Giants DFA former first-round pick Bart

March 31st, 2024

SAN DIEGO -- 's turbulent tenure with the Giants came to an end on Sunday, when the No. 2 overall pick of the 2018 MLB Draft was designated for assignment prior to the club’s series finale at Petco Park.

The Giants carried Bart on their Opening Day roster as their third catcher, but they had to make a tough decision to clear a spot on the 40-man roster for right-hander Daulton Jefferies, who started against the Padres on Sunday after having his contract selected from Triple-A Sacramento.

They ultimately opted to cut Bart, who was out of options and didn’t have a clear path to playing time after falling behind Patrick Bailey and Tom Murphy on the catching depth chart.

“It’s difficult,” manager Bob Melvin said. “All of these are. But 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 you wish him the best. 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. 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, 27, was viewed as Buster Posey’s heir apparent when he was selected with the organization’s highest Draft pick in 33 years, but he struggled to establish himself in the Majors after batting .219 with a .623 OPS over 162 games in parts of four seasons in San Francisco.

The Giants were forced to rush Bart to the Majors after Posey opted out of the pandemic-shortened 2020 campaign, leaving the young backstop to try to navigate his first Major League season without the help of another veteran catcher.

Bart didn’t get much of a chance to serve as Posey’s apprentice the following year, spending most of the season at Triple-A Sacramento and making only two appearances for the 107-win Giants. He returned to the Minors after being supplanted by Bailey as the Giants’ catcher of the future last year, hitting .248 with a .750 OPS and six homers over 60 games for the River Cats.

Bart’s days with the Giants appeared numbered after they brought in Murphy to back up Bailey over the offseason, but he still drew praise from the new coaching staff for his attitude and the way he came into camp this spring. While it didn’t work out with the Giants, Bart could be a prime change-of-scenery candidate and should benefit from a fresh opportunity to stick somewhere else.

“It looked to me like he’s developed, certainly this spring,” Melvin said. “A lot of the talent level was starting to rise. I know it was a quick ascent for him, and it was difficult. You’re coming in after a legend here. Things don’t go smoothly right away, and now 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 passed that this year and came into Spring Training in a good place.”