Oakland A's 2007 MiLB Free Agents

Closser is on the list.

With the end of the World Series comes the official beginning of the baseball off-season and with it, the start of the minor league free agency period. Inside is the list of the 21 A's farmhands who have been declared minor league free agents.

The following Oakland A's farmhands have been declared minor league free agents:


Pitchers:
Mike Bumatay: Bumatay joined the A's from the Cincinnati organization in June. He appeared in 27 games for the Midland Rockhounds, all in relief, posting a 5.54 ERA. Between the A's and Reds organizations, Bumatay appeared in 55 games, throwing 52 innings with a 5.54 ERA and 62 strikeouts.

Kevin Deaton: Deaton was signed to a minor league free agent deal during the last off-season. He missed much of the year with injuries, appearing in only 15 games (nine starts) for the Arizona A's, the Stockton Ports and the Midland Rockhounds. He had a 4.57 ERA in 61 innings pitched.

Scott Dunn: Dunn began the year on the A's 40-man roster, but was injured in spring training and eventually designated for assignment. He cleared waivers and rejoined the A's organization, but the former Angel and Devil Ray managed to appear in only three games this season, all for the A's Rookie League team. He allowed three runs in 2.2 innings.

Mike Flannery: Flannery began the season in the Chicago White Sox chain, and he joined the A's in June. He appeared in 12 games in June and July for the Midland Rockhounds before being injured and missing the rest of the season. Flannery had a 6.59 ERA for Midland and a 6.88 ERA overall.

Ron Flores: Flores spent the entire season on the A's 40-man roster before being outrighted in October. The left-hander appeared in 17 games for the A's in 2007, his third consecutive season with time in the major leagues. Flores had a 3.57 ERA for Oakland. He spent the rest of the season in Sacramento, where he was a stalwart for the River Cats. He appeared in 40 games, posting a 2.72 ERA. He recorded the final three outs of the River Cats' Triple-A title win at the Bricktown Showdown. Flores, a 29th round pick of the A's in 2000, has spent eight seasons in the A's chain – part of five of those with Sacramento. He has a 3.42 ERA in 397 innings during his minor league career, and a 3.05 ERA in 56 career major league innings. Flores figures to get a lot of interest from teams looking for a left-hander to compete for a spot in their major league bullpen this off-season.

Travis Foley: Foley was acquired from the Cleveland organization in April. He spent most of the season in the Midland Rockhounds' bullpen, posting a 4.14 ERA in 45.2 innings. He also appeared in six games (one start) for the Sacramento River Cats. He had a 7.56 ERA for Sacramento.

Julio Manon: Manon was acquired as part of the Kirk Saarloos trade as a player to be named later from the Cincinnati organization. The veteran right-hander appeared in 15 games for the Sacramento River Cats at the end of the season, posting a 3.44 ERA and striking out 29 in 18.1 innings. He is currently pitching for the Toros del Este of the Dominican Winter League.

Jeff Muessig: After reaching Double-A in 2006, Muessig spent the entire 2007 season at High-A Stockton. The right-hander was on his way to a breakout season in 2006 when he was injured mid-season. That injury cost him the first few weeks of the 2007 season and may have limited his effectiveness the rest of the year. Muessig had a 4.86 ERA in 66.2 innings for Stockton. He was originally a 20th round selection by the A's in 2001. Muessig has a 3.65 ERA in 296.2 career minor league innings.

Luis Ramirez: Ramirez signed with the A's as a minor league free agent last off-season. He spent time at three levels with Oakland: High-A, Double-A and Triple-A. Ramirez had a combined 10-7 record with a 5.19 ERA in 130 innings. He struck-out 122. Ramirez is currently pitching in the Venezuelan Winter League for the Bravos de Margarita.

Adam Thomas: Thomas joined the A's organization mid-season after starting the season in the independent leagues. He appeared in 24 games for the Stockton Ports, posting a 4.29 ERA and striking out 42. He also threw in 12 games for the Midland Rockhounds, posting an 8.31 ERA in 17.1 innings.

Jermaine Van Buren: Van Buren was acquired by the A's from the Washington Nationals for a player to be named later in late June. He spent the rest of the season with the Sacramento River Cats, where he posted a 2.25 ERA in 24 innings. He struck out 26 and saved two games.


Position Players:
J.D. Closser: Closser was acquired from the Milwaukee Brewers for Charles Thomas in May. The switch-hitting catcher, who has seen time in the major leagues with Colorado, appeared in 81 games for Sacramento, batting .238 with 11 homers and a 768 OPS.

Vince Faison: Faison was signed as a minor league free agent last off-season. He spent the entire season with the Midland Rockhounds. The former San Diego first round pick hit .227 with nine triples and 11 stolen bases in 99 games for the Rockhounds.

Lou Merloni: The veteran utilityman was signed just before spring training to a minor league deal. He battled injuries during the season, but was the unquestioned leader of the title-winning River Cats. Merloni played in 110 games for Sacramento, batting .254 with 39 RBI. He won the MVP of the Bricktown Showdown Triple-A title game.

Casey Myers: Myers, a ninth round selection by the A's in 2001, has battled injuries throughout his minor league career and this year was no different. The catcher appeared in only 35 games – all for Double-A Midland. He hit .303 with an 805 OPS in 122 at-bats. Myers has been a good hitter when he has been healthy. He has a career .292 BA in 1,259 minor league at-bats.

Antonio Perez: Perez was a member of the A's for the entire 2006 season, but he batted only .102 in 98 at-bats. He entered spring training as a favorite to win a bench job with the A's, but he was cut off of the 40-man roster on the last day of spring training. After clearing waivers, he joined the Sacramento River Cats, where he was converted from the infield to the outfield. He appeared in 26 games at the start of the season for Sacramento, batting .218. However, he injured his knee in late-May and missed the rest of the season.

Luis Perez: Perez missed the entire 2007 season with injury. The outfielder was signed as an undrafted free agent out of Venezuela in 1999. He had a strong 2006 season for Stockton, batting .325 with seven homers and an 830 OPS in 101 games for the Ports. He is a career .301 hitter in five minor league seasons.

Jorge Piedra: Piedra was signed out of the independent leagues in May and spent the rest of the season with Sacramento. He was one of the River Cats' best hitters, batting .336 with a 958 OPS in 71 games. Piedra, who has three seasons with major league service time, has considered playing in Japan in 2008.

Jose Pineda: Pineda was re-signed by the A's when he was a minor league free agent after the 2006 season. The outfielder spent the entire 2007 season with the Stockton Ports, where he finished second on the team with 20 homers. Pineda is currently playing for the Toros del Este of the Dominican Winter League.

Jason Stokes: Stokes was acquired by the A's on the eve of Opening Day for catcher John Baker. The former Marlins top prospect appeared in only 18 games for the Sacramento River Cats. He was severely hampered by a lower back injury and hit only .186 with 23 strikeouts in 59 at-bats. He has been hampered by back and wrist injuries for the past four seasons.

Francisco Tirado: Tirado was signed as a minor league free agent this season after spending time in the Chicago Cubs organization. He hit .338 in 21 games for the A's Rookie League team.

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