Peterson Claimed; Punto Released

Shane Peterson, designated for assignment last week when the Oakland A's acquired Rule 5 pick Mark Canha, lands with the Chicago Cubs. Meanwhile, the A's announced the release of veteran infielder Nick Punto.

Another long-time member of the Oakland A's organization ended his tenure with the team this week. Shane Peterson, acquired in 2009 in the Matt Holliday trade, was claimed off of waivers by the Chicago Cubs. He had been designated for assignment last Thursday. Peterson was a Pacific Coast League All-Star last season and could earn a bench spot with the Chicago Cubs this spring.

Peterson hit .308/.381/.460 in Triple-A last season, but he wasn't called up to Oakland in September. He drove-in 90 and reached double-digits in homeruns and stolen bases for the second straight season.

The versatile Peterson brings to Chicago an ability to play all three outfield positions, as well as first base. Peterson has an excellent eye at the plate and the ability to hit for average. He is also a good base-runner, even if he isn't a plus runner in terms of speed. Peterson appeared in two games with the A's in 2013 and had a hit in seven at-bats. He will turn 27 just before the start of spring training.

The A's also said good-bye on Friday to veteran Nick Punto, who was released despite having a contract worth $2.75 million guaranteed for next season. Punto's release cleared 40-man roster room after the A's acquired Jesse Hahn and R.J. Alvarez on Thursday.

Punto played one season for the A's and hit .207/.296/.293 as a back-up middle infielder. He missed time with a hamstring injury late in the season. Punto's release leaves the A's with Marcus Semien, Eric Sogard, Tyler Ladendorf and Andy Parrino as the only middle infielders on the 40-man roster. Third baseman Brett Lawrie can also play second base, if needed. Top prospects Daniel Robertson, Joe Wendle and Chad Pinder are non-roster middle infielders who should start the season in either Double-A or Triple-A next year.

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