Left fielder/second baseman Kensuke Tanaka cleared waivers Friday and is now a free agent after being released by the Giants who designated him for assignment on Sept. 3 removing him from the 40-man roster to make room for younger talent.
The 32-year-old had been in Fresno since being optioned there following the teams' July 29 visit to the White House.
So goes the breath of fresh air that debuted on July 9 with a home run robbing catch in left along with his first big league hit and run scored. In Japanese custom, he bowed in respect to the fans at AT&T who applauded him. The bowing soon became a celebratory gesture between he and Pablo Sandoval.
[RELATED: Tanaka looks good in major league debut]
After a bad spring, but good Triple-A campaign in which he played second and left, he was summoned to fill the still existing hole in left field. In 15 games he hit in disciplined fashion .267 with two RBIs, a .353 OBP, two steals, and four runs while maintaining a perfect fielding percentage in 55.0 innings played.
Yet in a head-scratching attempt to find an available every day left fielder (a household name) general manager Brian Sabean (surely regrets it now) brought in Jeff Francoeur hoping the diminished ex-Gold Glover who rose to prominence with Bobby Cox's famed Baby Braves in 2005 could stabilize the seven spot. Remember the Giants made no deals at the trade deadline.
[RELATED: Giants pick up Jeff Francoeur]
Somewhere in Sabean's mind he was praying for a 2010 Pat Burrell impact. He didn't even get 2012 Xavier Nady.
Whatever he was thinking, bringing in a free-swinging guy with a .208 average in 59 games with the Royals to AT&T Park hoping his numbers would increase was easy to call as a bad move and one that shouldn't have been a consideration.
Yes, defensively Francoeur was sound, making one nice throw out of memory (can't even recall his jersey number off hand), but at the plate his average fell to .194 in just 22 games before he was cut.
Tanaka tore it up in Triple-A hitting .329/.400/.397 in 400 plate appearances, but it doesn't matter now as he and the "Four-A" Francoeur have seen their last days in black and orange, neither are in the Giants future plans, and both are now free agents.