Athletics

A's bring back Adam Rosales; trade Eibner to Dodgers

A's bring back Adam Rosales; trade Eibner to Dodgers

The A’s welcomed Adam Rosales back into their fold Wednesday, signing the veteran utility man to a one-year deal.

Oakland also traded outfielder Brett Eibner to the Los Angeles Dodgers for minor league infielder Jordan Tarsovich. To make room for Rosales on the 40-man roster, lefty Dillon Overton, who just last season seemed a potential piece for the big league rotation, was designated for assignment.

The 33-year-old Rosales, a crowd favorite for his all-out hustling style that includes a home-run sprint around the bases, has played all over the infield during his nine-year career, which included a stay in Oakland from 2010-13. Notably, he’ll provide depth at second base, a spot A’s officials have said all offseason was a concern because of Jed Lowrie’s health issues and the inexperience of others. A source confirmed Rosales' deal is worth a guaranteed $1.25 million.

In discussing the previous signings of free agents Rajai Davis, Trevor Plouffe and Santiago Casilla, A’s general manager David Forst mentioned that each are known as guys who would mesh well, important for a team that’s experienced some clubhouse discord the past two seasons. Rosales fits in the same category.

“Rosie always brought so much to our team, both on and off the field,” Forst said in a statement. “It’s great to have him back in an A’s uniform.”

The right-handed hitting Rosales batted .229 with 13 homers and 35 RBI in 105 games with San Diego last year, posting career highs in runs (37), doubles (12), triples (3), home runs, RBI, walks (29) and games played. He elected free agency in November.

Eibner was designated for assignment Friday after the A’s signed Casilla, so they had 10 days to trade, release or send the outfielder to the minors if he cleared waivers. Acquired last July from the Royals for Billy Burns, Eibner hit just .165 in 44 games with Oakland. Tarsovich, 25, played all over the infield at Single-A and Double-A last season, hitting a combined .221 with nine home runs and 32 RBI in 90 games. He was a 22nd round pick in 2015.

Overton made a strong impression in camp last spring that earned him his first trip to the bigs in 2016. But he was victimized by the long ball in four stints with the A’s. The lefty gave up 12 home runs in 24 1/3 innings, an average of 4.44 homers per nine innings that ranked as the highest mark in major league history for pitchers with 20 or more innings.

Also Wednesday, the A's outrighted right-hander Zach Neal to Triple-A Nashville after he was designated for assignment a week ago.

A's 2019 Projections: Franklin Barreto could make impact, if he plays

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USATSI

A's 2019 Projections: Franklin Barreto could make impact, if he plays

Editor's note: Over the next few weeks, NBC Sports California will be analyzing a different A's player each day to project their numbers for next season.

Franklin Barreto might be the toughest A's player to project for next season.

First of all, we don't have any idea where, or how much, he's going to play. With Jurickson Profar taking over the starting second baseman job, Barreto could find at-bats hard to come by.

The 22-year-old has played the outfield before and could get some action in left field, but he'll have to battle with Nick Martini, Mark Canha, and Dustin Fowler. There's also still a chance the A's could trade Barreto, possibly for a starting pitcher.

Last season, Barreto hit .233/.253/.493 with five home runs and 16 RBI in 32 games. He spent the majority of the season in Triple-A, where he hit .259/.357/.514 with 18 homers and 46 RBI in 77 games.

Barreto has shown flashes of his potential, but he is still far too inconsistent at the plate, striking out 62 times in 144 career at-bats, compared to just six walks.

Baseball Reference projects Barreto to get 224 at-bats next season and hit .241/.299/.424 with nine home runs and 32 RBI. While the slash line looks realistic, we don't see how he will be able to compile that many at-bats.

Barreto could fill in for Profar or Marcus Semien here and there, but those opportunities will be few and far between. In the outfield, he figures to be fifth, at best, on the depth chart, and that's assuming he's ahead of Fowler and Chad Pinder.

[RELATED: Semien's 2019 projections]

It could be another trying year for the talented 22-year-old, at least in terms of playing time. However, Barreto should continue to develop as a hitter and his easy power is undeniable.

Projection: .244/.306/.434, 9 HR, 23 RBI

Deion Sanders explains why Kyler Murray should pick baseball over NFL

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AP

Deion Sanders explains why Kyler Murray should pick baseball over NFL

If anyone knows what Kyler Murray is going through right now, it's Deion Sanders.

"Prime Time" is one of the most successful two-sport athletes. He played 14 seasons in the NFL with five teams, was a six-time All-Pro and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2011. Sanders also played parts of nine MLB seasons with four teams, including 52 games with the Giants.

So does the NFL Network analyst believe Murray, whom the A's took No. 9 overall in last year's MLB draft, made the right choice by declaring for the 2019 NFL Draft on Monday?

"If I'm in his shoes, I'm picking up that baseball bat and I'm not looking back," Sanders told ESPN's Cari Champion on Monday night.

Why?

"Because, that's just for me," Sanders said. "Sometimes, I still have regret that I didn't give [baseball] more. But you know, I got a gold [Hall of Fame] jacket in the closet. I'm straight. But I wish I would have given [baseball] more.

"But for Kyler, that's tough at his position, and I don't think he realizes the ridicule you go through once you declare and say, 'I'm going to be a football player.' Now people start talking about your height, your size, what you can't do. He hasn't dealt with that yet."

NFL experts and scouts are torn on the Heisman Trophy winner. Several outlets have released mock drafts that project Murray as a first-round pick. But NFL Network's Ian Rapoport has spoken to some NFL scouts who believe Murray will fall to the second or third round.

Sanders is, excited, though, to see what Murray does in the future.

"I think he can do whatever he wants to do," Sanders said. "He's that type of athlete."