March 14: The A’s announced today that they’ve released Labourt. Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle spoke to someone who watched a bullpen session Labourt threw with the A’s and said the lefty was “all over the place” in an unimpressive showing.
March 12: The Athletics announced on Monday that they’ve designated left-hander Jairo Labourt for assignment in order to clear a spot on the 40-man roster for Jonathan Lucroy, whose one-year deal with Oakland has now been formally announced. It’s been a hectic couple of weeks for Labourt, who gone from the Tigers to the Reds to the A’s via the waiver wire and could now very well find himself on the move once again.
The 24-year-old Labourt made his big league debut with Detroit last season, appearing in six games and allowing three runs with four strikeouts against seven walks in six innings. Initially acquired from the Blue Jays in the trade that sent David Price to Toronto, Labourt posted excellent numbers in Class-A Advanced and in Double-A last season before stumbling when he reached Triple-A. He tossed 22 innings with the Tigers’ Toledo affiliate, and while his 2.45 ERA was strong he also issued 23 walks in those 22 frames.
Control has long been an issue for Labourt, who has averaged 5.1 walks per nine innings pitched over the course of seven minor league seasons. But, he’s a fairly hard-throwing southpaw with a fastball sitting around 93 mph who averaged a career-best 10.7 K/9 in the minors this past season. He worked exclusively out of the bullpen in 2017, but he has 87 professional starts under his belt and could be viewed by some clubs as a depth piece for either the ’pen or rotation. He still has a minor league option remaining, too, so any club that picks him up would be able to send him to Triple-A without first exposing him to the waiver wire.