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A’s claim Gabe Klobosits off waivers, DFA Luis Barrera

New reliever to add to rebuilding depth chart

MLB: Washington Nationals at Milwaukee Brewers
When Klobostands he’s 6’8”
Michael McLoone-USA TODAY Sports

The Oakland A’s added another arm to the depth chart of their rebuilding bullpen.

The A’s claimed reliever Gabe Klobosits off waivers from the Nationals, the team announced Monday. At this time it appears he’ll report to Triple-A Las Vegas, until or unless further moves are made to bring him up to the majors.

To make room on Oakland’s 40-man roster, outfielder Luis Barrera was designated for assignment.

The right-handed Klobosits was drafted by Washington in 2017 but had Tommy John surgery the next year and then returned to action just before the pandemic wiped out 2020, so he’s only thrown 112 career innings in the minors. But during that time he’s posted consistently high strikeout rates and minuscule hit and homer rates, including last summer in the upper-minors.

  • Klobosits, 2021 AA: 0.90 ERA, 20 ip, 26 Ks, 8 BB, 1 HR, 2.77 FIP
  • Klobosits, 2021 AAA: 2.45 ERA, 18⅓ ip, 20 Ks, 6 BB, 0 HR, 2.49 FIP

That success was enough to rocket up the farm system and debut in the majors last August, appearing in 11 games for the Nats.

  • Klobosits, 2021 MLB: 5.56 ERA, 11⅓ ip, 5 Ks, 5 BB, 0 HR, 13 hits, 3.88 FIP

The 6’8” hurler brings an imposing physical frame and strong velocity. Last year in the majors his fastball averaged 94.7 mph and topped out at 96.8, and he complemented it with a splitter that he used mostly against lefty batters and a slider that came out more against righties. Both of the secondaries sat in the 87-88 mph range.

With his 27th birthday approaching in May, Klobosits joins a bullpen depth chart that’s loaded with quantity but short on sure things. For now it seems he’ll wait his turn, as there are 10 relievers already in the majors and he has minor league options remaining, but opportunity could come sooner than later depending how things go with the current group.

Meanwhile, the DFA of Barrera is a surprise. He’s been one of the A’s top outfield prospects for years and made his MLB debut last summer, and he figured to be part of the rebuilding plan this season with lots of space to fill in the lineup. He was also off to a good start in Triple-A this month, including a walk-off homer on Sunday.

  • Barrera, 2022 AAA: 9-for-21, 1 HR, 2 doubles, 1 SB, 0 BB, 5 Ks

Instead, he appears to have lost his spot. His batting line last year was below-average in Triple-A (88 wRC+) even with the benefit of an extremely hitter-friendly environment, and the depth chart recently got more crowded above him with the acquisition of big prospect Cristian Pache and the success of minor league free agent Billy McKinney.

Of course, a DFA doesn’t necessarily mean Barrera will be gone. He could still wind up back in Vegas if no other team claims him off waivers, among the other various possible results. We’ll find out in the next few days.

Here’s the updated 40-man roster. Players listed in —italics have not yet debuted in the majors.

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

Frankie Montas (R)
Cole Irvin (L)
Daulton Jefferies (R)
Paul Blackburn (R)
—Adam Oller (R)
James Kaprielian (R)
—Zach Logue (L)
—Adrian Martinez (R)


60-IL: Brent Honeywell (R)


Relievers

Lou Trivino (R)
Domingo Acevedo (R)
Justin Grimm (R)
Zach Jackson (R)
Dany Jimenez (R)
Adam Kolarek (L)
Jacob Lemoine (R)
Sam Moll (L)
A.J. Puk (L)
Kirby Snead (L)
Gabe Klobosits (R)
—Wandisson Charles (R)
—Jorge Juan (R)
—Miguel Romero (R)


60-IL: Deolis Guerra (R)
Catchers

Sean Murphy (R)
Stephen Vogt (L)
Austin Allen (L)

Infielders

Elvis Andrus (R)
Tony Kemp (L)
Jed Lowrie (S)
Sheldon Neuse (R)
Kevin Smith (R)
—Nick Allen (R)
—Jonah Bride (R)
—Jordan Diaz (R)


Outfielders

Seth Brown (L)
Cristian Pache (R)
Chad Pinder (R)
Stephen Piscotty (R)
Billy McKinney (L)
Skye Bolt (S)
—Cody Thomas (L)

SL: Ramon Laureano (R)