Athletics

Athletics

Just when we thought the A's 25-man roster was set, Oakland has shaken things up.

On the eve of their home opener, the A's have acquired 35-year-old infielder Kendrys Morales from the Blue Jays, along with cash, in exchange for minor-league infielder Jesus Lopez and international slot money.

Morales has primarily served as a designated hitter the last several years, but he did start 17 games at first base last season in Toronto. He and Mark Canha will likely platoon at first until Matt Olson returns from injury, with Morales dominating right-handed pitching throughout his career and Canha tearing up southpaws.

Last season in Toronto, Morales posted a .249/.331/.438 slash line with 21 home runs and 57 RBI in 130 games. As previously mentioned, the switch-hitter was especially productive against right-handed pitching, slashing .274/.366/.495 with 18 homers and 45 RBI in 277 at-bats. In 12 career seasons, Morales has totaled 211 home runs and 728 RBI.

Morales is set to earn $12 million this year, though a league source told NBC Sports California that the Blue Jays will pick up a large portion of that salary. The San Francisco Chronicle's Susan Slusser reports the portion to be more than $10 million, leaving the A's on the hook for less than $2 million.

The A's did not immediately announce a corresponding move on the 25-man roster, but Franklin Barreto is likely to be optioned to Triple-A Las Vegas.

Lopez was not listed among the A's top 30 prospects by MLB Pipeline. The 22-year-old spent last season in Single-A Beloit, batting .239 with 10 home runs and 41 RBI in 84 games. In five career minor-league seasons, Lopez has hit .221 with 15 homers and 111 RBI.

 

To make room on the 40-man roster for Morales, the A's transferred Jharel Cotton to the 60-day injured list. The 27-year-old right-hander underwent Tommy John surgery last March.