The Athletics claimed right-handed relief pitcher Jorge De Leon from the Houston Astros today, releasing the likely retiring Adam Dunn to create room on the A's 40-man roster. The 26-year-old De Leon had limited time with the big league club, allowing 10 earned runs in 17⅓ MLB innings pitched, for a 5.19 ERA. De Leon struck out 10, walked 10, and allowed three home runs.
His recent minor league numbers fare far better, however. With Triple-A Oklahoma City, De Leon pitched to a 2.62 ERA in 48 innings, striking out 43, walking 16, and allowing no home runs. De Leon was originally signed as a shortstop in Houston's Dominican Summer League in 2006, and converted to pitching prior to the 2010 season.
It appears that De Leon has one option year remaining, so Oakland could send him to Triple-A Nashville at the end of spring training on optional assignment if it wanted. He was on optional assignment for the entirety of 2011 and 2012 and re-signed on a minor league deal with Houston after initially electing free agency after being outrighted at the end of 2012.
In 2013, his contract was selected on August 7, and then he was optioned to Oklahoma City on August 14. On September 1, the Astros recalled De Leon, meaning he was on optional assignment for only 18 days. An optional assignment lasting fewer than 20 days does not count as using up an option year. De Leon was again on outright assignment, and not optional assignment, for most of 2014.