Diamondbacks designate Trevor Cahill for assignment with $17 million left on contract

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The Diamondbacks moved right-hander Trevor Cahill to the bullpen back in April and now they are prepared to eat the roughly $17 million remaining on his contract, as the team announced this evening that he has been designated for assignment to make room for J.J. Putz’s return from the disabled list.

Cahill was acquired from the Athletics in December of 2011 for Jarrod Parker, Ryan Cook, and Collin Cowgill. The 26-year-old posted a 3.87 ERA in 57 starts and one relief appearance over his first two seasons in Arizona, but he was banished to the bullpen in April after just four ugly starts. He has posted a 3.04 ERA and 27 strikeouts in 23 2/3 innings as a reliever, but that apparently wasn’t good enough to justify a roster spot.

Cahill signed a five-year, $30.5 million extension with the A’s back in April of 2011, so he’s still owed the remainder of his $7.7 million salary for this season, $12 million for 2015, and buyouts for team options for 2016 and 2017. It will be interesting to see if a team tries to work out a trade, likely with Arizona picking up a large portion of the contract.

UPDATE: According to Steve Gilbert of MLB.com, Cahill indicated that he’s open to accepting a minor league rehab assignment with the Diamondbacks.

Three A’s rookies hit their first big league home runs on Saturday

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The Athletics followed Friday’s 3-0 shutout with a rookie-led home run derby on Saturday afternoon, watching not one, not two, but three rookies belt their first major league home runs off of the White Sox’ James Shields.

Right fielder Matt Olson was the first to strike, taking Shields deep on a first-pitch, two-run blast in the first inning for his first home run in 49 major league plate appearances:

Fellow outfielder Jaycob Brugman duplicated his teammate’s results in the second inning with a solo home run, his first extra-base hit of any kind since he made his debut on June 9:

In the third, with a comfortable 4-0 lead backing two scoreless frames from Oakland right-hander Daniel Gossett, Franklin Barreto took his shot at Shields. After getting the call several hours prior to Saturday’s game, he became the fastest of the three rookies to record his first big league homer, going yard on a 2-2 changeup and driving in Bruce Maxwell to give the A’s a six-run advantage.

The Athletics currently lead the White Sox 8-2 in the top of the sixth inning.

Athletics call up top prospect Franklin Barreto

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The Athletics called up their top prospect on Saturday, inserting shortstop Franklin Barreto into the lineup for their second game against the White Sox. Barreto was originally scheduled to make his major league debut on Sunday, but got a head start after Jed Lowrie sustained a minor knee sprain in Friday’s 3-0 win and was scratched from Saturday’s lineup.

Barreto, 21, has been rapidly climbing the rungs of the A’s minor league system after getting dealt by the Blue Jays in 2014. He got his first taste of Triple-A action late last year, going 6-for-17 with three RBI and getting caught stealing in two attempts. He fared little better this spring, slashing .281/.326/.428 with eight home runs and a .754 OPS through his first 309 PA in Nashville.

While his minor league production has been solid, if underwhelming for a prospect of his caliber, the A’s are expected to give the rookie infielder a long leash with both Marcus Semien and Chad Pinder sitting on the disabled list. Pinder landed on the 10-day DL after suffering a left hamstring strain on Friday. Semien, meanwhile, is still working his way back from the 60-day DL with a right wrist fracture and likely won’t rejoin the team until he completes a rehab assignment with High-A Stockton.