The Athletics have signed lefty Phil Coke to a minor league deal with a July 10 opt-out, according to Class A+ Stockton Ports broadcaster Zack Bayrouty (on Twitter). Coke has been assigned to Stockton. He is a client of Full Circle Sports Management.
Earlier this week, Coke declined an optional assignment and became a free agent after 2 2/3 innings with the Blue Jays. Previously this season, he had pitched for the Cubs, who released him in late May.
The opt-out in Coke’s new deal suggests both he and the A’s think he has a shot to get back to the big leagues quickly. Coke has struggled to a 5.68 ERA in the big leagues this season, but with reasonable strikeout and walk numbers (12 strikeouts and five walks in 12 2/3 innings) and a strong 59.0 ground ball percentage that suggests the 32-year-old might have more gas left in his tank. For his career, much of which he’s spent with the Yankees and Tigers, Coke has a 4.20 ERA, 7.7 K/9 and 3.1 BB/9.