Bay Area native returns to Athletics on a minor league contract

The Oakland Athletics have signed outfielder Stephen Piscotty to a minor league deal
Jul 27, 2022; Oakland, California, USA; Oakland Athletics left fielder Stephen Piscotty (25) slides
Jul 27, 2022; Oakland, California, USA; Oakland Athletics left fielder Stephen Piscotty (25) slides / D. Ross Cameron-USA TODAY Sports

As reported last week, former Athletics outfielder Stephen Piscotty has rejoined the club on a minor league contract. He's initially been assigned to Triple-A Las Vegas and will start working out in minor league spring training.

Athletics manager Mark Kotsay stated that because Piscotty signed a bit late, he'll need an extra bit of time to get up and running. That's part of the reason why he isn't in big league spring training. That and the fact that the A's have a number of outfielders ahead of him on the depth chart.

Piscotty signed with the White Sox ahead of the 2023 season and spent all year playing at Triple-A. He posted a .232/.330/.390 slash line in 51 games, offering strong plate discipline with limited power and not much on the basepaths.

He hasn't offered much at the major league level since 2019. He struggled in the Covid year and saw a marked decline in 2021 and 2022, coupled with him becoming a part-time player for the A's. His drop in performance led to his release in August of 2022, when he was subsequently signed by the Reds and finished out the year in their minor league system.

Brent Rooker, Esteury Ruiz, JJ Bleday, Miguel Andujar, Lawrence Butler, and Lazaro Armenteros are all on the Athletics' current 40-man and are likely all ahead of Piscotty on the depth chart. It will take at least an injury or two, along with a strong performance in the minors, for Piscotty to get a chance in the majors again.

We're certainly well past Piscotty's peak and his biggest asset at this point might be his major league experience in a clubhouse filled with younger players. He should provide some leadership for the younger guys in Las Vegas.

He's always been a fan favorite, a Bay Area native who had a couple strong seasons in Oakland after being traded from St. Louis. He played college ball at Stanford and has been vocal about being able to live out his dream of playing major league ball in the East Bay.

At this point though, seeing him back in Oakland likely means something has gone wrong for the A's. The team would either have to get hit hard by the injury bug, or potentially have David Forst's trade machine buzzing.

We'll be rooting for him to get another chance in the majors but it would be great if that were due to his performance rather than a series of unfortunate circumstances.