Having added two starting pitchers — Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel — in Friday’s big trade with the Cubs, the Athletics needed to juggle the roster a bit to make room. The club announced that outfielder Nick Buss was designated for assignment, and that Tommy Milone has been optioned to Triple-A Sacramento.
Milone, who was shocked to learn of his demotion, began the year in the Athletics’ starting rotation but didn’t make his season debut until April 11 due to scheduling and a rainout. Over 16 starts, the 27-year-old lefty posted a 3.55 ERA with a 61/26 K/BB ratio in 96 1/3 innings.
Buss, 27, was claimed by the A’s off waivers from the Dodgers in early May and spent his time since with Triple-A Sacramento. In 250 plate appearances, he posted a .683 OPS. He’ll likely pass through waivers and the A’s will keep him right where he is.
The A’s, by the way, have listed Samardzija as Sunday’s starter against the Blue Jays.
Reds second baseman Scooter Gennett can become a free agent after the 2019 season. He has become one of baseball’s better second basemen since the Reds claimed him off waivers from the Brewers in March 2017. Over the last two years, he has hit 50 homers with an .859 OPS. The only second basemen with a better OPS (min. 700 plate appearances) since the start off the 2017 season are José Altuve (.900) and Daniel Murphy (.876).
Gennett is upset the Reds haven’t been in contact with him to discuss a contract extension, John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports. Gennett said, “We’ve definitely opened it up. They know I want to play here. They know I enjoy playing on this team. I enjoy the fans. I enjoy the coaching staff. I enjoy my teammates. They know all that. There’s nothing else to tell them at this point. It’s waiting for them to come back, which they have not.” He added, “(We’ve) heard absolutely nothing. Zero.”
As Fay points out, Gennett was born in Cincinnati and grew up a Reds fan, so this is a cinch for the club if it makes any effort. The Reds presently have just $58 million in 25-man roster obligations for the 2020 season.