The Athletics’ collection of infield prospects will be key to the organization’s future, MLB.com’s Jim Callis writes. Seven of the Athletics’ top eight prospects — Franklin Barreto, Matt Olson, Richie Martin, Renato Nunez, Matt Chapman, Yairo Munoz and Chad Pinder — play in the infield. All except Martin appear likely to start the year in Double-A or Triple-A. “The future of our organization really resides in that core group,” says A’s farm director Keith Lieppman. “There’s a real intent to get them exposed to as much as possible. Whether they go up later in the year or up in 2017, we have a crop of guys in Double-A and Triple-A who are all going to have an opportunity to make the A’s competitive in the future.” As Callis notes, the amount of infield talent in the A’s system raises questions about whether the ever-active Billy Beane could deal from that surplus — he’s already traded top infield prospects Addison Russell and Daniel Robertson in recent seasons. Here’s more from the AL.
- The Rangers still have interest in adding Jonathan Lucroy, tweets FOX’s Ken Rosenthal, but they haven’t had recent discussions with the Brewers about the former All-Star catcher. The Astros and Athletics have also had some interest in Lucroy, Rosenthal notes. It’s rare but not unprecedented to see a player of Lucroy’s caliber dealt at this juncture of Spring Training; last year the Braves sent Craig Kimbrel to the Padres the night before Opening Day, for instance.
- Roger Mooney of the Tampa Tribune spoke to left-hander Dana Eveland, who is in camp with the Rays on a minor league deal in hopes of making the ’pen as a second lefty behind Xavier Cedeno. Eveland candidly admitted to Mooney that he wasn’t too excited by the prospect of pitching for the Rays earlier this offseason, as he’d hoped to land with a club that played its spring games in Arizona (near his southern California home) — preferably an NL team. However, Eveland went to camp with an open mind and a curiosity about how the Rays have done so well in the division over the past decade despite their modest payroll, and he’s quite happy in his new environment. “There is obviously something they do well here on the developmental side,” said Eveland. “I was curious. I want to know: Am I going to be a better pitcher if I spend a year in this organization or for however long itâs going to be?” The 32-year-old Eveland said that he’s willing to go to Triple-A, though he hopes to break camp with the team. If he does make the team, he could be retained via arbitration this offseason, as he has four years and 55 days of big league service time.