This morning, the San Francisco Giants designated 2014 post-season hero, Travis Ishikawa, for assignment. Ishi had finished his rehab assignment Saturday after spending nearly two months rehabbing a back strain.
The term “designated for assignment” (DFA) is a contractual term used in Major League Baseball. A player who is designated for assignment is immediately removed from the team’s 40-man roster, after which the team must either:
- return the player to the 40-man roster within 10 days from the date of designation, or
- make one of the following contractual moves:
- Place the player on waivers (which can only be done within the first 7 days of the 10-day period)
- Trade the player
- Release the player
- Outright the player from the 40-man roster into the Minor Leagues
The team determined that there’s no room on the big league roster since the Giants are carrying 13 pitchers, which they’ll need in the near future based on scheduling. The only other player on the bubble was Joaquin Arias, but he’s very versatile as the backup at three infield spots (3B, SS, 1B), and sorely needed after the Giants DFA’d Casey McGehee yesterday.
The Giants did not need another first baseman, with Buster Posey the primary backup for Brandon Belt. With Justin Maxwell’s solid play, they already are carrying five outfielders and a full bench.
Ishikawa, 31, hit .274 with the Giants last season, and was used primarily as a pinch-hitter. Ishi’s walk-off home run in Game 5 of the NLCS will go down as one of the most captivating moments in franchise history. This offseason Ishikawa was rewarded with a one-year, $1.1 million contract. It was thought that Ishi would make the 2015 roster as a pinch hitter, backup first baseman and left fielder. However, the injury and the emergence of Matt Duffy and Justin Maxwell led to today’s decision.
It’s unlikely that Ishi will go unclaimed by another team, because of his post-season heroics and versatility, as well as his favorable contract. The Giants will hope to be able to keep Ishikawa around as an insurance option in Triple-A Sacramento.
Stay tuned for more updates right here from A San Francisco Fan in New York.
The Giants look to snap a two-game losing streak when they open a three games series this afternoon in Milwaukee, with Tim Lincecum (4-2, 2.08) on the mound.