TODAY: Rodriguez, Landendorf, Roach, Lambo, McBride and Smith have all declared free agency, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports (Twitter link). Sogard also elected to become a free agent on Saturday.
THURSDAY: The Athletics announced this afternoon that they’ve outrighted second baseman Eric Sogard, infielder Tyler Ladendorf, first baseman Andrew Lambo and right-handers Fernando Rodriguez, Donn Roach and J.B. Wendelken to Triple-A Nashville, thereby removing those six players from their 40-man roster. That makes eight players that Oakland has shed from its 40-man roster in the past 24 hours, as the team also outrighted Matt McBride and Chris Smith yesterday.
Sogard is the most notable name of the bunch, though he missed the entire 2016 season due to knee surgery. Prior to that, the 30-year-old Sogard saw semi-regular time with the A’s from 2013-15, and he’s spent parts of five years on the Oakland roster dating back to 2011. The outright could spell the end of his time in Oakland, as Sogard has the Major League service time required to elect free agency. The 30-year-old batted just .247/.294/.304 in 401 plate appearances last season and has slashed a mere .247/.305/.315 from 2013-15. He did, however, draw positive grades for his baserunning, per Fangraphs, and both Defensive Runs Saved and Ultimate Zone Rating peg him as a plus defender at second base. Sogard is also capable of filling in at shortstop and third base as needed, so he could make for a nice utility target for clubs seeking low-cost defensive upgrades this winter.
Rodriguez, 32, underwent shoulder surgery last month but logged 40 2/3 serviceable innings out of the Oakland bullpen in 2016. Since joining the A’s in 2014, he’s pitched to a solid 3.74 ERA with 8.8 K/9 against 3.6 BB/9. Like Sogard, Rodriguez has the requisite service time to elect free agency following his outright assignment, and depending on his progress from shoulder surgery could be a nice buy-low target for teams looking for veteran ’pen depth.
Wendelken, 23, has been weighing Tommy John surgery and recently sought a second opinion on his right elbow. Given the current injury he’s facing, it’s not a surprise that he cleared waivers. The A’s will be able to retain his rights and clear a 40-man roster spot by outrighting him, and he can rehab from any surgery that he may ultimately undergo next season without accruing MLB service time. Oakland picked up Wendelken in last winter’s trade that sent Brett Lawrie to Chicago, and he showed a penchant for missing bats in Triple-A (4.11 ERA, 12.7 K/9, 5.1 BB/9 in 46 innings) before struggling in a small sample of MLB games.
Roach, 28, has been traded once and claimed on waivers five time since being drafted by the Angels in 2010. His extreme ground-ball tendencies and strong control have continually piqued the interest of Major League clubs despite the fact that he’s a soft-tossing righty who has averaged fewer than five strikeouts per nine innings in Triple-A. Roach has been outrighted in the past and figures to elect free agency in search of a minor league deal this winter.
Ladendorf, 28, collected just four hits in 50 plate appearances with the A’s this season and has played sparingly over the past two seasons at the Major League level. Originally a second-round draft pick of the Twins, Ladendorf was traded to Oakland back in 2009 in exchange for Orlando Cabrera and is a career .261/.327/.349 hitter at the Triple-A level, where he’s played shortstop, second base, third base and outfield.
Lambo, 28, picked up just one plate appearance with the A’s in 2016 and is a career .189/.230/.295 batter at the Major League level. The former top prospect saw his 2016 campaign come to an end in mid-June after the A’s announced that he’d undergone surgery to treat testicular cancer. The announcement from the A’s was made on Twitter and, as such, doesn’t come with a timeline for Lambo’s recovery, but hopefully he is progressing well and can ultimately make a return to baseball.