The Oakland A’s addressed an area of depth chart weakness, claiming hard-throwing left-hander Jairo Labourt off waivers from the Cincinnati Reds. To make room for Labourt on the 40-man roster, the A’s designated veteran Brandon Moss for assignment.
Labourt joins his third team in less than a week. The Reds claimed him off of waivers from the Detroit Tigers on Friday after the Tigers removed him from the roster to make room for Francisco Liriano.
Labourt turns 24 next week. Originally a member of the Toronto Blue Jays’ organization, Labourt joined the Tigers as one of the players the Blue Jays sent to Detroit for David Price at the 2015 trade deadline.
A starter for much of his career, Labourt pitched exclusively in relief last season. In Double-A and Triple-A, he had a 2.17 ERA with a 79:33 K:BB in 66.1 innings. Labourt threw six innings for the Tigers in September. He walked seven in those six frames and allowed three runs.
Labourt throws very hard, with his fastball clocking in as high as 97. He has swing-and-miss stuff, but has struggled to control the strike-zone consistently. In 481 minor league innings, Labourt has walked 270.
With the A’s thin on left-handed relievers in the upper levels, Labourt will give the A’s some additional depth. He will need to learn to throw strikes more consistently but has the raw stuff to be a big league contributor eventually.
Moss isn’t likely to be claimed on waivers and could return to A’s camp as a non-roster invitee. The left-handed hitter is blocked currently in the corner outfield, first base and DH, but an injury could open an opportunity for him before the end of camp.
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