|Powell Released By A's|
by Melissa Lockard of OaklandClubhouse.com, March 9, 2012 at 12:02 pm ET
Landon Powell Profile
The Oakland A's cut ties with their top pick from the 2004 draft on Friday, releasing catcher Landon Powell. Powell had spent most of the last three seasons as the A's back-up catcher to starter Kurt Suzuki, who was taken later in that same draft.
Powell's career with the A's organization was marked by injuries. The switch-hitting backstop tore his ACL just before the start of spring training in 2005, costing him that entire season. He would re-tear the same ACL midway through the 2007 campaign and would have further surgery on his knee in 2008. He made his major league debut in 2009 and is a career .207 hitter in three major league seasons.
Powell has a well-deserved reputation for being an excellent defensive catcher. By being released this early in spring training, he should have an opportunity to latch on with another major league organization before the start of the season.
Powell's departure clears some room for the A's in their minor league system. The catcher position was one of the most crowded in the A's system, but with Powell no longer with the team, it appears that top catching prospect Derek Norris will start the 2012 season with Triple-A Sacramento. That will allow prospect Ryan Ortiz to see the majority of the playing time in Double-A and for Max Stassi, Beau Taylor and Nick Rickles to have plenty of at-bats in A-ball. Catchers John Nester, Ryan Lipkin, Diomendes Lopez, Daniel Pettiti, Joel Galarraga and others should also benefit from the move, especially if both Anthony Recker and Josh Donaldson make the A's Opening Day roster.