Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
Barry Zito thanks the fans for their support.
The San Francisco Giants have made several changes to their 40-man roster since the end of the 2013 season. Gone are seven players: Barry Zito, Andres Torres, Jose Mijares, Francisco Peguero, Chad Gaudin, Sandy Rosario and Johnny Monell.
In the case of five of the players, the departures made perfect sense because the player performed well below expectations or other players had passed them by.
The Giants paid Zito $7 million to move on, as opposed to exercising his option and paying him an additional $18 million.
Zito left on a positive note, showing his appreciation for the fans of San Francisco. Although Giants fans were not enamored with Zito's performance, they did come to appreciate his professionalism and effort.
Veterans Torres and Mijares were not offered new deals once their contracts had expired. Torres and Mijares were big disappointments this past year.
Rosario and Monell were also released, but not because of poor performance. They were passed by other players.
In the case of Rosario, Jean Machi, Heath Hembree and Jake Dunning all passed him and the Giants also have several good young pitching prospects developing.
Monell had a very good year with the Giants' Triple-A affiliate in Fresno. He hit .275 with 20 home runs and 64 RBI, which earned him a September call-up.
Monell will be 28 years of age in March and the clock was ticking on him as a prospect. The Giants really like Andrew Susac as a young catcher and Susac is four years younger than Monell. With Buster Posey and Hector Sanchez locked in at the Major League level, Monell just got caught in the numbers game.
The surprising departures were Peguero and Gaudin. Peguero has played eight seasons in the Giants organization and is still only 25 years of age. He is a career .306 hitter in the minors and has some big league experience over the past two seasons.
Peguero, Roger Kieschnick and Juan Perez all got the opportunity to play in San Francisco last year. Perez showed some very good flashes and will likely be the Giants' fifth outfielder in 2014.
Neither Peguero nor Kieschnick distinguished themselves, but it appeared that Peguero had the higher upside. If a decision had to be made, it was a bit of a surprise that Peguero was released and not Kieschnick. Peguero has since signed with the Baltimore Orioles.
The other surprise departure is Gaudin. For the first four months of the 2013 season, Gaudin was one of the Giants' most reliable pitchers. he excelled in relief and also did very well as a spot starter.
In 97 innings of work, Gaudin allowed 81 hits and 40 walks while striking out 88. He complied a 5-2 record, along with an ERA of 3.06 and WHIP of 1.247.
Gaudin is embroiled in a legal issue stemming from an incident in Las Vegas that may have caused the Giants to cut ties with him. The departure of Gaudin likely means that Yusmeiro Petit will inherit the long reliever and spot-starter jobs.
Departures Grade: B+