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Athletics designate Brandon Moss for assignment


The Athletics designated infielder/outfielder Brandon Moss for assignment, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reported Sunday. The roster spot was cleared to make room for left-handed reliever Jairo Labourt, whom the A’s claimed off waivers from the Reds.

Moss, 34, returned to Oakland in a trade for Jesse Hahn and Heath Fillmyer back in January, and was hoping to latch onto the Opening Day lineup this spring. He’s coming off of a down year, one in which he batted just .207/.279/.428 with 22 home runs and a .707 OPS in 401 plate appearances for the Royals. That made his $7.25 million price tag all the less appealing to the A’s, who were expected to offload him shortly after finalizing the trade.

Now, Moss tells the Chronicle, he’s seriously considering entering retirement if he can’t find another major league gig this season. “I totally understand the situation here. They had to get me to get a guy they really needed,” he said Sunday. “That’s baseball, that’s the way it works. But if I get cut, I can play by my own rules, I don’t have to do anything, and I won’t. If another team doesn’t pick me up, I’ve had a good career, more of a career than I ever thought I’d have.”

Should Moss decide to hang up his cleats for good, he’ll finish his 11-year career with a lifetime .237/.314/.452 batting line, 160 home runs, and 8.8 fWAR for the Red Sox, Pirates, Phillies, A’s, Indians, Cardinals and Royals.

Reds are the frontrunner for Nicholas Castellanos

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Jon Morosi of reports that the Reds “have emerged as the frontrunner” to sign free agent outfielder Nicholas Castellanos. Morosi says the Reds and Castellanos “have made progress over the past several days.”

The Reds were going to have a lot of outfielders already when they hit Goodyear, Arizona in a couple of weeks, with newcomer Shogo Akiyama, Jesse Winkler, Nick Senzel, Aristides Aquino, Travis Jankowski, Scott Schebler, and Rule 5 draftee Mark Payton. Senzel was an infielder before last year, of course, so he could move back to the dirt, perhaps. And, of course, the Reds could trade from their outfield surplus if, indeed, they end up with an outfield surplus.

Without question, however, Castellanos would be the big dog, at least offensively, in that setup. He had a breakout year at the plate in 2019, hitting .289/.337/.525 overall (OPS+ 121), but slugging at a blistering .321/.356/.646 pace (OPS+ 151) after being traded from the Tigers to the Cubs. In Chicago — rescued from cavernous Comerica Park — his big doubles power turned into big homer power. If he were to sign to play half his season in hitter-friendly Great American Ballpark one can only imagine the damage he’d do.