Infielder Scott Sizemore cleared waivers and elected for free agency Friday, lightening the Oakland A’s infield logjam a bit.
Sizemore, who missed the majority of the past two seasons after twice undergoing reconstructive left knee surgery, faced an uphill battle to win a roster spot next spring, especially after the A’s signed utility infielder Nick Punto on Nov. 13.
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The A’s acquired Sizemore from Detroit in May 2011 and he impressed the rest of that season, making a smooth transition from second base to third base. But he tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee during the first full-squad workout of 2012 and missed that entire season. With Josh Donaldson having entrenched himself at third to start this past season, Sizemore was trying to work into the A’s second base mix when he re-tore his ACL in early April and missed the rest of the season again.
Sizemore would have been eligible for salary arbitration with the A’s. They now have two open spots on their 40-man roster.
The A’s current infield mix includes Donaldson, shortstop Jed Lowrie, second basemen Alberto Callaspo and Eric Sogard, first basemen Daric Barton, Nate Freiman and Brandon Moss and Punto. Callaspo, Lowrie, Punto and Sogard can all play multiple positions if need be, but it stands to reason the A’s could look to trade someone before spring training arrives.
The A’s must decide whether to tender Barton a contract -- along with several other arbitration-eligible players -- by Dec. 2, or else he will become a free agent.