The Athletics announced that infielder Ernie Clement has been released. Clement was claimed off waivers from the Guardians back in September, and was designated for assignment in December before clearing waivers and remaining with Oakland on an outright assignment.
A release this relatively early in Spring Training could be the Athletics’ way of giving Clement a jump on the open market, as more veterans will start getting cut from minor league deals the closer we get to Opening Day. Clement (who turns 27 later in March) will now become a free agent for the first time in his pro career.
Cleveland selected Clement in the fourth round of the 2017 draft, and the University of Virginia product hit .273/.328/.360 over 1340 plate appearances in the minors. Despite the lack of overall production, Clement still made his way up the minor league ladder due to his defensive versatility and his good contact numbers. This culminated in some MLB playing time in 2021 and 2022, but Clement has a lackluster .204/.261/.264 slash line over 312 PA with Cleveland and Oakland.
Clement played mostly second and third base at the big league level, with a handful of games as a left fielder, first baseman, and shortstop to boot (and even a couple of mop-up pitching appearances). This ability to play all over the diamond makes Clement an interesting candidate for teams in need of depth, so another minor league contract in short order wouldn’t be a surprise.
Bart Harley Jarvis
Sweet fancy Moses!
If the worst team in baseball is giving up on you despite no clear regulars at your position, it may be time to go overseas.
If the worst team in baseball is giving up on you despite no clear regulars at your position, you may have no suitors overseas.
Looks like the kinda guy that loser Bloom will go for idc what the Sox’s are doing in the preseason their still a last place team maybe even as close to the A’s in end
There are still the Nats n Pirates
There used to be a lot more Athletics supporters.
They were traded for a mediocre prospect haul
I wouldn’t be surprised if he catches back on with Cleveland on a minor league deal. They don’t have a ton of depth that isn’t prospects they would rather not commit to some seldom used bench role. As it is, their bench is some combination of Brennan, Arias, and either Freeman (who is arguably a top prospect who should be playing) or Palacios as the last guy. Every other position player on the 40 is a prospect who either is too far away (Noel, Tena, Martinez) or too important a prospect to put in a reserve role (Valera, Rocchio). The other non-roster options right now are Roman Quinn and Micah Pries (1B/OF, not really needed with Bell and Naylor already here).
So putting stashing Clement in AAA where he’s an easy guy to bring up in case of a short injury stint makes sense.
@Col: I don’t think Cleveland will be interested. They have a boatload of middle infielders that are more talented than Ernie that will be battling for playing time at AAA Columbus and AA Akron.
I agree that Tena, Rocchio, Freeman, and Brito are all talented and need time. That’s actually why they could use Clement, because he would specifically be an insurance plan in case they have an injury to Arias or whoever and need someone to call up to sit on the bench. He would essentially be the utility guy at AAA, where they really don’t have anyone at the moment. They didn’t sign any NRIs who are infielders and the only person they invited to big league camp would be Fry (who I am guessing they’re moving off catcher, but also is 3B/1B and can’t play middle IF). I mean they could call Schneeman or Delgado up from AA but I don’t think they’re major league options, and anyone you put in AAA should be.
Good defensively but can’t hit a softball.
A’s are doing Clement a favor. He’s behind big leaguers Kemp, Aledyms, Allen, Peterson, and Infield prospects: Gelof, Bride, Davidson, Jordan Diaz, Smith, etc.
Hope he catches on with another team quickly.
He would be good for a team needing late inning defensive replacement. Just no fit for the A’s since he has no future as a starter.
Cleveland would have to put him on the 40-man in order to bring him up in case of injury, and that’s just not happening.
Tito said he “plays like he’s got a jet up his ass.” Love his spirit, should be enough to get him a job somewhere.