OAKLAND -- No player elicits a stronger reaction amongst the A's fan base than Daric Barton. So the San Francisco Chronicle's report that he has signed a one-year deal in advance of Major League Baseball's deadline to tender contracts naturally set the A's-osphere abuzz. Barton, 27, was under team control and eligible for arbitration. While he was considered a possible non-tender candidate, his potential return shouldn't come as much of a surprise. The A's have shown a lot of faith in the young first baseman throughout the years, and he might not see the sum of that one-year deal if he doesn't earn a job this spring because the contract is not guaranteed money. In a sense, it is Barton's final opportunity to try and recapture a job with the A's, live up to the hype he had as a top prospect, and back up the success he had in his 2010 season. During the A's stretch run, Barton was used primarily as a defensive replacement at first base. He didn't make the A's playoff roster. With Chris Carter and Brandon Moss at first base, it will be tough for Barton to crack the roster and earn the reported 1.1 million dollars he signed for. So, in short, the move isn't worth the wide-spread panic or criticism it netted online. In 2010, Barton led the American League with 110 walks, hit 10 home runs, and had 57 RBIs. Since then, he has 79 walks, one homer, and 27 RBIs. Barton has received ample opportunity to once again find his way in Green and Gold. Part of the vitriol the A's fans have for him is because he was given more chances than most; this might be his last. The A's have already signed pitcher Pat Neshek to a one-year contract, and after the Barton news becomes official Oakland will have five more players that are arbitration eligible. Those players all need to be tendered a contract by midnight Eastern time tonight. Jerry Blevins, George Kottaras, Brandon Moss, Adam Rosales, and Seth Smith are the remaining players.
Oakland also announced that pitcher Jim Miller has been claimed on waivers by the New York Yankees. Miller was designated for assignment on Nov. 20. The right-handed pitcher was 2-1 with a 2.59 ERA in four stints with the A's in 2012. Miller and Brandon Moss were the two most talkative guys in the A's clubhouse last season. Their clubhouse stalls were next to each other and it was hard to talk to one of the two without the other chiming in. Together they provided lots of entertaining exchanges.