A's Cut Big Trade Acquisition From Spring Roster

In a surprising move, the Oakland Athletics have cut from their spring roster their big trade acquisition of the offseason, the No. 4 overall pick in the 2019 MLB June Draft, JJ Bleday.

The one-for-one deal sent the No. 6 pick from that draft, reliever AJ Puk to the Miami Marlins. 

Less than a month ago, Bleday admitted that the trade "blindsided" him. Imagine how he's feeling now. He'll be heading to the A's minor league camp, and starting his season at Triple-A. 

Esteury Ruiz and Cristian Pache are left to battle for the starting center field job.

This spring, Bleday was hitting .286 (8-for-28) with one homer and one steal in 11 games, and there's still every reason to believe that the 25-year-old prospect will be called up to the A's sometime early in the season. 

But he'll have to do better than he did in his call-up last season with the Marlins: He hit .167 with a .586 OPS in 238 plate appearances for the Fish after putting up an .835 OPS with 20 homers at Triple-A (though with contact issues, as he batted just .228). 

Bleday spoke recently about the difficulty in taking that last big step to the majors. "The jump from Triple-A to the big leagues was definitely bigger than I anticipated. There were some things in the big leagues I was doing mechanically that I probably shouldn’t have been. You’re really unaware of it but you have no time to work on that stuff. Because you’re playing every single day. There’s 95-plus on the mound every night. And it’s relentless."

He'll now be relentlessly working to make it back to the bigs. 

Photo: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports