SF Giants add former top A's pitching prospect to roster, DFA Joey Bart

2024 San Francisco Giants Spring Training
2024 San Francisco Giants Spring Training / Zac BonDurant/San Francisco Giants/GettyImages

The front end of the SF Giants rotation has been set in stone since before the season began. However, who will round it out has remained a mystery. For now, Daulton Jefferies will get the first crack at it as his contract was selected. Joey Bart was designated for assignment according to the team's transaction log.

SF Giants add former top A's pitching prospect to roster, DFA Joey Bart

Jefferies was selected in the first round of the 2016 draft by the Oakland A's out of the University of California at Berkeley. For the next few seasons, he was considered one of Oakland's best pitching prospects.

In five minor league seasons, the righty pitcher has recorded a 3.93 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, 9.6 K/9, and an 8.22 SO/W ratio while working primarily out of the rotation. On the mound, he flashes a low 90's sinker that he pairs with a changeup that has late, fading action and a cutter that morphs into a slider at times. He does not flash premium velocity on his sinker, but it gets plenty of armside run.

Jefferies has an advanced feel for pitching and above-average control, so he moved through the minors with relative ease. He has also appeared in parts of three seasons with the A's, posting a 5.75 ERA across 56.1 sporadic frames.

The 28-year-old had the makings of becoming a rotation cog, but he has also dealt with significant injury setbacks. This includes two Tommy John procedures as well as Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (TOS) surgery.

Not many pitchers come back from that combination, so his return to the mound nearly two years after his last major league appearance is one of perseverance.

Jefferies came into Giants camp as a non-roster invitee and quickly impressed the coaching staff. He tallied a 2.57 ERA with 16 strikeouts against three walks in 14 Cactus League innings while being one of the final cuts. It could be a short stay in the rotation with Blake Snell's 2024 debut looming, but if Jefferies impresses, he could shift to the bullpen as a bulk innings reliever. Of course, he got off to a rough start on Sunday, yielding nine runs (five earned) on nine hits in just two innings against the San Diego Padres.

On the other hand of the transaction, Joey Bart was designated for assignment. He was the second overall pick by the Giants in 2018, and at one point, he was thought to be the eventual successor to Buster Posey behind the dish.

However, that never came to fruition as he struggled to the tune of a .623 OPS in parts of four seasons with the Giants. Bart has improved in terms of pitch framing, but his blocking and ability to control the running game leave a bit to be desired.

Despite making the Opening Day roster, there was no obvious role for Bart. The Giants hope that he can clear waivers and remain with the club. Though, it feels like a change of scenery would be the best path for Bart.