Simmons One Of Three To Sign; Roster Moves

The Oakland A's inked three more draft picks on Tuesday, including top pick James Simmons and compensation pick Corey Brown. Oakland also made a number of roster moves throughout the system.

A's Agree To Terms With Three

The Oakland A's announced three more draft signings on Tuesday: RHP James Simmons, OF Corey Brown and OF Raymond Rodriguez. The signings bring the A's total to 25 of 53 picks under contract.

Simmons was the A's first round pick this season. The right-hander came out of UC-Riverside, where he went 11-3 with a 2.40 ERA and 116 strikeouts in 2007. Simmons was considered one of the most polished pitchers in the draft. He features a low-90s fastball that he can throw to both sides of the plate and a plus change-up. He also has a developing slider and curveball. Simmons will report to Double-A Midland.

Brown was the A's compensation pick for losing Frank Thomas to free agency. The Oklahoma State outfielder batted .335 with 22 homers and 71 RBI in 63 games for the Cowboys. He is the second Oklahoma State player to sign with the A's this season.

Rodriguez is a graduate of the Puerto Rican Baseball Academy. The A's took outfielder Angel Sierra from that school last season. Rodriguez played catcher and in the outfield in high school. He was a 24th round pick.

A's Make Roster Changes Through-out System

With the California and Midwest Leagues at their All-Star breaks and the short-seasons getting underway, teams generally use this time of the year to move players up and down in the system. The A's began some of that annual roster shifting on Tuesday.

From the Stockton roster, Cliff Pennington and Trent Peterson were promoted to Double-A Midland. Pennington, the A's top pick in 2005, will be playing at Double-A for the first time in his career. He was batting .255 with six homers and 36 RBI for the Ports at the time of his promotion.

"Pennington got off to a slow start, but he recovered. It seemed like the first half of his season, he was swinging the bat great and he'd line-out two times a game. It was frustrating for him because he wanted the numbers to match-up with how he was playing, and sometimes that is not the way it works. He is ready and I am happy for him," Stockton Ports manager Darren Bush said.

Peterson was 5-3 with a 4.01 ERA for the Ports at the time of his promotion. He had served as a swingman for the Ports this season, starting eight games and coming in as a reliever for nine more. This will also be Peterson's first trip to Double-A. He appeared in one game for Triple-A Sacramento last season. Peterson was a fifth round pick by the A's in 2003 out of Florida State.

"Petey did an outstanding job. He got off to a bit of a slow start, but he recovered. He has done everything that we asked and I am happy for him," Bush said.

California League All-Star Anthony Recker was told after the All-Star Game that he, too, was being promoted to Double-A Midland. Corresponding moves in Midland had not yet been announced.

Midland left-hander Mario Ramos was promoted from Double-A to Triple-A Sacramento on Tuesday, as well. Ramos will be returning to Sacramento for the first time since 2005. The well-traveled lefty has spent time in the A's, Rangers and Padres chain. The first time Ramos reached Sacramento, it was 2001 and he was one of the A's top pitching prospects. He was traded to Texas in 2002 as part of the Carlos Pena trade and made his major league debut in 2003. He then re-signed with the A's in 2004 and spent 2004 and 2005 with the River Cats. He was with the San Diego chain last season. Ramos was 1-1 with a 3.54 ERA in 11 games for the Rockhounds before his promotion.

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