Former major league infielder Dallas McPherson was among the 10 players the Oakland Athletics reassigned to their minor league camp on Sunday. The team also reassigned right-handed pitchers Sam Demel and Matt Wright, left-handed pitcher Cedrick Bowers, catchers Joel Galarraga and Max Stassi, and infielders Grant Green, Jemile Weeks, Matt Whitney and Corey Wimberly. The Athletics have 53 players remaining in camp with the 40-man roster and 13 non-roster invitees. The breakdown includes 27 pitchers, four catchers, 12 infielders and 10 outfielders.
Matt Whitney was a big shot in high school, an All-American third baseman and a can't-miss prospect. These days the former first-round draft pick is with his third big-league organization and remains a prospect, though perhaps it is not such a sure thing. No matter. Whitney, who was assigned Barry Zito's No. 75 this spring after signing a minor-league deal with the Athletics last November, loves the game and says he will play until teams stop calling.
Infielder Grant Desme, former Angels third baseman Dallas McPherson and ex-Reds reliever Marcus McBeth are among 19 players extended invitations to spring training on Monday by the A's. They also signed pitcher Matt Wright, infielder Matt Whitney, reliever Cedrick Bowers and reliever Fernando Hernandez to minor league contracts with invitations to spring training. The other 13 invitations are players already in the organization: right-handers Sam Demel and Tyson Ross; catchers Josh Donaldson, Joel Galarraga, Anthony Recker and Max Stassi; infielders Adrian Cardenas, Grant Green, Brett Wallace and Jemile Weeks; and outfielders Matt Carson, Corey Wimberly and Desme.
The Nationals optioned left-hander Mike O'Connor to Triple-A Syracuse and left-hander Ross Detwiler to Double-A Harrisburg on Tuesday in their first round of spring training cuts. O'Connor was 1-1 with a 13.00 ERA in five games, including one start, for Washington in 2008. Detwiler, who was 8-8 in 26 starts with Class A Potomac last year, was the Nationals' first-round draft pick in 2007 out of Missouri State. The Nationals also reassigned eight players to their minor league camp: left-hander Justin Jones; right-handers Bobby Brownlie, Preston Larrison and J.D. Martin; catcher Javier Herrera; first basemen Chris Marrero and Matt Whitney; and outfielder Destin Hood.
The Washington Nationals signed the following players to minor league deals on Saturday: Infielders Freddie Bynum, Brad Eldred, Joel Guzman, and Matt Whitney; outfielders Jorge Padilla and Mike Vento; right-handers Bobby Brownlie, Preston Larrison, J.D. Martin and Ryan Wagner; and left-hander Justin Jones. Outfielder Ryan Langerhans and infielder Pete Orr were also among the 13 players the Nats signed to deals.