The Oakland A’s backup catcher job still isn’t officially settled, but the competition took a critical step forward on Wednesday.

The A’s optioned Austin Allen to Triple-A, the team announced.

The 27-year-old Allen is one of three catchers on Oakland’s 40-man roster, along with primary starter Sean Murphy and fellow backup candidate Aramis Garcia. The elimination of Allen from consideration for the Opening Day 26-man active roster gives Garcia a clear inside track to winning the spot.

However, there are still two more non-roster invitee backstops in spring camp, in Carlos Perez and Francisco Peña, and the team has talked about Perez in particular as being a realistic part of the Cactus League battle.