6:54PM: The A’s have officially selected Weems’ contract and added him to their 40-man roster, as per a team announcement.
6:32PM: Right-hander Jordan Weems has been told he will be part of the Athletics’ Opening Day roster, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Weems will need to be added to the 40-man roster, so the A’s will have to make another transaction prior to their July 24 season opener.
The news marks quite a journey for the 27-year-old Weems, who is in line for his first taste of big league baseball after being drafted by the Red Sox in the third round of the 2011 draft. Originally selected as a catcher, Weems transitioned to pitching in 2016 and posted some solid numbers (3.87 ERA, 2.00 K/BB rate, 9.4 K/9) over 200 innings, though only 15 of those frames were at the Triple-A level.
After electing free agency last fall, Weems signed a minor league deal with Oakland in December and has since turned some heads within his new organization. “He has a riding fastball, that split-finger fastball and an occasional breaking ball,” according to A’s pitching Scott Emerson. “For a converted guy to be able to command the top part of the zone with a fastball and something soft at the bottom of the zone is pretty good for a guy who hasn’t done much pitching.”
This repertoire and a live fastball that has touched 98mph also attracted the attention of other teams, as Slusser writes that Weems “likely would have had multiple big league offers elsewhere” had the A’s decided against putting him on the MLB roster. If he hadn’t made the roster, Weems had an opt-out clause in his minor league contract.