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A's outfield takes shape with release of De Aza

March 27, 2017

MESA, Ariz. -- Veteran outfielder Alejandro De Aza, who was enjoying a productive spring with the A's, has opted out of his Minor League contract in favor of free agency.De Aza, 32, was being considered by the A's for the fifth outfielder spot, but there's a strong possibility they will

MESA, Ariz. -- Veteran outfielder Alejandro De Aza, who was enjoying a productive spring with the A's, has opted out of his Minor League contract in favor of free agency.
De Aza, 32, was being considered by the A's for the fifth outfielder spot, but there's a strong possibility they will keep just four to open the season and will choose to carry eight relievers. Should they opt for a fifth outfielder, however, Jaff Decker will likely fill that role.

De Aza, whom the A's officially released on Monday, totaled 40 at-bats this spring, hitting .300 and reaching base at a .404 clip. He also impressed with his defense at all three outfield positions, particularly in center.
"Really nice spring," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "One of those guys where you have a tough time saying, 'What did you do to be in this position?' But nonetheless that's the situation we're in, and he knew going in that it might be a little bit of a long shot, but he performed well, and whether or not he signs back with us, I'm not sure. We would like to have him back with us."
Like De Aza, lefty Ross Detwiler exercised his opt-out clause Sunday.
Worth Noting
• The A's are being cautious with outfielder Khris Davis (quad) and trying to limit his running, choosing to restrict his action to Minor League games until at least Wednesday. He's expected to be fine for the Bay Bridge exhibition series that begins Thursday in San Francisco.
• Right-hander Sonny Gray (lat) is throwing out to a distance of 105 feet.
• Infielder Joey Wendle (shoulder) is playing catch and took batting practice Monday. He's expected to remain in Arizona for extended spring camp.

Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010.