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Oakland A’s option Seth Brown and James Kaprielian as rosters shrink to 28 players

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Both could easily be back at some point this summer

Oakland Athletics v Seattle Mariners
Brown’s primary position this season has been cardboard cutout
Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

Major League Baseball teams have enjoyed expanded rosters this season, as a temporary measure during the coronavirus pandemic. However, Thursday brought a deadline for clubs to trim those active rosters from 30 down to 28.

Accordingly, the Oakland A’s optioned pitcher James Kaprielian and outfielder Seth Brown to their San Jose alternate training camp, the team announced. This is functionally the same as if they were sent down to Triple-A in a normal year.

Rosters were originally scheduled to shrink again in another two weeks, down to 26, but the league announced Wednesday that they’ll stay at 28 for the rest of this year — including the postseason. They’ll revert back to 26 next summer (after being at 25 for decades, they were already increasing to 26 this year even before the virus hit).

This news doesn’t really affect much of anything. Both players are quality prospects with a lot of potential to offer, but Brown wasn’t getting any playing time in a crowded lineup, and Kaprielian didn’t have an avenue to many innings with almost everyone else in the bullpen pitching out of their minds. The pair can wait their turn in San Jose just as well as they could wait sitting idly on the MLB bench, and if they join the taxi squad then they can still travel with the A’s on road trips — in related news, taxi squads are increasing from three players up to five.

Given that they weren’t playing, and now aren’t going to be playing anytime soon, there’s no need to get too deep into who Brown and Kaprielian are. If you’re not familiar with them and would like to learn more, here are a few links:

Through the A’s first dozen games, Brown made it into only three of them, going 0-for-3 in his trio of plate appearances. Kaprielian was only called up on Wednesday and didn’t make it into that evening’s game, a 6-4 win over the Texas Rangers — if he had, it would have been his MLB debut. There’s every chance we could see one or both back in Oakland this season, as normal roster attrition sets in and new needs arise.

The most notable part of this news is what didn’t happen. Infielder Franklin Barreto, once a highly touted prospect who just can’t seem to force his way into the A’s plans, was a candidate to be traded or simply DFA’d when rosters shrank. Instead, the A’s chose moves that kept everyone in the organization, and Barreto will continue to wear green and gold for now.

Here’s an updated look at the A’s active 28-man roster, now with a nine-man bullpen and a five-man bench.

Oakland A's 30-man roster
Pitchers Hitters
Starters

Frankie Montas (R)
Sean Manaea (L)
Mike Fiers (R)
Chris Bassitt (R)
Jesus Luzardo (L)

Relievers

Liam Hendriks (R)
Yusmeiro Petit (R)
Joakim Soria (R)
Jake Diekman (L)
T.J. McFarland (L)
Daniel Mengden (R)
Burch Smith (R)
Lou Trivino (R)
J.B. Wendelken (R)
Catchers

Sean Murphy (R)
Austin Allen (L)

Infielders

Matt Olson (L)
Marcus Semien (R)
Matt Chapman (R)
Tony Kemp (L)
Chad Pinder (R)
Franklin Barreto (R)
Vimael Machin (L)

Outfielders

Khris Davis (R)
Mark Canha (R)
Ramon Laureano (R)
Stephen Piscotty (R)
Robbie Grossman (S)

10-day IL: LHP A.J. Puk (shoulder), RHP Jordan Weems (lat)