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A’s send down 9 players in second round of spring cuts

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Jordan Weems optioned to Triple-A, and 8 NRIs reassigned

MLB: JUL 12 Athletics Summer Camp
We’ll wait a bit longer to see this hair back in the majors
Photo by Cody Glenn/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Oakland A’s made their second round of spring training cuts on Sunday, paring their MLB camp down to 40 players, toward the eventual goal of a 26-man Opening Day roster. Nine players were sent down to the minors in various capacities, though all still remain in the A’s organization.

One of the cuts came from the 40-man roster, meaning the player was optioned to Triple-A:

  • RHP Jordan Weems

The rest were non-roster invitees, who were reassigned to minor league mini-camp:

  • RHP Domingo Acevedo
  • RHP Argenis Angulo
  • RHP Matt Blackham
  • RHP Ben Bracewell
  • C Tyler Soderstrom
  • 1B Frank Schwindel
  • SS Nick Allen
  • OF Buddy Reed

Like the first round of spring cuts last week, this looks like routine news.

Nobody on the list was a serious candidate to make the Opening Day roster, and only Weems was even realistically in the running. But even he was an easy guess to begin the season in Las Vegas, given his remaining options and the limited experience under his belt, and that was before his mediocre showing in the Cactus League. The righty reliever will surely get a call sometime this year when reinforcements are inevitably needed, after putting himself on the radar with his excellent 2020 rookie campaign.

The rest of the cuts are mixed between prospects who aren’t yet MLB-ready and scrap-heap relievers brought in as minor league depth.

The four NRI pitchers didn’t get much playing time this month, combining for just over a dozen innings between them. Blackham was particularly impressive, with six strikeouts and a walk in four innings, though Bracewell also chewed through four scoreless frames with a more contact-heavy approach. They’ll slot into the farm system for now and most will stay there all year, though it’s not unheard of for a minor league free agent signing to find his way to Oakland’s bullpen at some point during the summer.

Click here for more info on Blackham, Bracewell, Acevedo (velo in low-90s), and Angulo (43.20 ERA).

On the position player side, Reed has a strained quad and will “be out for a while,” so he’s an unfortunately obvious pick for this round of cuts with just over a week of spring training left. Soderstrom and Allen are top prospects who flashed some of their talents in games this month, but they still have a ways to go in their development. Allen has never played in the upper-minors and is presumably ticketed for Double-A when the season starts, and Soderstrom was drafted out of high school last summer so this Cactus League was technically his pro debut.

Click here for more info on all the A’s top prospects.

And then there’s Schwindel. Royals Review called him Frank The Tank, or perhaps you could use his last name and go with “Schwingel.” Either way, the minor league free agent quietly had a decent spring at the plate, batting .286 with a homer, a couple doubles, and a low strikeout rate in a perfect demonstration of his aggressive high-contact approach. It’s tough to see the first baseman finding a path to the majors on a club that has Matt Olson, Mitch Moreland, Mark Canha, and Seth Brown, but you never know what can happen in six months of baseball, and he does have pro catching experience in his back pocket.

Just because these players are out of MLB camp doesn’t mean we can’t see them again this month, as prospects from minor league mini-camp have been appearing occasionally in Cactus League games. But as we get to the final days of spring training the primary starters will absorb more of the playing time, and as things stand these nine cuts won’t be part of the Opening Day roster.

Spring roster update

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 from major league camp. Players with asterisks** can’t be optioned to the minors, either because they’re out of options or they’re Rule 5 draft picks.

After these spring cuts were announced, LHP Nik Turley was claimed off waivers by the White Sox, but that move is not reflected in the table below.

Oakland A's spring 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)
—Paul Blackburn (R)
—Parker Dunshee (R)
—Brian Howard (R)
—Trey Supak (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)
—Domingo Acevedo (R)
—Cristian Alvarado (R)
—Argenis Angulo (R)
—Matt Blackham (R)
—Ben Bracewell (R)
—Montana DuRapau (R)
—Reymin Guduan (L)
—Deolis Guerra (R)
—Brian Schlitter (R)
Catchers

Sean Murphy (R)
Austin Allen (L)
Aramis Garcia (R)
—Kyle McCann (L)
—Francisco Peña (R)
—Carlos Perez (R)
—Tyler Soderstrom (L)


Infielders

Matt Chapman (R)
Matt Olson (L)
Elvis Andrus (R)
Chad Pinder (R)
Tony Kemp (L)**
Vimael Machin (L)
DH: Mitch Moreland (L)
—Nick Allen (R)
—Pete Kozma (R)
—Jed Lowrie (S)
—Frank Schwindel (R)
—Jacob Wilson (R)


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)
—Buddy Reed (S)
—Cody Thomas (L)