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Athletics release Willy Taveras

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Speedy outfielder Willy Taveras has been released by the Oakland Athletics, eight days after he was acquired from Cincinnati with infielder Adam Rosales for infielder Aaron Miles and a player to be named.

Taveras had been designated for assignment immediately following the Feb. 1 trade. The Athletics owe his $4 million salary in the final season of a $6.25 million, two-year contract that he signed with the Reds, but that would be reduced by the $400,000 minimum if he signs with another team.

Taveras hit .240 with one homer and 15 RBIs for Cincinnati last season.

Houston general manager Ed Wade told ESPN.com Tuesday that the Astros have some interest in Taveras, who previously played in Houston from 2004 through 2006. But it would have to be on a non-guaranteed contract with an invitation to spring training. The Astros would give Taveras a chance to compete with Cory Sullivan, Alex Romero and others for a spot off the bench.

"Willy brings the speed element and he's a very popular guy in town and with our organization,'' Wade said. "We'll give him a chance to come in if he wants.''

Information from ESPN.com senior baseball writer Jerry Crasnick and The Associated Press contributed to this report.