The Athletics have claimed left-hander Jairo Labourt off waivers from the Reds, the club announced. Veteran first baseman/DH Brandon Moss has been designated for assignment in a corresponding move to create room for Labourt on Oakland’s 40-man roster.
Moss was acquired by the A’s as part of a four-player trade with the Royals that essentially shook out as Oakland agreeing to take on a heavy chunk of Moss’ salary as the price for obtaining a cost-controlled young reliever in Ryan Buchter. Matt Olson and Khris Davis were already locked in at first base and DH for the A’s, leaving Moss without any clear path to regular playing time, and even a bench role seemed unlikely given the Athletics’ overall youth movement.
[Updated A’s depth chart at Roster Resource]
The Royals kicked in $3.25MM as part of the trade, leaving the A’s on the hook for the remaining $4MM of Moss’ 2018 salary, plus $1MM to buy out their end of Moss’ $10MM mutual option for 2019. A team that claims Moss within the 10-day DFA period would take on this salary commitment, so it seems much likelier than any clubs interested in the 34-year-old will wait until Moss is officially released. (A new team would owe Moss just a minimum salary in 2018, with Oakland responsible for the prorated remainder of that $5MM.)
It remains to be seen if any suitors will come calling for Moss given the number of other first base/DH types available in free agency, plus Moss’ own struggles in 2017. Moss hit 22 homers last year for Kansas City, but slashed just .207/.279/.428 over 401 plate appearances. His batting averages and on-base percentages have been in steady decline over the last five seasons and, given his lack of defensive value, Moss was a sub-replacement level player in 2017 as per both fWAR (-0.5) and bWAR (-1.0).
If Moss doesn’t land another MLB contract, the veteran plans to retire, he told Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle as part of an interview on the A’s Plus Podcast (to be released later today). “I totally understand the situation here. They [the A’s] had to get me to get a guy they really needed. That’s baseball, that’s the way it works,” Moss said. “But if I get cut, I can play by my own rules, I don’t have to do anything, and I won’t. If another team doesn’t pick me up, I’ve had a good career, more of a career than I ever thought I’d have.”
Labourt will now be joining his third organization in less than two weeks, as the southpaw was designated by the Tigers in the wake of their signing of Francisco Liriano, and the Reds then claimed Labourt just two days ago. Buchter and Danny Coulombe are the only other left-handers on Oakland’s 40-man roster, so Labourt has at least a shot at winning a job out of Spring Training. Despite some significant control issues throughout his seven-year pro career, Labourt posted some strong results after becoming a full-time reliever in 2017, and his performance even led to Labourt making his Major League debut in a six-game cup of coffee with Detroit last season. Labourt has a 3.61 ERA, 8.8 K/9, and 1.74 K/BB rate over 481 minor league innings.
Lol after all that talk of him hoping to rebound. Poor guy. Real class act
Oakland’s gain is Cincinnati’s loss
Just two days ago we said Tigers loss is Reds gain. Maybe he’s everyone’s 40th man at best.
These teams Tigers , Reds see this guy as a hit or miss suspect my guess Aaa at best
A’s doing this so some team with the need of a good bench player will pick him up early enough to make a team. Surprised when a young lefty reliever gets released because there are so few of them in baseball.
It’s not that they get released. They have to clear waivers in order to get moved to a teams minor league team. So teams try and sneak them through but can’t most of the time when it’s a decent player.
Some team will claim Moss.
They won’t claim him. They will wait until he has cleared to sign him at the veterans minimum. I don’t believe he gets anything more than a minor league contract, though, seeing as how not even Danny Valencia or Adam Lind could get major league contracts despite considerably better years than Moss.
At the very least, he has a substantial amount of money coming in regardless.
The Reds are another team (referring to my Dodgers comment last week) that use the waiver wire a lot!
The hard part is, when the Dodgers claim somebody, everybody has already passed on them, making it easier to slip guys through, however with the Reds being so close to the top of waiver priority, it’s a much more blind outright attempt.
