A's decline Dye, Hammond options

OAKLAND, Calif. -- The Oakland Athletics declined their
contract options for next season on outfielder Jermaine Dye and
left-hander Chris Hammond on Friday.

Dye batted .265 with 23 homers and 80 RBI last season, and the
A's decided the oft-injured slugger wasn't worth his $14 million
mutual option for 2005. He will receive a $1.5 million buyout.

Dye played just 65 games in 2002 after breaking his leg with a
foul ball in the 2001 playoffs. He hit just .231 after the All-Star
break this season, and sprained his left thumb and missed several
important games for Oakland's playoff hopes.

When the A's season ended, Dye said he hoped to stay in Oakland,
but wouldn't accept a big pay cut.

Hammond, acquired in a trade with the New York Yankees last
winter, went 4-1 with a team-low 2.68 ERA out of the bullpen. He
missed six weeks with a strained pitching shoulder.

The A's also added outfielder Nelson Cruz to their 40-man
roster. They also outrighted right-hander Kirk Saarloos, catcher
Mike Rose, infielders Esteban German and Graham Koonce and
outfielders Mike Edwards and Billy McMillon to Triple-A Sacramento.