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Ball is in Powell’s Court

January 5, 2012

The holiday season apparently gave several uncounted days in the ten days that the A’s had to make a decision when they designated catcher Landon Powell for assignment on December 23rd. Today, Powell cleared waivers and was outrighted to Triple-A Sacramento. As Joe Stiglich of the San Jose Mercury News reports Powell now,

“has eight days to either accept Trip[le] A assignment or become free agent.”

I am pretty surprised that Powell cleared waivers given that he is a catcher who has a somewhat decent MiLB track record (.256/.362/.430 slash line in 1,331 MiLB plate appearances along with 50 home runs) and despite his very poor performance at the MLB level, catchers tend to be commodities teams like to have in abundance and Powell has a reputation of being a pitcher’s catcher even if there is little to back that statistically. It will be interesting to see what his agents at SFX choose to do. Powell avoided arbitration by signing a one-year $620K contract earlier this offseason. Should he refuse the outright assignment he forfeits that contract. Conversely however, he is currently off the 40-man roster on a club that already has four catchers on the 40-man roster, and his non-guaranteed contract can melt away should the A’s choose to release him. Back when he was DFA’d he had said he hoped to be picked up on waivers or traded so I would not be too surprised to see him and his agents opt for free-agency. With no holidays in sight I presume this eight days is a real eight days this time around.

In other A’s news, Coco Crisp‘s two-year deal (with an option for a third) became official today.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Kasper permalink
    January 5, 2012 9:47 pm

    Powell will play for the A’s this year because no one wants him. Why be a free agent when no one picked him up off waivers.

    Powell is slow, big and can’t hit for power. I’ve never been impressed with him defensively either. We have two better catchers in Sacramento. Heck, I’d take Daric Barton behind the plate.

    • January 6, 2012 12:55 pm

      If I were to bet, I’d bet he opts for free-agency. Here’s why: someone will get injured during spring training, teams love catching depth, and no other team in baseball has as much depth as do the A’s at the position. My guess is teams are betting they can get him for less than the $600K+ he is owed which is why no one signed him. The A’s likely won’t pay him that either to play at Sacramento buried on the depth chart (though one could argue it helps them reach the magical salary floor so they might), while he may get less money now playing for another team, he likely does better in the long run and doesn’t have to scramble to find a job when he is released in Spring Training. I could be wrong.

      Otherwise, I am with you, I won’t be missing him.

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