Can’t fault them for trying, but good pick-up by the A’s. As was said multiple times in the comment section yesterday, Labourt is a gem on the waiver wire who is still a prospect. With a bit more development, he could turn out to be a very strong reliever.
The Cubs could use him. He is a better hitter than Scwarber at this point and could spell Rizzo- a guy who needs regular days off to stay healthy. Moss would greatly benefit from playing half his games at Wrigley and would likely be a 40 homer bat in that lineup.
You’re a joke.
You’re a cyber bully.
If by bettet you mean a lower average and OBP, yes.
Rizzo needs few days off and the Cubs simply slide Bryant over.
Moss is bad defensively, as well.
You need to be drug tested immediately.
Cubs fangirls salty lol ….I understand tho. 100 yrs is a long time.
WHAAAAA WHHHHHAAAAA!!!! Don’t you say anything bad about them Cubbies!!!!@##
In what world is Brandon Moss better than Schwarber?
This could help set up a trade with the Brewers with Domingo Santana for Danny Coulombe
Oops meant Jharel Cotton
As an A’s fan I’d do that in a heartbeat Cotton is way too inconsistent.
Obviously as an As fan you’d take an outfielder who has produced over a pitcher who hasn’t done a thing and has considerably less upside.
If Moss clears waivers I would not be upset if the Royals brought him back.
With Hos gone they might find Moss a nice depth player in the organization. He had a really rough 2017 but I think he could still prove to be a useful player. Obviously Dayton Moore saw something in him when he signed him to that contract before last season.
Royals would have been perfect before they signed Duda. Don’t see it now.
Loved when Moss spoke about the CBA. Unlike some people (who scream colluson) Moss seemed like a well-spoken guy. Hope he rebounds.
Yes he was well informed unlike everyone who yelled collusion. He brought up hard facts that people didn’t like. For example said the players bargain for the CBA and its all their own faults.
rays? reds? back to the buccos? Yankees need a back up to bird?
Lind is Bird’s in house back up. Moss isn’t needed by the Yankees
Thanks for clearing that up, Cashman.
About the same player but it appears Moss could be a better clubhouse leader.
Given the minimal cost, he could catch on if he’s willing to start the year in the minors. Regardless, solid career for a player Boston basically gave away.
It baffles me why the tigers wouldn’t give this kid a 40 man spot. He was ranked 16 for their prospects, he had a solid minor league career and has set up man potential. Good claim for the A’s!
He has almost the same WAR as CarGo did in 2017. One is realized & the other is hoping for a huge payday
Great move getting Jairo Lambert!
Two questions, please help me here:
1. If Labourt had another option remaining, why did the Tigers DFA him?
2. Moss says he will retire if he is not picked up in the majors. If he retires this spring, is he still owed the approximately $8 million for 2018? You get paid if you officially retire?!?
I agree Moss is total stand-up guy, would have been great in young A’s clubhouse.
He won’t officially retire until after he receives every last penny.
Labourt was DFA’d because the Tigers needed a 40-man spot and they apparently felt he was 40th on the list.
I’m just learning here, but doesn’t “having one option left” mean that they could have sent him down to minors one more time and not given him 40-man spot? Or does “option” mean something different? Thanks.
Completely different scenario. He was already on the 40-man roster. Once a player is on the 40-man roster he can’t be removed from the 40-man roster without first clearing waivers, regardless of whether or not he is out of options. Jabourt having one option left only means the Tigers could have removed him from the 25-man roster without first exposing him to waivers but they needed a 40-man spot for Francisco Liriano and evidently decided that Labourt was #40 on the list.
What are the chances the Giants sign Brandon Moss off waivers? Seems like a great fit (backup Pence and Belt) and a value! Squeeze him under the luxury tax!
Someone will ultimately take Moss for the league minimum, but then again the market for FA 1Bs has never been worse than it is now at any price.