SAN FRANCISCO — The World Series champion San Francisco Giants are parting ways with Aubrey Huff, declining to exercise his $10 million club option Thursday after two disappointing seasons following a big year during the team’s title run two years ago.
A day after the Giants celebrated their second championship in three years with a lavish parade through downtown, vice president of baseball operations Bobby Evans made the announcement regarding the first baseman and outfielder — though it hardly came as a surprise. Huff will receive a $2 million buyout as part of the $22 million, two-year contract he signed in November 2010.
"I thank him for his major contribution in helping us win the World Series in 2010 and being there to help in whatever role we had him in this year,” manager Bruce Bochy said.
He batted .192 with a home run and seven RBIs in 52 games during an injury-plagued year featuring three stints on the disabled list. One of those happened after Huff sprained his right knee while jumping over the dugout railing to celebrate Matt Cain’s perfect game June 13 and went on the disabled list.
He landed on the knee and had to be helped off the field.
In late April, Huff was placed on the DL so he could undergo treatment for an anxiety disorder. He later revealed to the San Francisco Chronicle he experienced an eight-hour panic attack that began in his New York hotel room early on April 23, when the Giants played a doubleheader against the Mets. Huff headed home to Florida and had another such attack the following day, then called Giants athletic trainers and told them what happened after initially saying he had a family emergency.
This time around, understandably, Wednesday’s parade was much different for the 35-year-old Huff after he played such a limited role this year. He and his family attended the festivities and it served as his San Francisco farewell.
In 2010, Huff hit .290 with a team-leading 26 home runs and 86 RBIs while playing in 157 games, then starred during the postseason by hitting .268 with one home run and eight RBIs.
He also inspired his teammates and the fans with that infamous red rally thong, then vowed to leave it in the past and retired it before spring training ahead of the 2011 season.
Huff, a fifth-round draft pick by the Tampa Bay Rays in 1998 out of Miami, made the playoffs in 2010 for the first time after playing 11 major league seasons.
"Huff was a huge reason we won in 2010 not only for his contributions in the 2010 postseason but his consistent production throughout the entire 2010 campaign,” Evans said. "I’m glad he was able to fight his way back to the active roster to finish the 2012 season and serve as a bat off the bench in the postseason this year.”