The A’s have announced that they have designated right-hander Austin Pruitt for assignment. The move opens a spot on the active roster for fellow righty Joel Payamps, who was claimed off waivers from the Royals on Saturday.
Pruitt, 32, has been in the majors since 2017, spending the first three seasons with the Rays. He showed enough promise that the Astros acquired him prior to the 2020 campaign, though Pruitt ended up missing that entire season due to a hairline fracture in his right elbow. He returned to the mound in July of 2021, making two appearances for Houston before they traded him to the Marlins. He was later outrighted by the Marlins twice, making just four appearances for them in between.
After reaching free agency, he signed with the A’s on a minor league deal in March. He got selected to the big league club in May and has been with them since. In 37 2/3 innings over 27 appearances, he has a 4.78 ERA, 17.2% strikeout rate, 5.1% walk rate and 41.3% ground ball rate.
Oakland currently has a record of 45-77, the worst in the American League. At this point in the season, they are focused on evaluating younger players to see if they fit into the club’s future plans. As such, it seems that the veteran Pruitt has been nudged out of the picture. With the trade deadline now passed, the club will have to place him on outright or release waivers in the coming days. Players who have previously been outrighted in their careers or who have over three years of MLB service time can reject an outright assignment and elect free agency. Pruitt qualifies on both counts.