A’s decline $3.25 million option on reliever Michael Wuertz

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Michael Wuertz was injured and ineffective this season, throwing just 34 innings with a 6.68 ERA, so it comes as no surprise that the A’s have declined their $3.25 million option on the 32-year-old reliever for 2012.

Wuertz will receive a $250,000 buyout instead and may have to settle for a minor-league deal as a free agent looking to get his career back on track.

When healthy Wuertz was a very effective setup man for the Cubs and A’s from 2004-2010, logging 381 innings with a 3.45 ERA and 9.7 strikeouts per nine innings. Depending on the status of his thumb injury he could be a very nice low-cost pickup for a team in need of bullpen help.

Brandon Crawford homers off brother-in-law Gerrit Cole

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You can’t pick your family and no one knows that better than Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford. His sister Amy married Astros starter Gerrit Cole in November 2016, so the two players are brothers-in-law.

The two players have matched up against each other 18 times in the past, as Cole spent his first five seasons in the National League with the Pirates. Cole often won that battle, holding Crawford to four hits — all singles — in 18 plate appearances.

Crawford finally got the better of Cole on Tuesday night, hitting a line drive into the appropriately-named Crawford Boxes at Minute Maid Park for a two-run home run, cutting the Astros’ lead to 5-2.