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Athletics notes: Dallas Braden, Joey Devine elect free agency

The two injured pitchers have elected free agency rather than accepting minor league assignments.

Jed Jacobsohn

Oakland Athletics left-hander Dallas Braden and right-hander Joey Devine have elected to become free agents in lieu of accepting their assignments to the minor leagues, reports Jane Lee of MLB.com:

Left-hander Dallas Braden and righty Joey Devine, who have both undergone two arm surgeries in the past three years, cleared outright waivers on Tuesday and elected to become free agents rather than accept an assignment from the A's to Triple-A Sacramento.

The news isn't much of a surprise, considering the pitchers' injury-prone pasts, yet it doesn't prevent either from re-signing with the A's, who could work out a one-year contract -- or even a Minor League deal -- with either pitcher.

Both pitchers missed the entire 2012 season recovering from arm surgeries, and neither pitcher is expected to return to the mound until part-way through the 2013 season. Braden, 29, underwent a second shoulder capsule surgery in August, while Devine had his second Tommy John surgery in April.

In seventy-nine starts for Oakland over five years, Braden owns a 4.16 ERA and 5.6 K/9. The left-hander pitched the MLB's nineteenth ever perfect game during his best season to date, 2010. As Braden is not expected to begin throwing until after the All-Star break, the Athletics are the most likely squad to sign the lefty to a minor league deal.

Devine, also 29, has only thrown twenty-three big league innings since his first elbow surgery in late 2008. The right-hander missed the entire 2009 and 2010 seasons, and only managed twenty-six appearances in 2011 before going down with another elbow injury. Overall, Devine owns a 2.75 ERA in parts of five seasons.