Saturday December 20th, 2014

The Oakland Athletics have released 14-year veteran utility infielder Nick Punto, the San Francisco Chronicle's Susan Slusser reported on Friday afternoon.

The move comes after Oakland acquired two pitchers on Thursday and needed to make additional room on their roster, Slusser writes. Oakland signed Punto, currently 37-years-old, to a two-year, $5.5 million contract last offseason, after Punto spent a year with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

By releasing Punto, the Athletics remain liable for the $2.75 million Punto was due in 2015, less the pro-rated major league minimum.

Report: Padres acquire outfielder Justin Upton from Braves

In 73 games with Oakland, Punto hit .207 with a .296 on-base percentage and a .293 slugging percentage. He had 14 RBI and two home runs.

He is a career .245 hitter with a .646 OPS, 263 RBI and 19 home runs.

Oakland signed starting pitcher Jesse Hahn and relief pitcher R.J. Alvarez on Thursday, additions that left them with 41 members on the team's 40-man roster.

Yankees trade Martin Prado to Marlins for Nathan Eovaldi

According to Slusser, that the Athletics chose to release Punto, a veteran, indicates that the team aims to sign another infielder in the near future. Ben Zobrist of the Tampa Bay Rays, Ian Desmond of the Washington National's and Allen Craig of the Boston Red Sox appear to be the prime candidates.

 
- Christopher Woody

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