With under two weeks to go in spring training, the A’s have more roster decisions to make before opening day than they would have believed even a few days ago, thanks to news that Jarrod Parker (Tommy John surgery) and A.J. Griffin (elbow/forearm) won’t be available when the Indians come to town March 31.
It’s not all about the pitching, however, even if it seems like it sometimes.
Oakland has to make a thumb’s up or down on catcher Chris Gimenez and outfielder Michael Taylor, two of the seven players on the current roster who are out of options. Four others out-of-options types are locks to make the club – first baseman Daric Barton, third baseman Josh Donaldson, first baseman Brandon Moss and reliever-turned starter Jesse Chavez.
Left-handed reliever Fernando Abad is out of options, too, and while the A’s seem to be inclined to keep him, that decision hasn’t been made.
For Gimenez and Taylor, however, they don’t seem to have a spot with the big league club. Gimenez is a capable veteran catcher, but the A’s are looking at having to send left-hander Stephen Vogt back to the minor leagues with John Jaso and Derek Norris seemingly locked in behind the plate.
Taylor can play left and right, but what the A’s need is a player who can back up in center, so Craig Gentry (if he’s healthy) or Sam Fuld (if Gentry’s back makes him unable to go March 31) make more sense.
Given all that, it is likely the A’s will make one or both available in trade in the coming week rather than risk losing them. The Pirates might be interested in Gimenez with catcher Chris Stewart, the backup in Pittsburgh to Russell Martin, likely to need knee surgery shortly.