Giants designate right-hander for assignment
Daulton Jefferies. Ray Acevedo-USA TODAY Sports

The Giants announced Monday that they’ve designated right-hander Daulton Jefferies for assignment. His spot on the 40-man roster will go to right-handed pitching prospect Mason Black, whose previously reported promotion from Triple-A Sacramento is now official.

Jefferies, 28, went through two years of painstaking rehab to get back to the big leagues after undergoing both Tommy John surgery and thoracic outlet surgery. The former No. 37 overall draft pick’s Giants debut at the end of March was his first MLB appearance since May 2022 with the A’s.

Jefferies shined in Spring Training this year (2.57 ERA, 16-to-3 K/BB ratio in 14 innings) and has pitched quite well in four Triple-A appearances this season. In 18 1/3 frames with Sacramento, he’s notched a tidy 3.44 ERA while fanning 22.7% of his opponents against a sharp 6.7% walk rate.

However, in a pair of big league appearances, he’s lasted just 4 2/3 innings overall and been tagged for 13 runs (nine earned) on the strength of 14 hits (two homers) and a pair of walks. Jefferies has only fanned four of the 31 men he’s faced. He’s seen more than half the balls in play against him land for hits, which certainly hasn’t helped his cause, but he’s also paid the price for plenty of mistakes over the plate; in addition to the pair of homers, he’s surrendered six doubles and a triple.

Jefferies has had a fair bit of minor league success, but he’s yet to carry it over to the big leagues in a quartet of seasons where he’s seen mostly fleeting action. In 61 MLB frames, he carries an unsightly 6.64 earned run average, although his overall mark in six minor league seasons is nearly half that number, sitting at 3.88. 

Injuries have played no small part in his struggles; the previously mentioned Tommy John surgery in 2022 was actually the second of his career, and he battled nerve issues in his elbow for nearly a year before finally being diagnosed with thoracic outlet symptom and undergoing that surgery.

The Giants will have a week to trade Jefferies, attempt to pass him through outright waivers or release him. He’s in his final minor league option season, so any team that acquires him would be able to send him to Triple-A without needing to expose him to waivers. 

Jefferies has been outrighted once in the past, so even if he goes unclaimed on waivers, that prior outright assignment grants him the right to reject another outright assignment in favor of free agency.

This article first appeared on MLB Trade Rumors and was syndicated with permission.

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