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A’s release catcher Landon Powell, eat $100,000

Mar 9, 2012, 2:49 PM EDT


Landon Powell spent parts of the past three seasons with the A’s and avoided arbitration in December with a one-year, $620,000 contract, but this morning Oakland released the 30-year-old catcher.

Powell hasn’t hit in the majors, batting just .207 with a .612 OPS in 123 games, and the 2004 first-round pick hasn’t even been particularly good in various stints at Triple-A. Because his contract was non-guaranteed the A’s will owe Powell one-sixth of his salary, which slightly more than $100,000.

He was outrighted off the 40-man roster in January and accepted an assignment to the minors after going unclaimed on waivers, so at this point Powell will likely have to settle for a minor-league deal elsewhere.

  1. The Dangerous Mabry - Mar 9, 2012 at 3:50 PM

    Great moments in misreading headlines:

    “A’s Catcher Landon Powell eats $100,000”

    “Oh, man, I hope there’s video. That’s crazy!”

    *Rereads headline*

    “Oh. Well that’s not nearly as exciting.”

  2. rooney24 - Mar 9, 2012 at 4:28 PM

    Is he any good defensively? Because that .207 & .612 is light years better than Drew Butera’s .178 & .481 career averages. As bad as he might be, it would still be better than Butera for a backup Twins catcher, if he is any good defensively.

    • raiderdave - Mar 9, 2012 at 5:12 PM

      He did catch Dallas Braden’s perfect game, but aside from that he is probably right above average. Doesn’t throw too many guys out attempting to steal, but also has very minimal errors and is a very big body that can absorb plenty of damage in plays at the plate. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him get a minor league deal somewhere, and after his pretty solid time in calling games for the A’s young pitchers, I hope that he does.

  3. APBA Guy - Mar 9, 2012 at 6:35 PM

    Landon was a first round pick by the A’s a few years back, and is also famous for this little factoid (from Wikipedia):

    Because he was already 18 years old, he was eligible to enter the 2000 Major League Baseball Draft and did so. However, he went undrafted because his agent, Scott Boras, did not inform teams he was available.This made Powell a free agent, but he chose to attend college after failing to receive an acceptable offer from an MLB club. This loophole in the drafting system was later closed due to this incident and one a year later involving current Detroit Tigers pitcher Jeremy Bonderman.

    Three issues conspired to cause his release in Oakland this Spring 1) the rise of other prospects to compete for the back up job 2) Landon’s failure to hit over his time in the majors, and 3) his “non-athletic” body which always made him seem less agile behind the plate than he really was, made all the worse in comparison to Kurt Suzuki, one of the most athletic catchers now playing.

    Here’s hoping Landon finds another training camp soon.

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