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A’s release Michael Wuertz, pick up reliever and outfielder on waivers from Padres

The A’s released reliever Michael Wuertz on Tuesday, not a big shock as it was likely they would decline his $3.25 million club option in a few days anyway. The A’s claimed right-handed reliever Evan Scribner and outfielder Cedric Hunter off waivers from the San Diego Padres, and they needed to clear a space on the 40-man roster, so Wuertz was released as a result.

It was an interesting three seasons for Wuertz in Oakland. He was one of the majors’ most dominant relievers in 2009, going 6-1 and striking out 102 in 78 2/3 innings. But he was nowhere near that form over the past two seasons, going 2-3 with a 5.40 ERA, 47 walks and 72 strikeouts in 73 1/3 innings combined. He was signed to a two-year, $5.25 million contract for the 2010-11 seasons, and it was pretty obvious the A’s weren’t going to pick up his option for this upcoming season. Wuertz is a stand-up guy and knew he wasn’t likely to be back with Oakland. “I know I haven’t performed up to what they paid me to do the last couple years,” he said today over the phone. “It’s a business. I don’t know if they’re going to try to go younger or whatever. It’s just time to move on. I think wherever I go, whatever team that gets me is going to get a pretty good steal and a pretty good pitcher.”

I don’t have a whole lot to offer on Scribner, 26, and Hunter, 23, at this point. You can click on the links to read up on their stats. Scribner was a 28th-round pick of Arizona in 2007 and made his big league debut in 2011 with San Diego, posting a 7.07 ERA in 10 appearances spread over two stints. Hunter, who bats and throws left-handed, was a third-round pick in 2006. He made the Padres’ Opening Day roster this season (his big league debut) but played in just six games before spending the rest of the season in Triple-A, where he hit.255 with two homers and 33 RBIs in 81 games. A groin injury in July ended his season.

That’s all for now …

Joe Stiglich