OAKLAND, Calif. -- The Oakland A's today announced that they have exercised their contract option on outfielder Jay Payton for the 2006 season. The A's also announced that they will not exercise their contract option on right-handed pitcher Keiichi Yabu.
Payton was acquired by the A's from Boston at the All-Star Break for Chad Bradford and ended up hitting .269 with 13 home runs and 42 RBI in 69 games with Oakland after batting .263 with five home runs and 21 RBI in 55 games with the Red Sox. His 13 home runs tied for second most ever in one season by an Athletics player with 70 games or less and the RBI were fifth most. The 32-year old Payton combined with the A's and Red Sox to hit .267 with 18 home runs and 63 RBI in 124 games. The home runs and RBI were the second best totals of his career.
Yabu was 4-0 with a 4.50 ERA in 40 relief appearances in his first season in the Major Leagues. He previously pitched 11 seasons in the Japanese Leagues with Hanshin. The 37-year old Yabu allowed a .287 opponents batting average and tied an Oakland reliever record with eight hit batters.
The A's now have nine players under contract for the 2006 season. In addition to Payton, the other eight players and the years they are signed through are: Eric Chavez (2010, club option 2011), Bobby Crosby (2009), Keith Ginter (2006), Rich Harden (2008, club option 2009), Dan Haren (2009, club option 2010), Jason Kendall (2007), Mark Kotsay (2008) and Barry Zito (2006).