Outfielder Gabe Gross and infielder Jeff Larish declared free agency after being outrighted off the Athletics' 40-man roster according to a team press release. Righthanders Jon Meloan and Justin Souza were also outrighted, but remain in the organization.
Gross, 31, hit just .239/.290/.311 in 243 plate appearances this year after signing a one-year, $750K deal last offseason. Despite the down year, Gross said he would return to the A's in 2011 "with bells on." Larish, 28, was claimed off waivers from the Tigers in August and hit .175/.277/.333 in 65 plate appearances with Oakland.
Neither Meloan nor Souza appeared in the big leagues this year. The former didn't pitch at all due to Tommy John surgery, the latter managed a 4.33 ERA with 8.3 K/9 and 4.8 BB/9 in 49 relief innings, mostly at the Double-A level level.
I think Jeff Larish might be one of those 2011 breakout candidates. Is it likely? I’m not saying that, but theres a chance. I’d give him a minor league deal with an invite…I think that team might be the Mariners.
Larish is an interesting guy. He’s never had an extended chance in the Majors, but he’s always put up numbers in the minors and has some good power.
Larish will probably get a minor league deal somewhere – he wasn’t terrible in the majors as a rookie and his numbers in the minors weren’t bad at all either. here’s hoping we see him in a big league uniform sometime in 2011.
Larish was blocked in Detroit by Cabrera at first base. They played around with him at 3B, but didn’t give him a shot there when there was an opening with Inge’s injury. He has hit and hit for power at every level that he’s played. He also has shown excellent plate patience, but he often looked completely over matched in the majors. He needs to get steady playing time and be tested by major league competition. He never got that chance in Detroit. With his batting stance, it’s hard to see how he gets around on the ball.
I’ll always remember gross as the right fielder for the rays in 08.
I’ve already forgotten him!