SEATTLE — The A’s sent top prospect Franklin Barreto back to the minors Saturday as part of a series of roster transactions.
The move was not a surprise as indications from within the organization were that Barreto would be going back to Triple-A at some point for what is likely a short spell.
With Marcus Semien back from the disabled list and handling shortstop, and veteran Jed Lowrie still manning second base, there is no regular playing time for Barreto at the moment. But Lowrie, a switch hitter who can play all over the infield and is in the final year of his contract, is viewed as a prime trade candidate. The likely scenario is for Lowrie to be dealt before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline and Barreto to be brought back with a chance to play second base.
Barreto, still just 21, hit .190 with two home runs and four RBI in 11 games. After a hot start following his June 24 promotion, he cooled off at the plate, though he did win a game Tuesday with a walk-off homer.
The A’s needed to clear a roster spot for right-hander Chris Smith, who will make his first major league start tonight against Seattle. They also reinstated Josh Phegley from the paternity list and designated catcher Ryan Lavarnway for assignment. That last transaction was needed to make room on the 40-man roster for Smith.
For the second straight season, Kendall Graveman will get the ball on Opening Day for the A's. And for the second straight year, he'll face Mike Trout and the Angels.
The team made the news official on Tuesday morning.
Last year, in a win over the Angels, Graveman went six innings, allowed two earned runs and struck out seven.
"It's something I don't take for granted. It's an honor and a privilege and [I just want to] try to get the season off to a good start and hopefully be a leader of this staff," Graveman told reporters Tuesday in Arizona.
In four seasons with the A's and Blue Jays, Graveman has a 4.11 ERA in 76 appearances.
UPDATE (Mar. 19, 7:45 p.m. PT): The A's officially announced the Cahill signing on Monday. This story has been updated to reflect that.
On the same day the Oakland A's learned they'd be without Jharel Cotton all season, they signed a familiar face to bolster their pitching depth.
Oakland agreed to a one-year deal with Trevor Cahill, nearly 12 years after the A's drafted him in the second round.
Cahill pitched for Oakland from 2009-11. He started 96 games in three seasons with the A's, going 40-35 with a 3.91 ERA and 1.32 WHIP. Since Oakland traded him to the Arizona Diamondbacks in Dec. 2011, Cahill's pitched for six teams.
The 30-year-old won a World Series ring with the Chicago Cubs in 2016, and pitched for the San Diego Padres and Kansas City Royals last season. In 2017, he went 4-3 in 21 appearances (14 starts) with a 4.93 ERA and 1.62 WHIP.