Both Geovany Soto and Jonny Gomes signed elsewhere in baseball on Thursday, closing the book on Oakland's eight major league free agents.
Soto signs minor league deal with Chicago White Sox
Catcher Geovany Soto signed a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training, says Bruce Levine of 670thescore.com.
Soto will have major league spring training invite and challenge for 25 man roster spot .
— Bruce Levine (@MLBBruceLevine) January 22, 2015
Around Athletics Nation, Soto was speculated to be a signing option to compete with Josh Phegley for the short-side of the catching platoon with Stephen Vogt. Instead, Soto joins Jeff Samardzija as 2014 A's with the 2015 White Sox:
The non-guaranteed nature of Soto's deal is only a mild surprise, as he missed most of 2014 recovering from offseason surgeries and a mid-season groin injury as part of the Texas Rangers' injury-plagued season, and has had a history of injuries over the last few years.
Soto was traded to the A's for cash considerations on August 24 while Oakland dealt with a catcher injury crisis with John Jaso out with concussion, Stephen Vogt unable to catch due to a foot problem corrected with offseason surgery, and Derek Norris dealing with occasional back trouble. He appeared in 14 regular season games with Oakland, going 11-for-42 with six walks and eight strikeouts.
Gomes signs with Atlanta Braves
Continuing their trend of looking at the worst parts of the 2014 Athletics and deciding, "Let's go with that," the Atlanta Braves signed outfielder Jonny Gomes to a one-year contract for $4 million, tweets ESPN's Jerry Crasnick. The deal includes a vesting option for a second year, according to Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports.
The A's acquired Gomes at the traded deadline with Jon Lester in the trade that sent Yoenis Cespedes to the Boston Red Sox. Gomes ended up playing against left-handed pitching, but not nearly as well as he did in his first stint with the Athletics in 2012. Gomes had just one extra-base hit, a double, in his 75 plate appearances for the A's, and went 16-for-64 with nine walks and 18 strikeouts.
MLB.com's Mark Bowman had said last Tuesday that Gomes would be a potential option to platoon with Zolio Almonte in right field. Joining Gomes in Atlanta are 2014 A's Jim Johnson and Alberto Callaspo.
A's free agent roundup
With that, Oakland's eight free agents are scattered to the winds of Major League Baseball. The results:
- Retirement: Adam Dunn
- Astros: Luke Gregerson, Jed Lowrie
- Braves: Alberto Callaspo, Jonny Gomes, (Jim Johnson ended 2014 with the Detroit Tigers)
- Cubs: Jason Hammel, Jon Lester
- White Sox: Geovany Soto
Circling back to Ryan Vogelsong
Ryan Vogelsong has apparently backed away from signing with the Houston Astros, and it appears he is on his way to returning to the San Francisco Giants on a one-year deal, writes Hank Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle.