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A’s send down 6 players in third round of spring cuts

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This time it counts

Cincinnati Reds v Oakland Athletics
Reymin Guduan is a good one
Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

The Oakland A’s made their third round of spring training cuts on Saturday, and this time they offer some concrete conclusions about the Opening Day roster. Their spring camp is now down to 31 players, with the eventual target being 26 by the end of the month.

All six cuts were non-roster invitees, being reassigned to the minor leagues where they’ll remain in the organization to begin the 2021 season.

  • LHP Reymin Guduan
  • RHP Deolis Guerra
  • C Francisco Peña
  • C Carlos Perez
  • IF Pete Kozma
  • OF Cody Thomas

Whereas the first two rounds of cuts (here and here) were mostly young prospects and distant depth players, this round has some actual impact on Opening Day decisions. None of these players were front-runners to break camp with the team, but the list does include some veterans who could perhaps have grabbed a surprise spot with a huge spring and/or an injury to someone higher on the depth chart. It turns out they didn’t, yet, but that doesn’t mean we won’t see them later this summer.

That especially goes for the two pitchers, as manager Bob Melvin would be “surprised if we didn’t see either one of these guys at some point in time during the season,” per Athletics Farm. The pair combined for 14 scoreless innings this spring, and Guerra in particular struck out 10 of his 21 batters while walking only two. Both relievers have prior MLB experience, with Guerra boasting over 100 innings and Guduan touching triple-digit velocity in the past.

Guerra’s path to minor league camp was slightly more complicated than the rest of today’s cuts. He was actually released, but then he re-signed with the team on a new deal, reports Melissa Lockard of The Athletic.

The catchers also made their impact this month, and the glove-first Perez was officially a possibility to make the team according to Melvin. The A’s have Sean Murphy and Aramis Garcia in the majors, and also Austin Allen in Triple-A, so it will be interesting to see who gets the first call between Perez and Allen if a replacement is needed.

In the middle infield, the A’s were already thin enough last summer that Nate Orf (with 32 career plate appearances) made the playoff roster for emergency defense, so they signed Kozma over the winter to shore up that depth chart. He began the spring with a couple errors in the field, but once the offseason of rust shook off he ended up with an impressive Cactus League performance that shows why he’s a nice depth option to have around entering age 33.

Kozma has always been glove-first but did some damage with the bat this month. He hit .282 with a few extra-base hits including a homer, and finished second on the team in RBI, with a .754 OPS. The precise numbers don’t matter, but the point is he contributed at the plate and showed he can slot into the depth chart after not getting to play last summer during the pandemic.

As for Thomas, he’s the exception in this group, as a prospect who hasn’t yet played above Double-A. He ranks No. 27 on our Community Prospect List and acquitted himself well this spring, with an .823 OPS, a couple extra-base hits, and as many walks as strikeouts.

Made the team!

In addition to these cuts, the A’s also announced the exact opposite, that two on-the-bubble candidates have officially made the team.

The second catcher will be Aramis Garcia, reports Matt Kawahara of the S.F. Chronicle.

Veteran non-roster signing Jed Lowrie also made the roster, per insider Martin Gallegos. After missing the last two seasons to injury, Zombie Lowrie will cautiously for now be the starting second baseman for the only team with whom he’s ever stayed healthy.

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.

Note that RHP Mike Fiers will begin the season on the injured list, so really only four more cuts are needed. Also, there is already an open 40-man spot for Jed Lowrie to take.

Oakland A's spring roster (31)
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)**
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)