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SAN FRANCISCO – With Brett Pill still negotiating an overseas assignment to Korea, the Giants needed to turn elsewhere to make a roster sacrifice.
So they designated left-hander Eric Surkamp for assignment on Thursday in order to clear space for new left fielder Michael Morse. Both Morse and right-hander Ryan Vogelsong are now officially on the 40-man roster, Giants vice president Bobby Evans said.
Surkamp could be traded or claimed by another club on waivers. If he clears, the Giants would outright him to Triple-A Fresno. The 26-year-old was leading the Double-A Eastern League in all three triple-crown categories (wins, ERA strikeouts) when the Giants called him up in 2011. But he had mixed results in six starts and never made it out of spring training the following year because of ongoing elbow issues.
Surkamp ended up having Tommy John surgery and made just one start for the Giants last season, giving up seven earned runs in 2 2/3 innings as part of a July 23 doubleheader against the Cincinnati Reds.
The Giants didn’t announce the move with Surkamp but confirmed it after it appeared on the transactions page of their Web site.
The club’s 40-man roster is now full, although a spot would open up with Pill’s departure. It’s expected that if the first baseman cannot come to terms with KIA Tigers of Korea Professional Baseball, then there are other clubs in Korea and Japan interested in purchasing his rights from the Giants. Whether he's paid in yen or won, he's likely to double what his big league salary would be with the Giants.