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A’s return Rule 5 pick Dany Jimenez to Blue Jays

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The reliever will not make the cut for the A’s bullpen

MLB: Oakland Athletics-Media Day USA TODAY NETWORK

The Oakland A’s finally made a roster move to activate starting pitcher Frankie Montas from the COVID-19 related injured list, one day after he took the mound for his 2021 Cactus League debut.

The A’s returned Rule 5 draft pick Dany Jimenez to the Toronto Blue Jays, the team announced Monday afternoon.

Oakland drafted Jimenez from the Jays in December, with the stipulation that he needed to make the A’s Opening Day roster and stay in the majors for the entire season or else be offered back to Toronto. The right-handed reliever was also a Rule 5 pick last year, by the Giants, and he made it into two MLB games for San Francisco before heading back to the Blue Jays. However, this time around he was cut halfway through spring training, after appearing in three games.

Jimenez, 2021 spring: 3 ip, 4 runs (2 earned), 3 Ks, 2 BB, 3 hits (1 HR)

At the time the A’s selected the 27-year-old, their bullpen was so thin that it was set to include the first three fans to buy season tickets. But since then they’ve added several new arms through free agency and trade, leaving less room for bubble candidates like Jimenez to earn a spot. Right now Rosenthal, Diekman, Petit, Romo, Kolarek, and Wendelken seem like locks, leaving two more places for the out-of-options Nik Turley, mainstay Lou Trivino, and anyone else.

The A’s made two picks in the Rule 5 draft this past winter, and Jimenez was the second one. In the first round they chose outfielder Ka’ai Tom from the Cleveland Indians, and Tom made his Cactus League debut Monday against his old club after missing the first couple weeks of spring games to an oblique injury.

Analysis: On Saturday we made predictions about who would be removed from the roster to make room for Montas. I guessed Jimenez, and 38% of Athletics Nation agreed with me. Nailed it!

However, remember that returning a Rule 5 pick isn’t necessarily the end of the road. Just last year, the Reds chose outfielder Mark Payton from the A’s and returned him, but a week later Cincinnati worked a trade to re-acquire him outright. If Oakland still wants a longer look at Jimenez, perhaps they can make it happen in a non-roster, non-Rule 5 capacity.

Roster update

The updated 40-man roster, with 40 names and nobody on the injured list. Players in —italics haven’t yet debuted in MLB, and those with asterisks** notably can’t be sent down to the minors because they’re either out of options or they’re Rule 5 picks.

Oakland A's 40-man roster (40)
Pitchers Hitters
Starters

Chris Bassitt (R)
Jesus Luzardo (L)
Sean Manaea (L)
Frankie Montas (R)
Mike Fiers (R)
Daulton Jefferies (R)
A.J. Puk (L)
Cole Irvin (L)
James Kaprielian (R)
—Grant Holmes (R)

Relievers

Trevor Rosenthal (R)
Jake Diekman (L)
Yusmeiro Petit (R)
Sergio Romo (R)
Adam Kolarek (L)
J.B. Wendelken (R)**
Nik Turley (L)**
Burch Smith (R)
Lou Trivino (R)
Jordan Weems (R)
—Wandisson Charles (R)
—Miguel Romero (R)
Catchers

Sean Murphy (R)
Austin Allen (L)
Aramis Garcia (R)

Infielders

Matt Chapman (R)
Matt Olson (L)
Elvis Andrus (R)
Chad Pinder (R)
Tony Kemp (L)**
Vimael Machin (L)
DH: Mitch Moreland (L)

Outfielders

Mark Canha (R)
Ramon Laureano (R)
Stephen Piscotty (R)
—Ka'ai Tom (L)**
Seth Brown (L)
Skye Bolt (S)
—Luis Barrera (L)
—Greg Deichmann (L)