In the past two days, the Athletics have added two major league pitchers in Alex Wood and Ross Stripling, both most recently of the San Francisco Giants. The trade for Stripling was made yesterday, and the team officially announced the Wood signing as yesterday as well.
With their arrival came the need for two open spots on the 40-man roster. In order to make space for the two pitchers, the A's have outrighted left-hander Francisco Perez to Triple-A Las Vegas and DFA'd infielder Jonah Bride.
Perez will be placed on immediate waivers, where the other 29 teams will have the opportunity to claim him. It's possible that he gets picked up by another organization.
Perez had a bit of an up and down year in 2023. He pitched 16.2 innings in Oakland, appearing in 17 games. His 5.94 ERA looks rough on the surface but the run estimators liked him a bit more as he ran a FIP of 3.20. His 53.8% strand rate was one of the worst in the league and you'd be sure to count on positive regression there, though he didn't allow a single homer in the majors.
At the very least, Perez could serve as minor league depth for a team in need. He still has an option year left, meaning he can be sent up and down as necessary in 2024, and he's still available for the league minimum. It would be a surprise to see Perez make it through waivers, though stranger things have happened.
As for Bride, the DFA means the Athletics will have 6 days from today to determine his fate. It's possible they try to find a trade partner and move him as it seems unlikely that he'll end up falling through waivers either.
Bride has been exceptional at the minor league level. In 73 games at Triple-A in 2023, Bride hit .305/.432/.544 with 13 homers and strong plate discipline, posting more walks than strikeouts. He had similar success at Double-A in 2022, though he's struggled to find his footing in Oakland.
He's accumulated 293 plate appearances in the majors over two seasons and he's hit just .192/.296/.232. The plate discipline is still there, as he's struck out less than 20% of the time, but the power has completely disappeared. According to Statcast, he has a 4th percentile barrel rate and they don't love his defensive performance either.
Still, it's too early to give up on Bride who like Perez has an option year left. He may not have a future as an everyday player but you'd have to think that there's a team out there willing to take a shot on him to find out.
Both of the Alex Wood and Ross Stripling moves address an obvious need for the A's, and it's fair to argue that there are better young players out there than Bride and Perez.
Both moves are clearly short-term upside plays by the A's though, and it's not hard to squint and see it as nothing more than the A's trying to avoid another complication with the Players Association about not properly allocating their revenue sharing funds.
It'd be nice if Bride were able to pass through waivers and get another shot with the A's at some point in the future. If that chance comes sooner in another organization though, then good for him.