SAN FRANCISCO — George Kontos, the final member of the Giants’ bullpen from their World Series championship team of 2014, said he felt “shock” when informed Saturday morning he had been put on waivers and picked up by the Pittsburgh Pirates.
“Yeah, it did come as a surprise, actually,” said Kontos, who spent six seasons with the Giants, contributing to the 2012 and ’14 World Series winners. “It was a little bit of shock at that moment. It felt like six years of memories piled up on my shoulder real quick.”
Manager Bruce Bochy said Kontos was a casualty of the Giants’ last-place season.
“You look at our situation, there’s some young players who are going to get the chance to show what they can do,” he said. “This goes with the territory of our struggles. We need to find out about some players, see what we need to do this winter.”
Kontos, 32, appeared in exactly 300 games in six seasons for the Giants, all in relief. He was 15-14 with a 3.05 earned run average, mostly as a set-up man. But he was 0-5 with a 3.83 ERA in 50 games this season.
Kontos said he will always regard San Francisco as more than a job address.
“I’ve been pretty out and about in the city, involved in the community. It’s a place I will always consider home,” he said. “It’s a little bit tough. Nobody likes change.”
Kontos will join a Pirates team chasing the Chicago Cubs in the NL Central race.
“It’s always great when you have somebody who wants you and feels like you can help their ballclub,” said Kontos, who fly to Pittsburgh on Sunday and be activated for the Pirates’ home game Monday against Detroit.
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