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A’s Claim Rule V Draft Selection Nate Freiman from Houston

March 23, 2013

Jeff Luhnow, the GM of the Astros recently said that anyone on the Astros roster was available for two or more players. The A’s acquired one of his players today when they claimed first baseman Nate Freiman off of waivers. The key thing to know about Freiman who hit .298/.370/.502 for the Double-A San Antonio Missions with 24 home runs and a sparkling .388 wOBA and 143 wRC+, is that the Astros acquired him in the Rule V draft from San Diego. Freiman looks like a promising guy but for the A’s to hold onto him they must keep him on their 25-man roster all season long or then they risk having to give him back to San Diego. Freiman also played in the Arizona Fall League for the Peoria Javelinas where in 92 plate appearances he hit .266/.359/.367 with a home run.

It seems unlikely that he can stay with the A’s all season long on the 25-man roster. Brandon Moss is the incumbent first baseman and with all the platoons the A’s are using there are not many bench spots even available. That said if the A’s are serious about getting someone with the power potential of Freiman this could spell the definite end of Daric Barton‘s time as a member of the Oakland Athletics. I’d love to see the A’s somehow hang on to Freiman as he is enticing as a power guy with relatively low K% numbers (16.4% in 2012 with San Antonio) but it is unclear if he is ready for the MLB level – most likely he is not – and the roster crunch just seems to make it very difficult for Oakland to hang on to him. We will all soon find out. To make room of the 40-man roster for Freiman the A’s as suspected transferred Fernando Rodriguez to the 60-day disabled list. The A’s still will need to use up another 40-man roster spot when Bartolo Colon is activated off of the suspended list, so Freiman could be a casualty at that point if not sooner.

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