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Oakland A's lose Dan Otero to Philadelphia Phillies on waiver claim; outright Carson Blair

The Oakland A's lost reliever Dan Otero to a waiver claim by the Philadelphia Phillies on Tuesday, but they were able to keep catcher Carson Blair despite removing him from the 40-man roster.

Reliever Dan Otero has been claimed off of waivers by the Philadelphia Phillies, the Oakland A's announced on Tuesday. The A's also announced that catcher Carson Blair had cleared waivers and was outrighted to Triple-A.

Otero joins the Phillies after a down 2015 season that saw him post a 6.75 ERA in 46.2 major-league innings. He allowed a career-worst seven homeruns and 12.3 hits per nine innings. Otero also threw 27.2 innings in Triple-A and he had a 1.95 ERA for Nashville.

Otero's struggles were a big part of the A's disappointing 2015 bullpen. The right-hander was one of the team's most valuable relievers in 2014, when he posted a 2.28 ERA in 86.2 innings. Otero was also a significant contributor to the A's 2013 AL West championship squad. He began that year in Triple-A, but joined the A's staff midseason and had a 1.38 ERA in 39 innings.

The A's originally acquired Otero on a waiver claim from the San Francisco Giants in 2013. A 21st-round pick of the Giants in 2007, Otero finally made his major-league debut in 2012. He has a career 3.46 ERA and 108:29 K:BB in 184.2 major-league innings.

Otero is the third player the A's have lost to a waiver claim this off-season. Pat Venditte and Cody Martin were the other two.

Blair remains in the organization after a breakthrough campaign that saw him play above Double-A and reach the big leagues for the first time. The former Boston Red Sox's prospect signed with Oakland as a minor league free agent before last season. He began the year with Double-A Midland and he earned a spot in the Texas League's All-Star game by hitting .272/.389/.509 with six homers in 55 games. Blair moved up to Triple-A at the beginning of July. Before joining the A's, Blair had played only 17 games above A-ball (all in Double-A).

Blair struggled at the plate with Nashville (.221/.280/.327 in 33 games), but he improved defensively while working with a veteran pitching staff. The A's added Blair to the 40-man roster and recalled him to Oakland at the start of September. He hit only .129 in 11 games, but he did collect his first big league homerun. Blair injured his knee late in the season and had surgery to correct a torn meniscus. He is expected to be ready for spring training.

The A's now have 39 players on their 40-man roster, although seven of those players are still technically on the 60-day disabled list and don't currently count towards that 40-man roster number.

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