A's part ways with Blackley, Barton

A's part ways with Blackley, Barton

SAN FRANCISCO -- For a man who was just designated for assignment, Travis Blackley sounded like a grateful man on Friday night at AT&T Park.

The affable Aussie was sad to say goodbye to the fun-loving Oakland clubhouse after he and first baseman Daric Barton were designated for assignment. In related moves, the A's claimed right-handers Danny Otero and Josh Stinson, while reassigning lefty reliever Jordan Norberto to Triple-A Sacramento.

The A's have 10 days to place Blackley on waivers, trade him or release him. While Blackley said he would prefer to play "at the highest level possible," he didn't rule out a return to the Minor Leagues, where has spent most of his 13-year professional career.

The southpaw reliever was still adjusting to the news when reporters approached him in the locker room before Friday's exhibition game against the Giants.

"We have such a ... well, they have such a good staff," Blackley said. "I shouldn't say 'we' anymore. They have such a good staff, and it's so deep up and down, from the starting rotation through the bullpen, that I knew it was going to be tough. Day 1 of camp, you size up everyone in the room and you know it's going to be tough."

After posting a 15.43 ERA in 11 2/3 innings of spring work, the writing was on the wall.

"You've got to be making a lot of money to get away with the spring I had," Blackley said.

Without Blackley and Norberto, A's camp now features southpaws Jerry Blevins, Sean Doolittle, Pedro Figueroa and non-roster invitee Hideki Okajima. Fellow non-roster invitee Mike Ekstrom and Evan Scribner appear to be in competition with Figueroa and Okajima for the final spot in the Oakland bullpen.

While Barton declined to speak to reporters after learning of the roster move, Blackley was eager to thank the organization and its fans for supporting him since he latched on as a long-relief man and spot starter in 2012. Blackley also said he got to know Otero when the two were teammates with San Francisco's Triple-A affiliate in Fresno last year.

"I feel like the A's are kind of imprinted on my DNA now," Blackley said. "I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for Oakland."

Alex Espinoza is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.