Hiroyuki Nakajima Outrighted
Hiroyuki Nakajima doesn’t seem to be such a big part of the A’s plans any longer. Originally upon his signing many viewed him as a bridge from now to Addison Russell‘s appearance in Oakland when he was signed to a two-year $6.5M contract. Given John Jaso‘s lengthy time out with a concussion, the move was made to give the A’s some flexibility to add another catcher to the 40-man roster. There are no indications of any specific moves in the work to fill that need at present moment.
Interestingly enough when the A’s signed Nakajima I was a bit skeptical and highlighted the dramatic lack of Japanese bats who acclimated well to American baseball. At that time I said,
“I wouldn’t have minded seeing what the A’s could do with maybe trying to acquire Jed Lowrie of the Astros as an MLB proven option to me still trumps a foreign shot in the dark.”
The A’s eventually did acquire Lowrie, and well lo and behold they didn’t have as much use for Nakajima then. No tears are being shed here over Nakajima’s loss of status, I wasn’t particularly impressed by him and was worried given the high salary he would make the club though ill-prepared for MLB baseball. Thus far this year in Sacramento he has put up a .282/.336/.368 slash line with four home runs in 324 plate appearances. He owns a .321 wOBA and 87 wRC+ with an unimpressive 6.5% BB% and 22.2% K%. He had to clear waivers to be outrighted and it isn’t entirely surprising that no one put their money on him.