The Oakland Athletics released infielder Nick Punto in the wake of the trade that brought pitchers Jesse Hahn and R.J. Alvarez to Oakland for Derek Norris, the club has announced. Punto, 37, is due to earn $2,750,000 in 2015 after satisfying the criteria for his vesting option. This returns the 40-man roster to 40 players.
News of Punto's release was first reported by Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle. News that Punto would be removed from the 40-man roster was first reported by Jane Lee of mlb.com that Punto would be designated for assignment.
The move would seem to be excellent news for Mark Canha, who can play third base and seems to move into the primary backup role there. The role of backup middle infielder would also seem to be wide open now, with Andy Parrino, Tyler Ladendorf, and non-40-man recent acquisition Joe Wendle potential players.
The Chicago Cubs today claimed Shane Peterson, who had been designated for assignment after the A's acquired Mark Canha in a Rule 5 draft-and-trade deal with the Colorado Rockies on December 11. Yesterday, the Athletics released Jorge De Leon, who was designated for assignment on December 9 after the A's traded Jeff Samardzija and Michael Ynoa to the White Sox for four players.
With the 40-man roster re-settled (for now), here's the new 40-man map, with the Derek Norris trade added and Nick Punto removed:
A high resolution version of this map can be downloaded at this link.