SEATTLE -- The season hasn't gone exactly as planned for A's slugger Mike Piazza.

The designated hitter, who signed a one-year, $8.5 million contract in the offseason, spent more than a month on the disabled list with a sprained right shoulder.

And getting acclimated to the American League took some patience.

But Piazza, 39, hasn't ruled out a return next season, either in Oakland or elsewhere.

"I've always felt decisions like that are made when you have a little bit of options," said Piazza, who has 426 career home runs and is a virtual lock to be a first-ballot Baseball Hall of Famer. "I want to try and finish strong and see if there's any interest."

That said, Piazza hasn't yet been contacted by the A's front office for a possible return next year, which would be his 17th in the major leagues.

"If they don't (bring me back), I won't have any negative sentiment," he said. "I've really enjoyed it this year. They gave me a great opportunity here. Even going back to the minor leagues (during an injury rehabilitation assignment) was nice because I got to get back to the roots of the game."

Piazza entered Wednesday night's game hitting .282 with seven homers and 40 RBI. The seven long balls are his fewest since 1992, when he hit one in just 69 at-bats with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Much of the struggles have been due to the shoulder sprain, which sidelined him from May 3-July 20, along with getting adjusted to AL pitchers.

If he doesn't come back to Oakland, Piazza hasn't ruled out a return to the National League. Right now, it all depends on health, he said.

"If my arm heals, and I am throwing better in the spring, then I'd have to go to spring training and prove to an NL team I can still catch," said Piazza, an 11-time NL All Star as a catcher. "I am not ruling that out. Right now, I am in a good place personally and professionally.

"My attitude is this is sugar and icing on the cake."

Rotation shuffle

A's manager Bob Geren announced Wednesday that Dan Meyer will start in place of Dallas Braden on Friday against Texas.

Braden has struggled in the rotation, losing seven straight decisions after winning in his major-league debut on April 24 against Baltimore. On Tuesday, he allowed eight hits and four runs in the A's 7-4 win over Seattle.

"Braden will pitch out of the bullpen," Geren said. "(Right now) I would like to see Dan Meyer get a couple of starts."

Meyer is 0-1 with a 4.32 ERA in just 8-1/3 innings. He is in his second stint with the A's this season. He has a combined 8-2 record with a 3.99 ERA in stops at Double-A Midland and Triple-A Sacramento.

Voting time

A's players filled out ballots for the Major League Baseball Players' Choice Awards on Wednesday.

The choice for AL Player of the Year? "Alex Rodriguez has had a tremendous year ... Magglio Ordonez has had a tremendous year," A's outfielder Nick Swisher said. "Statistically, there's no doubt about it. Those guys got their teams where they are."

The award isn't taken lightly, outfielder Shannon Stewart said.

"They're really important because the players vote," he said. "It shows they admire what you're doing out there."

-- Erick Walker, correspondent