3:32pm: Oakland has made it official: Chapman is up and Plouffe is in DFA limbo.
1:31pm: With the A’s set to call up top prospect Matt Chapman, the team is preparing to designate third baseman Trevor Plouffe for assignment, reports Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle.
[Related: Updated Oakland Athletics depth chart]
Plouffe, who turns 31 today, signed a one-year, $5.25MM deal with the A’s this offseason after effectively being non-tendered by the Twins. His bat has yet to recover from a slow start to the season, however, as the former first-round pick is hitting just .214/.276/.357 on the year with seven homers and five doubles. As Slusser notes, Plouffe had recently seen his playing time diminish in Oakland.
When at his best, Plouffe has proven to be a serviceable defender at third base with modest on-base skills but enough pop to hit 20 to 25 homers. From 2012-15 in Minnesota he batted a combined .248/.312/.426 with an average of 23 homers per 162 games played.
Given that track record, it’s possible that the A’s could find a taker for Plouffe in trade, as teams like the Red Sox, Yankees and Mets have received little help from their third basemen in 2017. Presumably, the A’s would need to include some cash to help offset the remaining $3.13MM on his contract. Boston, for what it’s worth, reportedly showed interest in Plouffe over the winter before he signed with the A’s.
If Oakland doesn’t find a trade partner, Plouffe’s salary will very likely allow him to clear waivers, at which point any club could sign him and owe him only the pro-rated portion of the league minimum through season’s end.