Photo by Frank Longobardo / Midland RockHounds

Oakland A's Minor League Notebook: Three re-sign

The Oakland A's re-signed three minor league free news and notes from the first few days of off-season leagues.

A's re-sign three minor league free agents The Oakland A's have re-signed three of their minor league free agents, according to Matt Eddy of Baseball America Those re-signed free agents are right-hander Carlos Navas, left-hander Brandon Mann and first baseman Viosergy Rosa.

The 24-year-old Navas signed with the A's before the 2010 season as an amateur free agent. He spent three seasons in the DSL and two seasons in the Arizona Rookie League before finally receiving an opportunity in full-season ball in 2015. He took full advantage of that chance, posting a 2.61 ERA with 69 strike-outs in 58.2 innings for Low-A Beloit before receiving a late-season promotion to High-A Stockton. In 2016, Navas spent nearly the entire season with Stockton before jumping to Triple-A Nashville during the final few weeks of the season. With the Ports, he had a 4.08 ERA and a 67:22 K:BB in 53 innings. Cal League hitters batted just .230 against him. In Nashville, Navas allowed two runs in 6.2 innings over four regular season appearances and then threw three scoreless innings in the post-season for the Sounds. He will compete for a spot with Double-A Midland this spring.

Mann returns to the A's for a second season after joining the A's from the independent leagues last off-season. Mann's tenure with the A's got off to a rocky start when he was suspended for 50 games during spring training for violating baseball's drug policy, but he put together a solid second half after the suspension was lifted. Mann made single starts for the AZL A's and the Sounds before spending the rest of the season with the Midland RockHounds. In 11 starts for Midland, Mann had a 4.48 ERA and 63 strike-outs in 62.1 innings. He walked 19 and allowed nine homeruns. Mann was a post-season hero for the RockHounds, allowing just one run in 12.1 innings over two starts. He struck-out 14, walked three and helped to lead the RockHounds to their third-straight Texas League title. Mann is a 14-year veteran of professional baseball who has spent time at every level of affiliated baseball, as well as time in the Japanese Professional League.

Rosa was also a post-season hero for the RockHounds, hitting perhaps the biggest homerun in franchise history. The blow came with two-outs and the RockHounds down 5-3 in the bottom of the ninth of game three of the Texas League semi-final series. Rosa crushed a grandslam to right on a 1-1 pitch, giving the RockHounds a key win on their way to the Texas League title.

Rosa joined the A's last December as a minor league Rule 5 selection from the Miami Marlins' organization. The first-baseman hit .255/.359/.383 in his first season with the A's, which was spent entirely with Midland. He hit .310/.375/.552 with two homers during the RockHounds' post-season run. 

Off-season leagues kick-off

The off-season leagues are underway in several locales around the world, and a number of members of the A's organization have already seen in-game action.

In Venezuela, Rangel Ravelo has picked up where he left off last season when he earned the league's Rookie of the Year award. Through Wednesday, Ravelo was batting .364 with two homers and five walks in six games for the Cardenales de Lara. A's Dominican Summer League prospect Yhoelnys Gonzalez has appeared in three games for Tiburones de La Guaira and he has a triple in three at-bats. Gonzalez had 20 stolen bases in 56 games for the A's DSL squad this season. 

On the mound, several A's prospects have made their Venezuelan League debuts. Navas has racked up two relief appearances for the Bravos de Margarita. In four innings, he has allowed a run on three hits. He has struck-out five and hasn't walked a batter. Right-handers Jesus Zambrano and Matthew Sergey have each made one start. Zambrano, who will be allowed to throw roughly 25 innings this winter, allowed an unearned run in two innings for Navegantes del Magallanes. Sergey threw five scoreless innings in his debut for Tigres de Aragua, striking out six, walking one and scattering two hits. Victor Veliz has made two scoreless appearances for Magallanes, earning a win in relief. Ivan Andueza had a scoreless appearance in his debut for Lara.

In Mexico, Joey Wendle made his Mexican Winter League debut with Yaquis de Obregon this week, collecting a double in four at-bats. He served as the Yaquis' shortstop in his debut. Wendle's stated goal for playing winterball has been to increase his defensive versatility. He has played exclusively second base in the A's organization. Free agent Aaron Kurcz is pitching for Jalisco this winter. He had a rough debut, allowing four runs in a third of an inning.

In Arizona, the AFL opened this week. Through Wednesday, Max Schrock (1-for-4) was the only A's position prospect to have a hit in the early going. Franklin Barreto went 0-for-4 with three strike-outs and an error in his AFL debut, while Yairo Munoz was 0-for-7 in his first two AFL games. Relievers Sam Bragg and Trey Cochran-Gill are the only two A's pitchers to debut thus far. Bragg allowed a solo homerun in two innings on Wednesday. He struck-out five. Cochran-Gill allowed a hit and then induced a double-play in his Mesa Solar Sox debut. Stay tuned for more in-depth updates on the AFL from Kimberly Contreras in the coming days.

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