The Oakland Athletics have agreed to one-year contracts with catcher John Jaso and outfielder/DH Seth Smith, avoiding arbitration.
Jaso was just acquired on Wednesday by the A’s in a three team trade that sent Michael Morse to the Mariners. The A’s gave up two prospects and a player-to-be-named-later in exchange for Jaso, who hit .276 with 10 home runs in 108 games last season for the Mariners. He spent the first three years of his career with the Tampa Bay Rays before being traded to Seattle in 2012.
It is likely that Jaso will be the everyday catcher for the A’s, with Derek Norris backing him up. In a corresponding move, George Kottaras was designated for assignment.
Smith was used primarily as a designated hitter in his first year with the A’s in 2012, but saw some playing time in left field. He hit .240 with 14 home runs and 52 RBI in 125 games.
Due to their crowded outfield, Smith will probably be confined to a DH or pinch hitter role for the A’s next season, but look for him to play underrated yet pivotal role in 2013.
The A’s two remaining arbitration-eligible players are Brandon Moss and Jerry Blevins.