A's Designate Putnam; Sign Emil Brown

The Oakland A's continued to refine their 2008 roster on Friday, signing veteran Emil Brown to a one-year contract and designating outfielder Danny Putnam for assignment.

The Oakland A's came to terms with a former farmhand on Friday, inking 1994 sixth-round selection and former Kansas City Royals outfielder Emil Brown to a one-year contract.

Brown batted .257 with six homers and 62 RBI in 113 games for the Royals in 2007. He hit left-handed pitching especially well in 2007, batting .317 with an 823 OPS. Over the past three seasons, Brown has hit .289 with an 841 OPS versus left-handed pitchers.

Brown was with the A's organization from 1994 through 1996. Before the 1997 season, Brown was selected by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the Rule 5 draft. He spent the entire 1997 season with the Pirates, batting .179 in 95 at-bats. He appeared in parts of the next four seasons with Pittsburgh before being traded to the San Diego Padres in 2001 for Shawn Garrett and Shawn Camp.

Brown spent the 2002 through 2004 seasons playing with different organizations, spending time with the Tampa Bay, Cincinnati, Houston and St. Louis organizations without ever making it back to the major leagues.

Brown signed a minor league deal with Kansas City in 2005 and made the major league team out of spring training after batting .421 with a 1212 OPS. He was a regular for the Royals in 2005, batting .286 with 17 homers, 86 RBIs and an 804 OPS.

Brown was even better for the Royals in 2006, posting an 815 OPS in 147 games and driving-in 81 runs. He struggled badly at the start of the 2007 season, posting a 466 OPS in April, and never really got on-track all season. He hit .296 after the All-Star break, but posted only a 697 OPS. He also stole a career-high 12 bases.

Brown is a career .262 hitter with 46 homers and 267 RBIs in 619 major league games.

Danny Putnam was designated for assignment to make room for Brown on the A's 40-man roster. Putnam, a 2004 first round pick of the A's, made his major league debut in 2007. The outfielder appeared in 11 games for the A's early in the season, batting .214 with one homer and two RBIs in 28 at-bats.

Putnam began the 2007 season with Double-A Midland, where he hit a blistering .327 with a 1001 OPS in 13 games for the Rockhounds before he was promoted to the major leagues. After being sent back to the minors, Putnam was assigned to Triple-A Sacramento, where he broke his hand after being hit-by-a-pitch only days after his demotion.

Putnam missed nearly six weeks with the broken hand, and it bothered him most of the season. Putnam hit only .216 with a homer and 17 RBIs in 51 games for the River Cats in 2007. For the season (which also included short rehab stints with the A's Rookie League team and the High-A Stockton Ports), Putnam batted .250 with five homers and 38 RBIs in 73 minor league games.

Despite his disappointing regular season with Sacramento, Putnam was a big post-season hero for the River Cats. He homered twice, including a walk-off, extra-inning homer, in Game 4 of the PCL semi-final series versus the Salt Lake Bees. That effort helped Sacramento stave-off elimination in the series. The River Cats eventually won the PCL and Triple-A championships.

Putnam is a .275 career minor league hitter with an 809 OPS in four minor league seasons. Injuries have been a problem for him throughout his career, as he has failed to reach 100 games in each of the past two seasons. In 2005, Putnam drove-in 100 runs for the Ports.

This is Putnam's first time through waivers, so he will return to the A's as a non-roster player if he clears waivers.

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