The A’s had 41 players on the 40-man roster, meaning that someone had to go and, ultimately, Punto was the odd man out. The infielder’s $2.75MM option vested late in the 2014 thanks to satisfying the terms of a complicated formula that was placed within his contract.
The 37-year-old Jeff Caulfield client had one of his worst offensive seasons to date in 2014, batting .207/.296/.293 in 224 plate appearances. However, he did help the A’s by logging 363 quality innings at second base, and he also filled in at shortstop (118 2/3 innings) in addition to brief cameos in right field and at third base.
Originally drafted by the Phillies, Punto was sent to the Twins along with Carlos Silva and Bobby Korecky in a trade for Eric Milton back in 2003. After a seven-year stretch with Minnesota, he’s bounced around to four other teams: the Cardinals, Red Sox, Dodgers and A’s. In 3734 career plate appearances between the six teams mentioned, Punto is a .245/.323/.323 hitter that has logged more than 2400 innings at shortstop, second base and third base with positive defensive marks at each.