Athletics

Jurickson Profar trade gives A's infield situation some needed clarity

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USATSI

Jurickson Profar trade gives A's infield situation some needed clarity

With the non-tender deadline just hours away, the A's shipped starting second baseman Jurickson Profar to the Padres for 25-year-old catcher Austin Allen and a player to be named later.

It's a shrewd move by Billy Beane, David Forst, and company, as Profar was almost certain to be non-tendered later in the day, due to his projected $5.8 million salary in arbitration. Instead, Oakland was able to acquire a solid left-handed hitting catcher to pair with 25-year-old Sean Murphy next year.

In 67 Triple-A games last season, Allen slashed an impressive .330/.379/.663 with 21 home runs and 67 RBI. He hit .215 with three RBI in 34 major league games with the Padres.

Originally a fourth-round draft pick in 2015, Allen has launched 20 or more homers in three consecutive seasons in the minors, with a career .296 batting average and .844 OPS.

The move could signal the end of Josh Phegley's tenure in Oakland, as the 31-year-old catcher is projected to get $2.2 million in arbitration. Phegley becomes a strong non-tender candidate at Monday's 5:00 p.m. deadline.

As for Profar, the 26-year-old switch hitter mostly struggled in his lone season with the A's, posting a .218/.301/.410 slash line. He did notch 20 home runs and 67 RBI, but his defensive struggles at second base were a major issue, with his 13 errors ranking third highest among AL second basemen.

With Profar now out of the picture, the A's second base situation features youngsters Sheldon Neuse, Franklin Barreto, and Jorge Mateo. The three top-10 prospects may end up battling for the starting job in spring training, though Oakland could still choose to bring in a veteran, either in free agency or via trade.

[RELATED: MLB announces over $1.2 million from playoff shares]

With Monday night's non-tender deadline rapidly approaching, the A's might not be done making trades. Former closer Blake Treinen is reportedly on the block, as is Phegley. Other non-tender possibilities include left-hander Ryan Buchter and outfielder Robbie Grossman.

Those questions will be answered shortly, but in the meantime, the A's front office deserves credit for moving Profar at the 11th hour.

A's top pick Logan Davidson among spring training non-roster invitees

A's top pick Logan Davidson among spring training non-roster invitees

The A's aren't playing it safe with 2019 first-round draft pick Logan Davidson.

The No. 29 overall pick is among 10 non-roster players the A's invited to spring training Friday.

Davidson, a shortstop, isn't on the A's 40-man roster, but the invite will give him a chance to compete in big league camp. Barring an incredible showing in the Cactus League, the A's No. 7 prospect won't break camp with the A's. But this opportunity allows him to try to impress A's coaches.

In 54 games with the short-season Vermont Lake Monsters, Davidson slashed .239/.345/.332 with seven doubles, four homers and 12 RBI.

[RELATED: A's compare Davidson to Corey Seager]

The other invitee to keep an eye on in camp is A's No. 6 prospect Nick Allen. While small in stature, the middle infielder is an incredible defensive player and could find himself playing for the A's at some point in 2020. While Marcus Semien is blocking Allen's path at shortstop, the 21-year-old could get a look at second base if none of the other in-house options pan out for Oakland.

Three other top-30 prospects were invited to spring training: Outfielder Greg Deichmann (No. 17), right-handed pitcher Brian Howard (No. 22) and right-handed pitcher Parker Dunshee (No. 24).

MLB rumors: A's 'showing interest' in free-agent reliever Sergio Romo

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AP

MLB rumors: A's 'showing interest' in free-agent reliever Sergio Romo

Sergio Romo might be headed back to the Bay Area -- just to the opposite side.

The former Giants relief pitcher is a free agent, and according to MLB Network's Jon Morosi, the A's reportedly are interested in acquiring his services.

Romo, 36, is a 12-year veteran who spent the first nine seasons of his career with the Giants, playing a major role in helping San Francisco win three World Series titles in a span of five years. Over 60 1/3 combined innings with the Marlins and Twins last season, he posted a 3.43 ERA and 1.11 WHIP with 60 strikeouts and 20 saves.

[RELATED: How Forst thinks state of free-agent market will impact A's]

Liam Hendricks has Oakland's closer spot locked down, but with Blake Treinen being non-tendered, there could be one or more openings in the A's bullpen. Given that Romo has filled just about every possible role within a major league bullpen over the course of his career, he could be an ideal fit if the price is right.