The Athletics announced an avalanche of September 1st roster moves. The club has designated catcher Bruce Maxwell for assignment. Meanwhile, righty Josh Lucas and outfielder Boog Powell have cleared waivers and have been outrighted to Triple-A. Kendall Graveman was also recalled in order to be placed on the 60-day disabled list. Those four moves made room for the four contracts the A’s selected today; left-hander Dean Keikhefer, right-handers Chris Hatcher and Liam Hendriks, and catcher Beau Taylor, who will be making his first appearance in the major leagues.
Maxwell is probably the most notable player on this list, though certainly more for his non-baseball publicity than any actual merit in his gameplay. The backstop was the first baseball player to join the police brutality protests during the national anthem, a movement that had then been mainly held to NFL circles. More recently, Maxwell was arrested on charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, and disorderly conduct. On the field, he owns a .240/.314/.347 batting line with five homers and a 24.3% strikeout rate.
Lucas, meanwhile, has had a wretched showing with the Athletics at the MLB level. The 27-year-old righty owns a 6.28 ERA across 14 1/3 innings with Oakland, thanks in part to a troublesome 5.65 BB/9. Even in the minors, he’s pitched to a 2.63 ERA but a much less attractive 4.17 FIP while exhibiting the same sort of walk issues. Prior to this season, Lucas had spent the entirety of his career in the Cardinals organization; he was traded to the A’s in exchange for fellow minor-league hurler Casey Meisner.
The 25-year-old Powell hasn’t given the A’s much to be excited about this year, either. He had an excellent showing across 92 plate appearances with Oakland in 2017, when he batted .321/.380/.494 with a trio of homers and average center field defense, but this year has been an entirely different story. Powell’s wRC+ on the year sits at just 28, and his wOBA is an equally poor .211. That’s the result of just four hits (two for extra bases) across 25 MLB plate appearances. Overall, Fangraphs rates his 2018 performance at 0.3 wins below replacement level.