The A’s announced that they have designated infielder Sheldon Neuse for assignment in order to open a roster spot for infielder Ernie Clement, who was claimed off waivers from the Guardians yesterday. The move drops Oakland’s 40-man roster count to 39.
Neuse, 27, began this year in DFA limbo, as the Dodgers cut him loose on December 1, just as the lockout was about to begin. Shortly after the lockout ended in March, he was claimed off waivers by the A’s and has been oscillated between Oakland and Triple-A Las Vegas this year. He’s fared extremely well in Vegas with a .398/.407/.611 line across 25 games, but hasn’t been able to replicate that at the big league level. In 89 games for the A’s this year, he’s hit .214/.273/.288 for a wRC+ of 67.
This has generally been the story of Neuse in recent years as both 2019 and 2021 also saw him post above-average marks in Triple-A but substandard results when in the show. In 147 career MLB games, he’s hit .212/.262/.296 while striking out in 29.8% of his plate appearances. Since the trade deadline has passed, the A’s will have no choice but to put Neuse on outright waivers or release waivers in the coming days.
Another team might be tempted to put in a claim based on Neuse’s continued success at Triple-A. He is in his last option year and wouldn’t need an active roster spot for now, though he will be out of options next year. He also brings defensive versatility to the table, having appeared at all four infield positions this year, as well as spending some time in the outfield corners last year. If he finds a new home and clicks in a new jersey, he can be retained well into the future given that he just crossed one year of MLB service time here in 2022.
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