TODAY: Castro, Brady, and Smith all indeed elected to become free agents, as per Matt Eddy of Baseball America.
NOVEMBER 6: The A’s announced on Monday that right-handers Simon Castro, Michael Brady and Josh Smith have all been assigned outright to Triple-A Nashville after clearing waivers. The moves give Oakland enough space to reinstate outfielder Dustin Fowler and righties Andrew Triggs, Paul Blackburn and Bobby Wahl from the 60-day disabled list.
Castro, 29, totaled 37 innings out of the Oakland bullpen, working to a 4.38 ERA with 8.5 K/9 against 3.4 BB/9. Castro averaged nearly 94 mph on his heater, but as an extreme fly-ball pitcher that saw 14 percent of flies against him turn into homers, he also averaged 1.7 long balls per nine innings pitched. The journeyman righty posted a career-best 14.9 K/9 in 38 Triple-A innings this season but averaged five walks per nine, as well. He’s set to turn 30 next April.
Brady, 30, made his big league debut in ’17 but struggled to a 5.68 ERA in 31 2/3 innings. He averaged just over six punchouts per nine frames but did so with strong control (1.7 BB/9). Like Castro, he’s an extreme fly-ball pitcher that struggled to keep the ball in the yard despite the spacious confines of the O.Co Coliseum. But, also like Castro, he enjoyed an impressive year in Triple-A, tossing 53 1/3 innings with a 3.21 ERA, 8.6 K/9 and 1.0 BB/9.
The 30-year-old Smith turned in 35 MLB innings with an ERA just south of 5.00 but posted a 3.70 ERA with 9.6 K/9 and 2.4 BB/9 in 41 1/3 innings of work at the Triple-A level. He’s yet to find success in the Majors in parts of three seasons with the Reds and A’s but has fared better in Triple-A and should latch on as a depth option in another organization.
All three players outrighted by the A’s will have the option of electing minor league free agency in lieu of the outright assignment and figure to do just that.