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Oakland A’s second round of cuts leaves spring roster at 45

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Another 14 players are headed back to the minors, led by Jorge Mateo.

Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Every team enters spring training with way more players than it will end up needing. Between the 40-man roster and a slew of prospects and other non-roster invitees, the Oakland A’s began with 63 players, and they’ll have to cut that number down to 28 for their Japan series (March 20-21) and 25 for their regular U.S. opener (March 28).

They began that process on Saturday with their first round of cuts (four players), and continued it on Sunday with a more sizable second round. Another 14 players are headed back to the minors this time, leaving the spring roster at 45. The newest cuts:

  • RHP Parker Bridwell
  • RHP James Buchanan
  • RHP Kyle Finnegan
  • RHP Grant Holmes
  • RHP Miguel Romero
  • RHP Norge Ruiz
  • LHP Dean Kiekhefer
  • LHP Kyle Lobstein
  • C Jonah Heim
  • C Beau Taylor
  • IF Corban Joseph
  • IF Jorge Mateo
  • OF Luis Barrera
  • OF Skye Bolt

Note: Since Holmes, Mateo, Barrera, and Bolt are on the 40-man roster, they were officially optioned to Triple-A while the other non-roster invitees are were all simply reassigned to minor league camp.

As is normal this early in the spring, there are no surprises on this list of cuts. Some of them are top prospects who clearly aren’t yet ready for MLB, and others are veteran depth guys who will wait in the minors for an opportunity to arise, but none of them were particularly in the running for the Opening Day roster.

The biggest name on the list is Mateo, who ranks in the Top 10 of our Community Prospect List. He had a solid showing this spring, putting together a handful of hits, flashing his 80-grade wheels a couple times, and playing a capable shortstop, and now he’ll set off to Triple-A to hopefully bounce back from a disappointing 2018 campaign. Outfielders Barrera and Bolt are also CPL prospects who got some run this spring in the later innings of the first week-plus of games.

On the pitching side, Holmes is the biggest name, ranking No. 11 on our CPL despite missing last season to injury. He only threw one inning this spring, but that still means he was on the mound at all, which is progress. Meanwhile, reliever Romero and starter Ruiz both have chances to crack the bottom of this winter’s CPL Top 30 as promising upper-minors arms trying to unlock their tools, while fireballing Finnegan will try to finally master the jump from Double-A to Triple-A this summer.

With all of these pitchers going out, a couple catchers are headed along with them. Heim is on our CPL ballot and should make the list, but he’s barely played at Double-A so even on the A’s thin depth chart he’s far down. Taylor isn’t a prospect anymore but could still have an outside chance to see emergency duty in Oakland this year if it’s needed, like he did last summer.

The rest of the list is the veteran depth guys. Bridwell, Buchanan, Kiekhefer, Lobstein, and Joseph might not ever see Oakland, and they weren’t serious candidates to make the team out of camp, but they’re among the backups available if a sudden need should arise — and it’s not like the A’s have never plucked a contributor from complete obscurity before. None of this group got much playing time this spring, and Bridwell in particular struggled against his old Angels teammates in one of his outings.

Here’s the updated spring roster. Players in italics are non-roster invitees, meaning they’re either CPL prospects or minor league free agent depth. Players in strikethrough have been cut and reassigned to minor league camp. Players with asterisks** have injuries that will keep them out for most of spring and/or past Opening Day. (See below for the 60-day injured list, which is not counted among the 45 players in camp.)

Oakland A's spring roster
Pitchers Hitters
Starters (11)

Mike Fiers (R)
Marco Estrada (R)
Brett Anderson (L)
Daniel Mengden (R)
Frankie Montas (R)
Tanner Anderson (R)
Chris Bassitt (R)
Paul Blackburn (R)
Aaron Brooks (R)
Jharel Cotton (R)**
Grant Holmes (R)
James Kaprielian (R)
-Parker Bridwell (R)
-James Buchanan (R)
-Parker Dunshee (R)
-Kyle Lobstein (L)
-Jesus Luzardo (L)
-A.J. Puk (L)
-Norge Ruiz (R)


Relievers (14)

Blake Treinen (R)
Joakim Soria (R)
Lou Trivino (R)
Fernando Rodney (R)
Ryan Buchter (L)
Yusmeiro Petit (R)
Liam Hendriks (R)
Andrew Triggs (R)
J.B. Wendelken (R)
Ryan Dull (R)
-Tyler Alexander (L)
-Jerry Blevins (L)
-Kyle Crockett (L)
-Kyle Finnegan (R)
-Dean Kiekhefer (L)
-Miguel Romero (R)
-Brian Schlitter (R)
-Wei-Chung Wang (L)
Catchers (4)

Chris Herrmann (L)
Josh Phegley (R)
-Nick Hundley (R)
-Jonah Heim (S)
-Sean Murphy (R)
-Beau Tayor (L)


Infielders (8)

Matt Chapman (R)
Matt Olson (L)
Marcus Semien (R)
Jurickson Profar (S)
Franklin Barreto (R)
Jorge Mateo (R)
-Eric Campbell (R)
-Corban Joseph (L)
-Sheldon Neuse (R)
-Cliff Pennington (S)


Outfielders (8)

Khris Davis (R)
Stephen Piscotty (R)
Ramon Laureano (R)
Robbie Grossman (S)
Chad Pinder (R)
Mark Canha (R)
Nick Martini (L)**
Dustin Fowler (L)
Luis Barrera (L)
Skye Bolt (S)

60-day IL: RHP Daniel Gossett (TJS), LHP Sean Manaea (shoulder)