MLB roundup: A's make three trades in succession

The SportsXchange

In the span of 24 hours, the Oakland Athletics shook up their roster by making three trades.

On Tuesday, acquired veteran outfielder Craig Gentry and right-handed pitcher Josh Lindblom from the Texas Rangers in exchange for outfielder Michael Choice and minor league infielder Chris Bostick.

The A's then dealt outfielder Seth Smith to the San Diego Padres, receiving right-handed reliever Luke Gregerson in return.

Late Monday night, Oakland acquired closer Jim Johnson from the Orioles, sending infielder Jemile Weeks and a player to be named to Baltimore.

Gentry, 30, is a career .280 hitter, a stolen-base threat and can play any outfield spot. He hit .304 in 2012 and came back with a .280 season in 2013.

Lindblom, 26, will be pitching for his fourth team in four years. He was strictly a reliever with the Dodgers and Phillies in 2011-12, but he made five starts in eight appearances for the Rangers in 2013. He was 1-3 with a 5.46 ERA for Texas and has a career record of 5-8, 3.82.

Choice, 24, will be on the Rangers' major league roster, and Bostick, 20, will be assigned to Class A Myrtle Beach.

Gregerson, 29, went 6-8 with four saves and a 2.71 ERA in 73 appearances last season. He figures to serve as a setup man ahead of Johnson.

Smith, 31, was squeezed out of Oakland's crowded outfield with the arrival of Gentry. He hit .253 with a .329 on-base percentage, a .391 slugging percentage, eight homers and 40 RBIs in 117 games last season.

--On the same day the New York Yankees officially announced the signing of free agent catcher Brian McCann, their archrival added a backstop, too.

A.J. Pierzynski agreed to a one-year, $8.25 million deal with the Boston Red Sox, multiple media outlets reported Tuesday.

The arrival of Pierzynski almost ends the chances of free agent catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia returning to the World Series champions.

Pierzynski will start and share catching duties with another veteran, David Ross. Both players turn 37 before Opening Day 2014, but the Red Sox have two strong catching prospects who could fight their way onto the roster by the end of next season.

Pierzynski played one season for the Texas Rangers and had a .272 batting average with 17 home runs and 70 RBIs. He threw out a career-best 33 percent of base-stealers.

--The Yankees introduced McCann, who signed a five-year, $85 million contract with a vesting option for a sixth year.

The vesting option for 2019 could make the contract, which includes a no-trade clause, worth $100 million.

"The singular and unwavering desire of this organization is to construct a team each and every season designed to play meaningful baseball deep into October," Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner said. "In Brian McCann, we feel we have made a significant improvement to a key position, while adding a high-character presence to our clubhouse. Our work this offseason has just begun, but we feel this is an important step towards what will be an exciting and rewarding 2014 season for our fans."

McCann, 29, was a seven-time All-Star in nine seasons with the Atlanta Braves. He hit .256 with 20 homers and 57 RBIs in 102 games last season.

--Durable and capable of dominant starts, Ricky Nolasco signed a record contract to become the stabilizing anchor of the Minnesota Twins' rotation.

The 30-year-old right-hander signed a four-year, $48 million contract, the richest deal ever for the Twins in free agency.

"I was interested in whoever was interested in me," Nolasco said Tuesday. "The level that they showed from Day 1 was big for me. It was probably the most deciding factor in this process."

Minnesota's starting pitchers combined to finish last in baseball with a 5.26 ERA in 2013.

"We need starting pitching badly, and about anybody that was out on that market we certainly explored," general manager Terry Ryan said. "He gives (us) innings. He can strike people out. He doesn't walk anybody. That's kind of what you're looking for in a guy in the rotation."
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