Travis Ishikawa, a first baseman for the San Francisco Giants, was designated for assignment by the team on July 3 to help clear space on the 40-man roster, the second time the team has done so this season. The Giants had previously designated him for assignment on May 25, and he chose the opportunity of playing for the Giants’ Triple-A team the Sacramento River Cats instead of becoming a free agent. Prior to being designated for assignment on May 25, Ishikawa had not appeared in any games for the Giants. He was placed on the 15-day disabled list on April 5 for a lower back strain and spent time in the minors on multiple rehab assignments.
He was called up and placed on the active roster on June 24 after outfielder Nori Aoki went on the disabled list with a fractured fibula in his right leg. He appeared in six of the team’s eight games before July 3, but he only had six total plate appearances, with one walk and three strikeouts.
At age 31, he has been in the league since 2006; he was with the Giants organization from 2006 to 2011, although he never appeared in the majors in 2007 or 2011. He rejoined the organization April 24, 2014, after spending parts of the 2012 through 2014 seasons within the organizations of the Milwaukee Brewers, Baltimore Orioles, New York Yankees, Chicago White Sox and Pittsburgh Pirates. His most memorable moment with the Giants came in the 2014 NLCS against the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 5 when he hit a walk-off three-run home run in the bottom of the ninth inning to send the team to the World Series.
After he was designated for assignment on May 25, Ishikawa said “there wasn’t really a downside to not staying,” according to the San Francisco Chronicle. Part of the reason was the approximately $800,000 left on his contract that he would not have gotten if he became a free agent.
Players can remain on the designated for assignment list for 10 days, so it remains to be seen whether Ishikawa will use the same logic again and return to the minors or possibly become a free agent.
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