Athletics notes: McPherson, Beane, Desme

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athleticslogo.jpgAccording to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com, the Athletics have signed former top prospect Dallas McPherson to a minor league contract with an invite to spring training.



McPherson, 29, failed to make the
Marlins out of spring training last season, then underwent back surgery
in July after signing a minor league contract with the Giants.
McPherson was once a highly-touted prospect in the Angels’
organization, but he hasn’t done much on the major league level,
batting just .245/.298/.458 with 18 home runs and 45 RBI in parts of
four seasons while striking out 34 percent of the time.




Regardless, McPherson has walked
into a pretty good situation in Oakland. He is expected to compete for
a starting job in 2010, as Adam Kennedy and Bobby Crosby are free
agents and prospect Brett Wallace, who was acquired from St. Louis in the Matt Holliday trade, might not be ready for the jump to
the majors.




In other Athletics’ news, general manager Billy Beane was recently interviewed by John Sickels of Minor League Ball.
Beane would like top prospect Chris Carter to find a fit in the
outfield while he hopes Wallace can improve his defense at third base
in anticipation of a promotion to the major leagues. Finally, Beane has
some high praise for Grant Desme, who won the MVP of the Arizona Fall
League
, batting .315/.413/.667 with 11 home runs, 27 RBI and 30 runs
scored in 27 games. Though his strikeout rate is a concern, Beane
likens him to Jayson Werth of the Phillies.

Rays acquire Sergio Romo from Dodgers

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The Rays acquired right-handed reliever Sergio Romo from the Dodgers, the teams announced Saturday night. Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash hinted that the team was in on Romo during the offseason, but couldn’t quite make a deal happen at the time. The righty reliever was designated for assignment by the Dodgers on Thursday and will net the club cash considerations or a player to be named later.

Romo, 34, struggled to find his footing in his first season with the Dodgers. He left a closing role in San Francisco to play set-up man to established closer Kenley Jansen, and saw mixed results on the mound with a 6.12 ERA, 4.3 BB/9 and 11.2 SO/9 through his first 25 innings of 2017. It’s a far cry from the sub-3.00 ERA he maintained in 2015 and 2016, but the Rays don’t seem to have ruled out a second-half surge just yet.

The veteran right-hander is expected to step into a bullpen that already boasts a solid core of right-handed relievers, including Alex Colome, Brad Boxberger, Erasmo Ramirez, Chase Whitley and Tommy Hunter. According to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, the Rays were intrigued by Romo’s extensive postseason experience, affordability and hefty strikeout rate, but will likely continue to hunt for additional bullpen depth in the weeks to come.

Colin Moran is carted off the field after taking a foul ball to the eye

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Astros’ third baseman Colin Moran was carted off the field on Saturday night after a foul ball caught him in the left eye. He was forced to leave in the sixth inning when a pitch from Orioles’ right-handed reliever Darren O'Day ricocheted off the handle of his bat and struck him in the face, causing considerable bleeding and bruising around his eye. The full extent of his injury has yet to be reported by the team.

Prior to the injury, Moran was 1-for-2 with a base hit in the third inning. He was relieved by pinch-hitter/third baseman Marwin Gonzalez, who polished off the end of the at-bat by catapulting a three-run homer onto Eutaw Street.

Evan Gattis and Carlos Beltran combined for another two runs in the ninth inning, bringing the Astros to a four-run lead as they look toward their 65th win of the season. They currently lead the Orioles 7-4 in the bottom of the ninth.