The Athletics have outrighted catcher Beau Taylor off the 40-man roster, as first noted on the Pacific Coast League transactions page. The 2011 fifth-round pick is now a free agent, as his initial minor league contract has expired. The A’s have 34 players on their 40-man roster.
Taylor, 29 in February, made his big league debut in 2018 and went 1-for-5 with a double and a walk in seven plate appearances. While the seven games in which he appeared this year represent the entirety of his MLB experience to date, Taylor has shown strong on-base skills in the upper minors, hitting .261/.364/.363 with a 13.5 percent walk rate against a 23.3 percent strikeout clip in Triple-A across the past two seasons. Defensively, he’s been a bit below average in terms of throwing out would-be base thieves (24 percent) but has generally drawn average or better framing marks dating back to the 2014 season.
With Taylor now off the 40-man roster and Jonathan Lucroy hitting free agency, the only remaining backstop on the Oakland 40-man roster is Josh Phegley. The A’s have a well-regarded prospect looming on the horizon in the form of Sean Murphy, but he’s only played three games at the Triple-A level and is likely viewed as a prospect in need of additional development. Additional help behind the plate figures to be an area of focus for the A’s this winter.