It’s been a relatively quiet off-season for the Los Angeles Dodgers, but on the last day of the GM Meetings in Florida they lost their first free agent of the winter.
Utility man Nick Punto, who many wanted back for next season, signed a one-year contract with the Oakland Athletics with a vesting option for 2015 according to Jane Lee of MLB.com:
The A’s have signed Nick Punto to a one-year deal. with an option for 2015.
— Jane Lee (@JaneMLB) November 13, 2013
Acquired in the blockbuster with the Boston Red Sox two summers ago, Punto was brought to LA to be a utility player. However, injuries to the left side of the Dodgers infield last season forced him to start 116 games in 2013.
While the numbers aren’t eye-popping, Punto hit .255 with two home runs and 21 RBI, but his lasting image in a Dodgers uniform was getting picked off of second base in Game 4 of the NLCS. Pinch-hitting in the seventh inning after taking over for Hanley Ramirez at shortstop, Punto doubled with one out, but made the base-running error that killed all momentum in a possible Dodger comeback.
Punto will receive $2.75 million next season and with rumors that the A’s could possibly be trading shortstop Jed Lowrie, he should see a lot of playing time next season.
Now, the Dodgers will be on the lookout for a utility man since Skip Schumaker and Jerry Hairston Jr. are unlikely to be retained after subpar seasons in 2013.
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