The A’s announced Friday that they’ve signed infielder Cliff Pennington to a minor league contract with an invite to Major League Spring Training. With this deal, the Sosnick, Cobbe & Karon client returns to the organization that originally drafted him and the team with which he made his Major League debut in 2008.
Pennington, 34, split the 2018 season between the Reds and Rangers organizations, appearing in 16 games with Cincinnati and tallying 34 plate appearances. The rest of his season was spent between the two clubs’ top minor league affiliates. Prior to that, Pennington had been playing with the Angels on a two-year contract, primarily serving as a utility infielder.
That utility role is one that Pennington has settled into over the course of an 11-year big league career. He’s shown plenty of versatility, with nearly 5000 innings at shortstop, 1600 innings at second base, 350 at third base and some brief work in the corner outfield. In that time, he’s drawn excellent reviews for his glovework at second base and solid marks for his defense at shortstop as well. A switch-hitter, Pennington is a lifetime .242/.309/.339 hitter in 3142 trips to the plate.