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.