THURSDAY: The Padres announced that Bartlett cleared unconditional release waivers and is now a free agent.
MONDAY: The Padres have requested unconditional release waivers for Jason Bartlett, the team announced via press release.
The Padres acquired Bartlett from the Rays back in December of 2010 in exchange for Cole Figueroa, Adam Russell, Cesar Ramos and Brandon Gomes. Later that offseason, the team avoided arbitration with the shortstop by agreeing to a two-year contract worth a guaranteed $11MM with a vesting option for 2013. The $5.5MM option for 2013 will not vest, as Bartlett's 98 plate appearances this season fall well short of the required 432. He'll instead be paid a $1.5MM buyout.
The 32-year-old batted just .133/.240/.193 in those 98 plate appearances, and overall batted only .231/.299/.292 in 168 games as a Padre. He has been on the disabled list since May 17 with a right knee strain. Following the trade of Ernesto Frieri for Alexi Amarista earlier this season, it became apparent that Bartlett no longer factored into the team's plans.
Bartlett was originally drafted by the Padres in the 13th round of the 2001 draft but made his big league debut with the Twins after being swapped for Brian Buchanan. Prior to being re-acquired by the Padres, Bartlett was a career .281/.345/.385 hitter in 2,801 career plate appearances.