The A’s have passed on reliever Alan Embree’s $3 million option for the upcoming season, making the left-hander a free agent. I just got off the phone with A’s assistant GM David Forst, and he said the team has told Embree they’re open to re-signing him at a smaller price tag.
Look at the depth of the A’s bullpen, and it’s not a surprise the team isn’t willing to shell out $3 million on Embree. He wasn’t nearly as effective in 2008 as he was in ’07, and his role was dramatically reduced by the end of last season as guys such as Joey Devine, Brad Ziegler and Jerry Blevins (like Embree, a lefty) showed great promise. But much as in Mike Sweeney’s case, the A’s lose one of the game’s good guys if Embree doesn’t come back. You could throw any question at him about any topic, and he always had something intelligent to offer. And he was a stand-up guy after a bad game, sticking around to answer every question about what went wrong on the mound. Here’s hoping he finds a job somewhere if he wants to keep pitching.
The A’s also claimed infielder Joe Dillon off waivers from the Milwaukee Brewers. Dillon is 33 and split 2008 between Milwaukee and Triple-A, hitting .213 with one homer and six RBI in 56 major-league games.