For the second time this season Daric Barton has been designated for assignment by the Oakland A’s. The move was made to make space on the active roster for the team to activate outfielder Chris Young from the disabled list, who’s return will allow the team to move Brandon Moss back to first base.
Barton had initially been DFA’d in late March after he failed to make the team’s Opening Day roster. He’d clear waivers and accept an assignment to the minor leagues, where he’d hit .287/.422/.465 in 128 PA. Barton returned to Oakland’s active roster earlier this month but has since seen limited playing time. The former top prospect (he was named to Baseball America’s Top 100 list four times from 2005-2008) has always been considered a strong defensive option and he’s hit well in the minor leagues – a career mark of .286/.407/.447 in 2,917 PA – but hasn’t been able to see that production translate at the Major League level over parts of the past seven seasons.
The 28th overall pick in the 2003 Draft by the St. Louis Cardinals, Barton was a big part of the package that Oakland received in 2004 when the A’s dealt Mark Mulder to St. Louis.
Young has been sidelined for the past two weeks with a strained quadriceps. In 101 PA on the year he’s hit .172/.277/.391, but has seen time at all three outfield positions. Young had primarily played center field with the Arizona Diamondbacks, from whom the A’s acquired him this winter, where he’d shown an ability to hit for power (20+ home runs in four of the past six seasons) and speed (20+ stolen bases in two of the last three). Having him patrolling the outfield in place of Moss is a certain defensive upgrade for the A’s.
This was the second DFA that the team has announced in the past 24 hours, as right-handed reliever Chris Resop was also removed from the active roster yesterday. That move was done to make room for Hideki Okajima to be recalled. Okajima had signed a minor league deal with the A’s late this past offseason after spending the 2012 season back home in Japan. In 16.2 IP at Triple-A he’s posted a 2.16 ERA and 0.780 WHIP, striking out 18 and walking just 2.