The Oakland A's have designated relief pitcher Daniel Coulombe for assignment, according to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle. The left-hander appeared in 14 games last season, nine of them for the A's, and was listed as their No. 30 prospect on MLB.com.
The move makes space for Oakland to add newly acquired infielder Jed Lowrie to their 40-man roster.
Coulombe, 26, was picked up from the Dodgers in September when the A's needed some extra arms just to finish out the team's injury-riddled season. In his nine games, he posted a 3.52 ERA (3 runs in 7⅔ innings) with four strikeouts and three walks. In 164 career minor league games, he struck out 11.6 batters per nine innings but also walked 5.3 per nine.
Right-handed reliever Brendan McCurry had previously been the A's No. 30 prospect, but he was dealt to the Astros earlier on Wednesday in the trade for Lowrie. Coulombe was added to the list in his place, meaning that he was in the top 30 list for only a couple of hours before being DFA'd. Of course, this move doesn't guarantee that he will leave the team, as it is still possible that he could clear waivers and remain in the organization.
Instant reaction: I had no idea what to make of Coulombe entering the winter. Was he just a warm body who was picked up to finish out a lost season? Or was he an underrated pickup, ready to be molded into the next A's success story? This move suggests it was the former, and that he was not a part of any long-term plans.
Jed Lowrie update
It's unclear exactly what role Lowrie will play in his second stint with the A's, but GM David Forst offered this for now:
Forst sats the #Athletics acquired Lowrie to play every day, and where is still undecided but they have plenty of time to decide.— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) November 25, 2015
David Forst reiterates Marcus Semien is the A's shortstop as of now.— Jane Lee (@JaneMLB) November 25, 2015
A.J. Griffin released
In Slusser's report on Coulombe, she also mentioned that pitcher A.J. Griffin has been released. The right-hander had been DFA'd last week to make room for new starter Rich Hill. Griffin missed the last two seasons while recovering from Tommy John surgery and other related complications. This move allows him to continue his comeback elsewhere.