The Athletics have designated outfielder Alex Hassan for assignment, reports Robert Murray of Baseball Essential (Twitter link). Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle adds (also via Twitter) that the DFA will clear room on the roster for right-hander Angel Castro, who will join the bullpen.
Hassan has, unfortunately, become somewhat of the poster boy for some possible flaws in the DFA system, which MLBTR’s Charlie Wilmoth recently examined at length. Hassan entered the offseason in the Red Sox organization, but was claimed off waivers by the A’s and then the Orioles. Baltimore designated Hassan for assignment in February, with the A’s claiming him off waivers yet again. He would then be designated by Oakland in April, claimed by Texas and designated again before being claimed for a third time by the A’s. This marks the fourth official DFA for Hassan since late February — a mark that doesn’t include the original two instances in which Boston and Oakland tried to sneak him through outright waivers.
From Hassan’s standpoint, it’s clear that multiple clubs view him as a good enough player to keep on a 40-man roster for depth purposes, and while that’s normally a good thing for a player, it can also hinder their development, as they’re ineligible to play while waiting to learn of their outcome in DFA limbo.
Hassan is a career .278/.381/.402 hitter at the Triple-A level, although he’s batted just .230/.305/.297 in 82 plate appearances between the Triple-A affiliates for Texas and Oakland this season. At his best, the 27-year-old offers the ability to hit for a high average and get on-base at a strong clip without striking out too often. He can handle first base and the outfield, so it’s not surprising that clubs view his skill-set as an appealing one.