Barreto's visa issues are settled and he is in camp Saturday, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Barreto was expected to be delayed for a few more days by the same visa issues which have affected many other Venezuelan players, but the problem evidently got sorted out fairly quickly. He's ready to go for the team's first full-squad workout and shouldn't be meaningfully set back in his preseason preparation.
Barreto will not report for spring training on time due to visa issues caused by the political unrest in Venezuela, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Barreto, a Venezuela native, is a victim of major visa delays as his home country works through a volatile political climate. Despite this development, the Athletics are still hopeful that the 22-year-old will be back with the team by Feb. 17. More information will likely become available once he's able to get stateside, but as things stand now, this doesn't seem like it will be a long-term issue.
The Athletics have discussed Barreto more as an outfield option than a middle-infield piece in recent weeks, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports. "We still have really high expectations for Franklin," general manager David Forst said Friday. "The one difference is we'll probably move him around a bit more than we have in the past...I think you'll see him take on more of a utility role. He's going to be a valuable guy for us, his bat is going to play. We'll try to get him a little bit everywhere starting in spring training." The Athletics' decision to trade for Jurickson Profar adds fuel to the notion that Barreto wasn't being viewed as a viable candidate to replace free agent Jed Lowrie at second base, at least not to open 2019. The top prize in the 2014 trade that sent Josh Donaldson to Toronto, Barreto's prospect sheen has worn off a bit after he slashed just .215/.252/.424 while striking out in 41.1 percent of his 151 career plate appearances in the big leagues. Still just 22, Barreto has plenty of time to improve his long-term outlook, but the lack of a clear path to consistent playing time during the upcoming campaign puts a damper on his fantasy utility in redraft formats.
Barreto went 1-for-3 with a two-run home run in a loss to the Angels on Sunday. Manager Bob Melvin pulled multiple regulars early in anticipation of Wednesday's wild-card game against the Yankees, and Barreto was one of the beneficiaries of such a strategy. The 22-year-old saw sparse action during his September stay with the Athletics, and the home run was his first at the big-league level since Aug. 1. While Barreto's .233 average this season was nothing to write home about, he enjoyed more success against major-league arms than his initial cup of coffee in 2017 (.197/.250/.352).
Barreto was recalled from Triple-A Nashville on Saturday, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Barreto showcased some power during his stint with the Athletics earlier this season, hitting four home runs in 61 at-bats, but he also struck out 25 times. The 22-year-old showed similar issues at Nashville, striking out 106 times in 282 at-bats. Barreto will serve as a depth infielder for the Athletics during the playoff push.