SF Giants needed to remove one player from their big-league roster. According to the team’s Twitter, they decided to designate right-handed pitcher Jeff Samardzija for assignment, which placed him on unconditional release waivers. He will not be claimed by another big-league team and will become an unrestricted free-agent shortly.
In a discussion with reporters, the 35-year old Samardzija was adamant that he plans to pitch next season. It is technically possible for him to reunite with the Giants down the road, but it’s hard to envision. Granted, he likely won’t receive more than minor-league contract offers on the free-agent market.
Samardzija missed a large portion of the pandemic-shortened 2020 season. He finished the season with 16.2 innings, 21 hits, 4 walks, 6 strikeouts, and an abysmal 9.72 ERA. Other statistics like FIP weren’t much kinder to Shark’s performance (9.00 FIP).
The Giants signed Samardzija following the 2015 season to a five-year, $90 million contract. He quickly formed a strong trio with Johnny Cueto and Madison Bumgarner atop the team’s rotation in 2016. However, he failed to put together back-to-back strong seasons over the life of the contract.
Over his 13-year career, Shark has accumulated an 80-106 record and 1645.1 innings pitched alongside 7.9 strikeouts per nine innings, 2.7 walks per nine innings, and a 4.15 ERA. Clearly, Samardzija hopes that’s not his final career line. Only time will tell if he can change it.
Prior to his time in San Francisco, Jeff Samardzija earned a reputation as a sturdy innings-eater. However, a few years beyond his prime, it’s hard to envision him filling that role again. Still, he’s not too far from flashing those abilities with the SF Giants.