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Melvin explains Giants' decision to DFA former No. 2 pick Bart

Melvin explains Giants' decision to DFA former No. 2 pick Bart originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

SAN DIEGO -- For three days at Petco Park, Joey Bart hung out after games, unsure of what was next. He seemed to be in a good mood, even though the hammer was about to drop on his Giants career at some point.

Bart often was put in awkward positions, but he handled it all well, including this spring when he showed up without a path to a consistent big-league job. Bart was so impressive in the spring, on and off the field, that the Giants carried him through Opening Day, hoping to kick the decision down the road long enough that they might be able to keep the former No. 2 overall pick in the organization.

Those hopes finally were fully dashed on Sunday, when Bart was designated for assignment to clear a roster spot for right-hander Daulton Jefferies, who has been waiting all week to start the fourth game of the season.

There seems little chance that Bart gets through waivers given the constant need around the league for catching. Multiple rival scouts have said in recent days that their teams have an eye on Bart, and Bob Melvin spoke with some finality on Sunday morning when talking about the decision.

"At the end of the day if he's in the big leagues and he's getting to play and he's in a better place, then we wish him the best," Melvin said. "He worked awfully hard for us this spring. He had a great attitude the whole time, knowing that this could potentially happen. It's about moving on, and sometimes when you have to move on from your first team it's hard, but I think he's going to get a better opportunity than he would have been afforded here."

Bart ended up playing just 162 games for the Giants over parts of four seasons. His first professional season was wrecked by two hand fractures on inside pitches, and a year later the Giants rushed him to the big leagues because Buster Posey opted out during the pandemic and the two other options were struggling defensively. Bart had so many odd things happen that he only played 22 games in Double-A and less than a full season's worth in Triple-A with the Giants.

The odds seem good that he now will get another shot in the big leagues, and he said in a text on Sunday that he's excited for what's to come. The Giants didn't lose faith in Bart this spring, they simply ran out of ways to keep him in the organization since he is out of minor-league options.

"This spring, a lot of his talent level was starting to rise," Melvin said. "I know it was a quick ascent for him and he was coming in after a legend here and things don't go smoothly right away and all of a sudden you're up and down. That can be hard and hard on your psyche, as well, but I think he got past that this year and came into spring training in a good place.

"He was just looking forward to having a good spring, knowing that something like this might happen."

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