SAN DIEGO -- The Padres on Monday announced that they have requested unconditional release waivers on shortstop Jason Bartlett, who has been on the 60-day disabled list since May with a strained right knee.
If granted his release, the 32-year-old Bartlett would become a free agent.
Bartlett, who signed a two-year contract worth $11 million before the 2011 season, played in 29 games prior to the injury. His contract included a vesting option for 2013 and a $1.5 million buyout. A career .271 hitter over nine seasons with Minnesota and Tampa Bay before coming to San Diego, Bartlett hit just .133 this season after batting .245 in 2011.
Manager Bud Black reflected on Bartlett's time in San Diego after the club acquired the former All-Star in an offseason trade with the Rays prior to the 2011 season.
"Turning back the clock a little bit, with Jason, when he signed with us, he was a guy who gave it his all every day he was out here," Black said. "Coming to a new club, coming to a new league, it took him a while to get his footing. We saw some of the good things he did with Tampa, but he maybe didn't carry that through stretches of games. I'll speak for the staff, I really enjoyed JB as a Padre, enjoyed our conversations about baseball."
With Everth Cabrera performing well at shortstop, and Alexi Amarista and Logan Forsythe contributing as the other middle-infield options, Black said the club felt it was time to move on from Bartlett and focus on the younger players.
"Moving forward, with our middle-infield situation the way it is right now, moving into the last part of this season and into September, I think that probably the playing time was going to go to these guys here and not to Jason," Black said. "I think we have to see what these three guys can do, and see what happens in September in the event that we bring up more guys."
Black said Bartlett's medical reports showed signs that he may be healthy enough to contribute to another club.
"I think he was getting better," Black said. "I think he has made great strides on how the knee feels and where he is physically, so that's a great thing for Jason moving forward wherever this takes him in the next step of his career."