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Oakland A’s acquire Ryan LaMarre, outfield depth

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Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

The Oakland A’s announced a minor transaction Sunday morning, acquiring outfielder Ryan LaMarre from the Angels in exchange for either a player to be named later or cash considerations. To make room on the 40-man roster, starting pitcher Chris Bassitt was transferred to the 60-day DL as he continues his rehab from Tommy John surgery.

LaMarre, 28, has briefly appeared in MLB but has mostly topped out in the high minors. He debuted with the Reds in 2015 and suited up for the Red Sox in 2016, but racked up only 32 plate appearances overall (and only two hits, both singles). He was signed by the Angels last winter but designated for assignment by the club on Tuesday.

The right-handed batter (but lefty thrower) spent most of last year in Triple-A, posting a 135 wRC+ in 86 games with double-digits in both homers and steals. Defensively, he’s spent most of his time in CF but has also dabbled on the corners. Since 2015, he’s put up the following line in Triple-A (735 PAs, split among three different teams):

LaMarre, 2015-17 AAA: .280/.342/.418, 120 wRC+, 18 HR, 7.1% BB, 24.4% Ks, 32-for-43 stolen bases

Fun fact: LaMarre also pitched an inning for the Red Sox last year, in a 21-2 blowout loss to the Angels. He tossed a scoreless inning of mopup relief, but he did allow two hits. That means he’s an outfielder who has given up as many hits on the mound as he’s collected himself at the plate. (And one of the hits he allowed was a double, so he’s given up more total bases than he’s accrued.)

LaMarre will be assigned to the Triple-A Nashville Sounds, joining an outfield full of veteran depth — Mark Canha, Andrew Lambo, Kenny Wilson, and Matt McBride. In terms of younger prospects, Nashville is currently missing Jaycob Brugman (injured) and Matt Olson (up in Oakland for now).

Meanwhile, Bassitt is making progress in his rehab as he nears the one-year mark after his May 2016 surgery. On Friday he threw 45 pitches in a simulated game, via John Shea of the S.F. Chronicle. This move to the longer-term DL means we definitely won’t see him in Oakland before June, though that’s not a surprise because no one was expecting him back before then anyway. Bassitt joins outfielder Jake Smolinski and shortstop Marcus Semien on the 60-day DL.

Hot take: The A’s needed more CF depth, especially with Rajai Davis already banged up, so they picked up a figurative replacement-level player who can cover that position while being stashed in the minors. Will we ever see LaMarre in Oakland? It’s probably unlikely, but certainly not impossible if one of Oakland’s current outfielders gets hurt. On that note, though, Rajai hopes to be back soon from his hamstring tweak (via Joe Stiglich, NBCS) — my immediate reaction is that they picked up LaMarre as insurance in case Rajai’s hammy winds up landing him on the DL.