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A’s 40-man roster: Vimael Machin outrighted to Triple-A, but more spots needed

This won’t be the final transaction before Opening Day

SFChronicleTwinsAthletics Santiago Mejia/The San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images

The Oakland A’s are inching closer to an Opening Day roster, but first there are some final details to sort through.

The A’s announced Monday morning that they outrighted infielder Vimael Machin to Triple-A Las Vegas. The outright assignment means Machin has been removed from the 40-man roster, and that he cleared waivers without any other teams claiming him.

This is purely an administrative move geared toward creating space on the 40-man roster. Machin had already been cut from spring camp two weeks ago, so he was in the minors anyway and was no longer competing for the active 28-man roster on Opening Day. But the club needed his 40-man spot too.

From the looks of it, Oakland has five non-roster invitees set to make the team, and each of them will need to be added to the 40-man. That roster was at 39 players before this move, so subtracting Machin takes it down to 38, and they’ll still need to open up three more spots beyond that.

Despite this step back, the 28-year-old Machin remains in the organization. He arrived as a Rule 5 draft pick in 2020 and stayed in the majors for the shortened pandemic season, then made some appearances for the A’s last summer as an emergency backup riding the taxi between Triple-A and the bigs. In total he’s played 39 games for Oakland, taking 108 plate appearances.

  • Machin, MLB career: .179/.264/.200, 38 wRC+, 2 doubles, 10.2% BB, 18.5% Ks

His lefty bat hasn’t found a rhythm in the majors, but he’s at least displayed the strong walk and strikeout rates that got him there to begin with. In order to get his next chance in MLB, he would first need to be re-added to the 40-man.

But for now he’s the odd man out, as the rebuilding A’s will try some new lotto tickets. The following non-roster invitees are still in camp, and barring any further trades or signings it would appear they’re going to make the team:

  • RHP Justin Grimm
  • RHP Zach Jackson
  • RHP Dany Jimenez
  • RHP Jacob Lemoine
  • OF Billy McKinney

Jackson, Jimenez, and Lemoine have already been officially reported as having made it, though Grimm and McKinney are still inferences based on process of elimination. Both would be sensible picks, as they have past MLB experience and Grimm in particular has some notable success on his track record.

If all of them do indeed get nods, then Oakland would still need to clear three more spots on the 40-man. Two of them should be easy calls, as pitchers Deolis Guerra (forearm surgery) and Brent Honeywell (elbow) seem likely to land on the 60-day injured list. The final spot could come in a couple different ways.

One possibility would be for outfield prospect Cody Thomas to go on the 60-day IL. He missed the spring due to an Achilles injury, and though he’s hopeful to return to action in May, it’s difficult to see a scenario where he gets back into the Triple-A lineup, gets into rhythm on a rehab assignment, and forces a callup for an MLB debut all before his 60 days would end in early June. However, if the A’s don’t want to go that route, then they could simply cut somebody else like they did with Machin — for example, by DFA’ing one of the relievers who didn’t make the team.

See below for the updated 40-man roster, for now, though it will change again soon. Outfielder Ramon Laureano is absent due to his ongoing PED suspension, and won’t need to take a roster spot until he is activated from the Restricted List a couple dozen games into the season. Players listed in —italics have not yet debuted in the majors. Players with **asterisks** are currently injured, though not on any official IL yet.

Oakland A's 40-man roster (38)
Pitchers Hitters
Starters

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


Relievers

Lou Trivino (R)
**Deolis Guerra (R)**
Domingo Acevedo (R)
Adam Kolarek (L)
Sam Moll (L)
A.J. Puk (L)
Sam Selman (L)
Kirby Snead (L)
—Wandisson Charles (R)
—Jorge Juan (R)
—Miguel Romero (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

Stephen Piscotty (R)
Chad Pinder (R)
Cristian Pache (R)
Seth Brown (L)
Skye Bolt (S)
Luis Barrera (L)
—**Cody Thomas (L)**