According to mlbtraderumors.com, via Mychael Urban, the A's have declined to offer arbitration to both of their Type B free agents.
Embree might've eventually yielded a top-50 draft pick in the '09 draft if he had been offered and signed with another team. But the team eschewed the gamble that Embree would accept the team's offer and receive a ~$4M payday to be a back-end-of-the-bullpen reliever for the A's next year.
The A's 40-man roster still stands at 39 players.
There are a few other free agents that will learn their arbitration fates tonight that might be of interest to A's fans:
-The Diamondbacks have already revealed that Type A FA Adam Dunn was not offered arbitration. Dunn stood to earn a raise to perhaps $15M or more for '09, and the Diamondbacks apparently didn't want to risk Dunn accepting the offer and bloat their payroll.
-The Phillies will make a similarly important decision with Pat Burrell by 9 p.m. Pacific time tonight.
Pure speculation on my part: Burrell and Dunn might become more attractive first-base options for the A's if they lack arbitration tags, since both players are Type A's and, if signed, would've cost the A's their second-round draft pick in '09. (Obviously both players would become more attractive to every team, not just the A's, if they aren't offered arby).
Further evidence of league-wide hesitancy about arbitration offers came earlier today, when the Yankees reportedly declined an arbitration offer to Type A free agent Bobby Abreu, who seeks at least a three-year deal and would've yielded two high draft picks for the Yankees if they had offered arby and he had signed elsewhere.