Designated hitter Brandon Moss has been released by the Oakland Athletics.
Moss was acquired from Kansas City on Jan. 29 and was 4 for 10 with two walks in four spring training games. He was designated for assignment when Oakland claimed left-hander Jairo Labourt off waivers from Cincinnati on Sunday.
Moss is guaranteed $7.25 million this season and a $1 million buyout of his 2019 club option. He was acquired Kansas City on Jan. 29 along with left-hander Ryan Buchter for right-handers Jesse Hahn and Heath Fillmyer, and the Royals agreed to pay Oakland $3.25 million.
Moss hit .207 with 22 homers and 50 RBIs in 118 games for Kansas City last year and has a .237 average with 160 homers and 473 RBIs in 11 big league seasons with Boston (2007-08), Pittsburgh (2008-10), Philadelphia (2011), Oakland (2012-14), Cleveland (2015), St. Louis (2015-16) and Kansas City (2017).
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It’s not exactly a hospitable market setting for the veteran slugger to enter. Moss, whose offensive productivity has fallen off in recent years, will almost certainly be looking at a minor-league deal. Adam Lind just took a minors pact, after all, despite quality output at the plate in 2017.
If the 34-year-old Moss signs with another team, a prorated share of the $545,000 minimum would be offset against what he is owed by the A’s, who announced his release Tuesday.
For Moss, things just haven’t been the same since he was dealt away by the A’s following a productive three-season run from 2012 through 2014. He did hit well enough in 2016 to earn a $12MM deal from Kansas City, but stumbled to a .207/.279/.428 slash line in 401 plate appearances last year. While Moss still hit the ball out of the yard 22 times, that doesn’t really stand out in a league environment that has seen a significant rise in the frequency of the long ball.
Moss, 34, has said that he’ll retire if he’s unable to find a major league contract.
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