The Oakland A’s have announced the 30-man roster they will bring to Japan. Before we look at the list of names, though, let’s be clear about how all of this will work.
First off, no one has been “cut” from the overall spring roster, which still stands at 36. The 30-man squad released today is just the group that will physically make the trip to Japan, and they’ll all be eligible to play in the A’s two exhibition games against the Nippon Ham Fighters on March 17-18. Think of it as a temporary subset of the remaining 36-man spring roster, just for two games that are really far away so they’re not bringing everybody.
After those two exhibitions against the Fighters, the A’s will then have to trim their 36-man spring roster down to 28 for their two real games against the Mariners on March 20-21. Up to three of those 28 can be players who didn’t make the trip to Japan and instead stayed home, like Aaron Brooks. Everyone on the 28-man roster must also be on the overall 40-man roster, so expect some corresponding moves at that time (for example, catcher Nick Hundley will need to be added, among other potential names).
Furthermore, out of that 28-man roster, only 25 of them will be eligible to play in the games. The three ineligible players must be designated beforehand and are out for both Mariners games, so forget about trying to manipulate the roster for the second game to add an extra fresh bullpen arm or anything. Obviously, the 25 players designated as active must come from the 30-man contingent that traveled to Japan, due to the space-time continuum.
So, to summarize:
- This 30-man roster is just for the Japan exhibitions
- After those exhibitions, the 36-man spring roster will be cut down to 28
- Of those 28, three can’t play against the Mariners and don’t even have to be present in Japan
- After the Mariners games in Japan, but before the U.S. home opener against the Angels, the 28-man roster will be cut down to the final 25 as usual
OK, with all that out of the way, here is the 30-man Japan contingent. Players in italics are not yet on the 40-man roster, which will need to be remedied for any who are going to play in the games against the Mariners. See below for the players who aren’t making the trip, but are still technically in play for the Opening Day roster (though a few are injured and obviously not actually candidates for Opening Day, and really only Brooks and Luzardo are still in the running).
Mike Fiers (R)
Marco Estrada (R)
Brett Anderson (L)
Frankie Montas (R)
Chris Bassitt (R)
Blake Treinen (R)
Joakim Soria (R)
Lou Trivino (R)
Fernando Rodney (R)
Ryan Buchter (L)
Yusmeiro Petit (R)
Liam Hendriks (R)
J.B. Wendelken (R)
Ryan Dull (R)
-Jerry Blevins (L)
Josh Phegley (R)
-Nick Hundley (R)
-Beau Tayor (L)
Matt Chapman (R)
Matt Olson (L)
Marcus Semien (R)
Jurickson Profar (S)
Chad Pinder (R)
Franklin Barreto (R)
-Cliff Pennington (S)
Khris Davis (R)
Stephen Piscotty (R)
Ramon Laureano (R)
Robbie Grossman (S)
Mark Canha (R)
Not making the trip (italics for non-roster): RHP Aaron Brooks, RHP Jharel Cotton, LHP Jesus Luzardo, C Chris Herrmann, C Sean Murphy, IF Eric Campbell, OF Nick Martini
Hey, why are there seven names on that list? Because catcher Beau Taylor was already cut from MLB camp earlier in the spring, so he’s not part of the remaining 36-man spring roster. The other 29 players going to Japan, plus the seven staying home, equals the remaining 36-man spring roster that had not yet been optioned to Triple-A nor reassigned to minor league camp during the Cactus League.
Here’s the Mariners 30-man Japan contingent, via insider Greg Johns:
- SP: Marco Gonzalez (L), Yusei Kikuchi (L), Mike Leake, Wade LeBlanc (L), Felix Hernandez
- RP: Dan Altavilla, Shawn Armstrong, Chasen Bradford, Brandon Brennan, Roenis Elias (L), Matt Festa, Cory Gearrin, Tommy Milone (L), Zac Rossup (L), Nick Rumbelow, Hunter Strickland
- C: Omar Narvaez, David Freitas, Jose Lobaton
- IF: Edwin Encarnacion, Dee Gordon, Tim Beckham, Ryon Healy, Daniel Vogelbach, Dyan Moore
- OF: Jay Bruce, Mitch Haniger, Domingo Santana, Ichiro Suzuki, Braden Bishop