The reason why the SF Giants have not released their former top pick yet

There is a reason why the SF Giants have yet to release their former top draft pick.

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

It is no secret that Joey Bart's time with the SF Giants is coming to a close. Ever since Patrick Bailey emerged last season, the writing has been on the wall. Yet, there is a reason why Bart is still on the team this deep into Spring Training.

The reason why the SF Giants have not released their former top pick yet

With the drama over the Giants releasing third baseman J.D. Davis to save money, it naturally leads one to speculate about how Bart's time with the Giants will end.

Bart and Davis were the two players on the Giants who seemed most likely to be traded or let go at some point this spring. With Davis, it seems that the Giants were unable to find a trade partner who wanted him at his $6.9 million salary, which he earned in arbitration, so the Giants released him because of a loophole in the CBA that made that money non-guaranteed.

With Bart, it is a slightly different situation. Last season, he earned roughly the league minimum at $735,000. Therefore, teams are not willing to trade for Bart because of money necessarily.

Instead, it is because Bart has no minor league options remaining, teams are likely just going to wait out the Giants because they know it is very unlikely that he will make the big league roster with both Bailey and Tom Murphy ahead of him on the depth chart.

One might ask, "Why don't the Giants just release him now so he can find a home on another team before the season begins?" That is a good question and one that can be answered by our friends at McCovey Chronicles.

This post was in response to Marc Delucchi, a former contributor at this site. Essentially, they are saying that Bart has not yet been released because he is an insurance policy if either Bailey or Murphy gets hurt.

The Giants have Cooper Hummel and Blake Sabol on the 40-man roster, but perhaps they are thinking that Bart is more serviceable than either of those options.

For instance, in Tuesday's game against the Dodgers, Bailey had to leave the game with a right hand contusion. It seems Bailey will not miss significant time, but it just shows what can happen.

It puts Bart in a tough situation since he is essentially in a state of limbo, but it is probably wise for the Giants to wait until the end of spring training just in case a serious injury occurs.

Plus, Bart is having a solid spring training at the plate. We have seen him have a hot bat in March before, so who knows if it will translate to the big leagues this time. But it seems likely that many teams will have interest if and when Bart is let go. Teams can never have enough catchers.

Bart's end in San Francisco figures to be an unceremonious one as the Giants will most likely, barring injury, release Bart before the regular season. It will be a sad end to Bart's tenure in San Francisco.