Kontos headed to Pirates after waiver claim

Kontos headed to Pirates after waiver claim

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants said farewell to a key contributor on two World Series teams Saturday when the Pirates claimed right-handed reliever George Kontos off revokable waivers.

Kontos said he was surprised Saturday morning when Giants general manager Bobby Evans called him to deliver the news. His roster spot was taken by Chris Stratton, who was activated from the 10-day disabled list and started vs. the D-backs on Saturday.

"It just felt like six years of memories piled up on my shoulders real quick," Kontos said while cleaning out his locker.

Kontos made 300 appearances with the Giants. And despite an 0-5 record this season, Kontos had pitched well, posting a 3.83 ERA in 50 appearances. He compiled a 3.05 ERA with San Francisco from 2012-17.

The Pirates are responsible for the remainder of Kontos' contract. He avoided arbitration before the season when he signed a one-year, $1.75 million deal.

Giants manager Bruce Bochy said Kontos' departure is a byproduct of the team's tumultuous season.

"He was a pro about it," Bochy said. "This goes with the territory of our struggles. We need to find out about some players and see where we're at. Not just now, [but] in the future."

Still, Kontos said it will be difficult to leave San Francisco. It's a city he grew to know well through during his six-year tenure.

"I've made it a home here," Kontos said. "It's been not just a baseball town, it's been someplace where I will always consider home. It's a little tough. Nobody likes change."

Kontos found a silver lining in the change. He will have the chance to contribute immediately on a contending team. The Pirates will activate him Monday.

"They obviously liked me enough to claim me," Kontos said. "I spoke to their GM [Neal Huntington] this morning. Going to go in there and hope to compete late in their bullpen, help them get some wins and maybe get into the playoffs. That would be great."

Belt lands on DL

The Giants placed Brandon Belt on the seven-day concussion disabled list Saturday morning. Bochy said the first baseman is optimistic he can return sooner rather than later.

"He's been through this before," Bochy said. "He did say he felt better in the early going than he has before. But these things are hard to figure out."

Belt was hit by Anthony Banda's 79 mph curveball during Friday's game against the D-backs. He exited with concussion symptoms.

Bochy talked with Belt before he left AT&T Park: "He said last night, 'I plan on being out seven days and coming right back.'"

Melancon OK after third rehab outing

Closer Mark Melancon, on the DL with a right pronator strain, made his third rehab start Friday at Class A Advanced San Jose, throwing two-thirds of an inning while allowing four runs. The Giants haven't quite set the timeline for Melancon's next start. But he likely won't be activated before the team's East Coast road trip starting Friday.

"He didn't get through the inning but it seems like he came out of it fine, health-wise," Bochy said.

Jonathan Hawthorne is a reporter for MLB.com based in the Bay Area. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.