As he sat in front of reporters on a video conference call late Friday night, Jeff Samardzija looked like a man who clearly knew his time in San Francisco was coming to an end. It happened a few days earlier than expected.
The Giants designated Samardzija for assignment on Saturday morning, officially ending a five-year run in San Francisco. Samardzija was not going to return next season, but he worked his way back from a shoulder injury to make one final appearance Friday, giving up three runs in three innings in the loss to the San Diego Padres. He made just four starts in his final season in orange and black.
ROSTER MOVES:— SFGiants (@SFGiants) September 26, 2020
• Jeff Samardzija designated for assignment and placed on unconditional release waivers.#SFGiants
Samardzija said afterward that he "100 percent" expects to pitch next season. It won't be in San Francisco, where the prior regime was the one that gave him $90 million.
Still, Samardzija showed appreciation Friday.
"It's always an honor to play for the Giants," Samardzija said. "From the ownership, the way they've treated me from the beginning, and obviously with (former manager Bruce) Bochy and those guys, it was a dream come true," "You can't ask for anything other than that, and that's what I'll look for, that type of situation. It's just nice to be liked, to be loved, appreciated, and know that we're working our butt off out there and know what you give.
"I'm willing to give it all and I think that's all that you care about as a player. You've got to be willing to sacrifice a lot to go out there and be good at this game and I love this game, I feel great. Obviously it was a tough situation this year with that short camp, shutting down."
Samardzija never got in rhythm this season, giving up 18 earned runs in four starts sandwiched around a lengthy IL trip. But he didn't pack it in, either, when he very well could have. Samardzija worked hard to make it back for this final series, and he gave Gabe Kapler an option when he didn't have many others.
In the end, that'll be Samardzija's legacy in San Francisco. The Giants signed him to soak up innings after the 2015 team had huge starting pitching issues, and he gave them three of at least 180 and two of 200. He finished with a 4.24 ERA in 110 Giants starts.
The move opens up a 40-man roster spot for the final two games. The Giants might need to add pitching before Saturday's game to help out a gassed bullpen.