The A’s added to their minor league pitching depth recently with claims of Danny Otero from the New York Yankees and Josh Stinson from the Milwaukee Brewers. Unfortunately, this meant that two players had to be designated for assignment (DFA) and the organization had to decide whether to start them in Triple-A, be traded, or be released. Those two players were fan favorite swingman Travis Blackley and first basemen Daric Barton.
March 12, 2013; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Oakland Athletics first baseman Daric Barton (10) reacts to a foul ball in the third inning during a spring training game against the Kansas City Royals at Phoenix Municipal Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports
Barton’s DFA was somewhat unsurprising given his numbers the past couple of seasons. He also signed a non guaranteed contract worth a little over $1 million. Now that the A’s have DFA’d him they will not have to pay him that salary. Even though his offense lacks, he still draws a lot of walks and can play above average defense at first. He will be claimed or released given some teams needs for depth at the first base position.
Blackley’s DFA came as more of a surprise than did Barton’s. The Aussie swingman was claimed last season from the Giants and took off in Oakland. He made plenty of spot starts due to injuries and suspensions and he came in if a young pitcher struggled early and held down the fort until the offense could respond. With the emergence of Dan Straily and the resigning of Bartolo Colon there was little room for Blackley on the roster. He told reporters he was still mulling the decision to be sent down to the minors or be released if he is not traded.
One of the new players the A’s claimed is Danny Otero. Originally playing for the Giants, Otero was claimed by the Yankees. The next day however the A’s claimed him. He is a relief pitcher who struggled in his only time in the big leagues last season. He does not give up many long balls but he cannot limit hits which obviously inflates his ERA.
The other player the A’s claimed is also a reliever in Josh Stinson. Stinson came over from the Brewers after one season in Milwaukee. Originally drafted by the Mets, Stinson struggled in first big league experience as well but had a much more successful, yet shorter, second time around. Last season for the Brewers he threw 9.1 innings pitched with a 0.96 ERA. He is prone to home runs and walks so the A’s will have to work with him to make the claim a worthwhile one.