A’s claim Luke Hughes off waivers from Twins

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From LaVelle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune comes word that the A’s have claimed infielder Luke Hughes off waivers from the Twins.

Hughes — a native of Perth, Australia — was designated for assignment by Minnesota last week after batting just .200/.182/.200 with four strikeouts through his first 11 plate appearances this season.

The 27-year-old hit .223/.289/.338 with seven home runs and 30 RBI in 96 games last year and holds a rough .627 career OPS.

Hughes will function as organizational infield depth for Oakland, though he’s not much of a defender.

Kyle Schwarber has lost 17-20 pounds

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As is offseason tradition, the first of player-shape reports are trickling in. These usually use some variation of the phrase “best shape of [my/his] life.” This one, though, avoids that at least.

According to ESPN’s Jesse Rogers, Cubs outfielder Kyle Schwarber has lost 17-20 pounds so far this offseason. Schwarber said that he’s “already big and strong,” so “might as well try to get more explosive, faster.”

Though Schwarber knocked out 30 home runs this past season, his numbers were otherwise pedestrian. He hit .211/.315/.467 with 59 RBI and 67 runs scored in 486 plate appearances.

There has been some speculation that the Cubs will try to trade Schwarber to an American League team where he can be a DH. He’s a subpar defender, so making him a full-time DH makes a lot of sense. So far, though, the only team that has been linked to Schwarber this offseason has been the Red Sox.