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J.D. Davis released by San Francisco Giants after beating team in arbitration

San Francisco Giants' J.D. Davis, left, rounds the bases after hitting a three-run home run against Texas Rangers starting pitcher Adrian Sampson, right, during the second inning of a spring training baseball game Friday, March 1, 2024, in Scottsdale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Third baseman J.D. Davis was released by the San Francisco Giants on Monday after beating the team last month in salary arbitration and will get just over $1.1 million in termination pay rather than a $6.9 million salary.

Davis was awarded the salary by a three-person panel rather than the team's $6.55 million offer. Under baseball's collective bargaining agreement, negotiated contracts for arbitration-eligible players are guaranteed, while salaries decided by an arbitration panel are not. That allowed the Giants to release Davis for 30 days' termination pay, which came to $1,112,903.

“We negotiate all of our arbitration cases in good faith and tried to reach an agreement with all of our arbitration-eligible players, him included,” Giants President of Baseball Operations Farhan Zaidi said in a video call. “Sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesn't.”

Davis, who turns 31 next month, hit .248 with 18 homers and 69 RBIs last year in his first full season with the Giants, who obtained him from the New York Mets in August 2022. He also plays first base and outfield but became expendable when the Giants agreed to a $54 million, three-year contract with third baseman Matt Chapman.

During spring training this year, Davis was 6 for 15 (.400) with two homers and six RBIs in six games.

Zaidi also said having Wilmer Flores gives the Giants a “similar defensive profile and role to what J.D. might be” weighed into the decision, along with adding a full-time designated hitter in Jorge Soler.

“The fit was a little bit tighter,” Zaidi said. “We did spend last week kind of canvassing the league for trade interest and didn't really get a lot of traction there. That was part of the move of putting him on outright waivers over the weekend figuring there was more of a chance of a team putting in a claim that may be engaging in trade discussions. As soon as we got the word that he went unclaimed on outright waivers, we just decided to make this move.”

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