Whenever a player with a team-friendly contract becomes available, the Oakland Athletics are usually quick to act.
Left-handed pitcher Giovanni Soto was designated for assignment over the weekend when manager Joe Maddon decided to activate Kyle Schwarber for the World Series. The A’s then pounced at a chance to add a 25-year old pitcher with high strikeout potential.
They successfully claimed him off waivers, the club announced Wednesday.
The Cubs traded for Soto in April after moving Schwarber to the 60-day disabled list.
Soto struggled in Triple-A Iowa this year, carrying a 5.14 ERA over 49 innings, allowing 51 hits and 31 walks. But he did strike out 55.
He was much better the season before, when he was in the Cleveland Indians organization. While throwing for the Columbus Clippers (AAA International League), he struck out 51 over 53.2 innings while keeping his ERA to a tidy 2.68.
Oakland’s 40-man roster currently has 39 players. There’s no guarantee Soto will make it to spring training on the team. But he represents a no-risk, potential high-reward addition — which the organization traditionally loves.
If Soto can figure out his control issues, he could harness his high strikeout- and groundball-rates into major league success.
He threw a no-hitter in 2012 when he was playing for the Double-A Akron RubberDucks of the Indians farm system.
Karl Buscheck contributed to this report.