Acton, 25, made his big league debut after the A’s selected his contract in mid-May. He pitched six times, allowing eight runs in 5 2/3 innings. Oakland optioned him to Triple-A Las Vegas at the end of the month. Two weeks later, he was placed on the minor league IL with an undisclosed injury. He hasn’t pitched since June 11.
MLB rules prohibit teams from placing injured players on outright waivers. If the A’s wanted to take Acton off the 40-man roster, their options were to put him on the major league 60-day IL or release him. The former course of action would’ve required paying him at the prorated portion of the $720K MLB minimum for whatever time he was on the shelf. Instead, Oakland has opted for the release (which isn’t uncommon in situations like this).
If Acton goes unclaimed on waivers, he’ll be a free agent. Players in this scenario often re-sign with the team that just released them on a new minor league pact — thereby remaining in the organization without occupying a 40-man spot — but the Illinois product would have the ability to explore other opportunities.
Oakland hasn’t announced a corresponding move. It’s possible they’ll select the contract of a hitter who isn’t currently on the 40-man roster, however. First baseman Ryan Noda will be placed on the 10-day injured list tomorrow, relays Martín Gallegos of MLB.com (Twitter link). He has a fracture in his jaw that’ll keep him out for an indeterminate period of time.
Noda remarkably played through the injury yesterday against the Red Sox and hit a homer and a double. It was the continuation of a strong rookie season for the left-handed hitter, who has been an excellent find in the Rule 5 draft. The 27-year-old has a .229/.375/.418 line with 11 homers and a massive 17.6% walk rate through his first 341 big league plate appearances.