The Oakland A’s made their first 40-man roster move last week, outrighting veteran right-hander Chris Smith off of the 40-man roster. Smith has elected free agency.
The A’s entered the off-season with 40 active players on their 40-man roster and four players on the 60-day disabled list. At the conclusion of the World Series, the four 60-day DL players will join the active roster, so the A’s need to trim at least three more players (in addition to Smith) off of their 40-man roster to get to the limit. The A’s will also need to make room later this off-season for prospects they want to protect from the Rule 5 draft (more on those potential protections, see my article for The Athletic SF ($): https://theathletic.com/135537/2017/10/24/which-prospects-will-the-as-protect-from-the-rule-5-draft/).
Smith split his 2017 season between Triple-A Nashville and Oakland. He was a mid-season PCL All-Star and had a 3.16 ERA in 74 innings for the Sounds. Smith threw 55.2 innings for the A’s and had a 6.79 ERA. Smith also started the Sounds’ combined no-hitter on June 7.
The 2017 season was Smith’s second in the A’s organization. He signed as a minor league free agent before the 2016 season and made 22 starts for Nashville and 13 relief appearances for Oakland. He was also cut from the A’s 40-man roster at the end of the 2016 season and elected free agency. Smith re-signed with Oakland on a minor league deal later that year.
The 36-year-old Smith was the second-oldest pitcher on the A’s staff last season behind Santiago Casilla.
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