Billy Beane (left) and Bob Melvin review the 2018 Oakland Athletics season on Oct. 5, 2018. (Ryan Gorcey / S.F. Examiner)

Oakland Athletics finalize 40-man roster ahead of Rule 5 eligibility deadline

The Oakland Athletics finalized their 40-man roster on Tuesday, in advance of the Rule 5 Draft.

The A’s acquired right-handed pitcher Tanner Anderson from the Pittsburgh Pirates for a player to be named later or cash on Tuesday, and added him, Luis Barrera, outfielder Skye Bolt, right-handed pitcher Grant Holmes and right-handed pitcher James Kaprielian to the 40-man roster.

By adding the youngsters, Oakland protects some of their prized prospects ahead of the 8 p.m. ET deadline. Players not on the 40-man roster as of the deadline are eligible to be taken in the Rule 5 draft. 

The Rule 5 Draft itself will take place on the final day of next month’s Winter Meetings — Dec. 13. It allows clubs with open space on the 40-man roster (the A’s have 39 now) to select certain players not on the 40-man roster out of other organizations. Rule 5 eligibility is dependent on the age at which a player signed and that player’s experience.

Anderson, 25, made his Major League debut with Pittsburgh this season, finishing 1-0 with a 6.35 ERA in six outings, over which he threw 11.1 innings of work.

The 2015 Harvard graduate was picked in the 20th round of the draft that year by the Pirates, and in four career minor league seasons, is 21-13 with a 3.24 ERA, 221 strikeouts, 72 walks, 10 saves, and 311.1 innings pitched in 120 appearances, including 22 starts.

Barrera, 23, hit .297 with a .787 OPS in 124 games between Single-A Advanced Stockton and Double-A Midland in 2018. He set career highs in games, plate appearances (495), runs (75), hits (132), doubles (26), triples (11), RBI (64), stolen bases (23), and walks (81). Barrera, who signed with the A’s as an international free agent on July 3, 2012, has a career. 273 batting average and a .729 OPS in six minor league seasons.

Bolt, 24, is the A’s No. 30 prospect, and hit .260 with a .821 OPS in 124 games between Single-A Advanced Stockton and Double-A Midland in 2018. The A’s fourth-round pick in the 2015 draft, Bolt set career highs in games, plate appearances (524), hits (118), doubles (26), home runs (19), RBI (69), stolen bases (19), and walks (58) this season. Bolt has made the Mid-Season All-Star Team in each of his three full minor league seasons (2016, Beloit; 2017 & 2018, Stockton), and was the Texas League Player of the Week this season for the week of Aug. 5.

Holmes, 22, is Oakland’s No. 15 prospect, and missed most of 2018 with a shoulder injury before making two appearances with Single-A Advanced Stockton to end the year. He threw six innings and allowed three earned runs in those outings, upping his career ERA to 4.13 in 92 appearances and 440 innings of work.

Acquired from the Dodgers with Jharel Cotton and Frankie Montas on Aug. 1, 2016 for Josh Reddick and Rich Hill, Holmes was a 2015 Mid-Season All-Star with Single-A Great Lakes, and was named the Texas League Pitcher of the Week for the week of July 30, 2017.

Kaprielian, 24, was the No. 16 overall pick in 2015 by the New York Yankees, and came to the A’s in the trade that also brought Jorge Mateo and Dustin Fowler, in exchange for Sonny Gray.

The former UCLA starter missed all of 2017 and 2018 after undergoing Tommy John Surgery in 2017. He owns a career 3.36 ERA in two professional seasons (2015-16) in the Yankees organization.

Notably, the A’s did not protect 2015 first-round pick Richie Martin, a 23-year old shortstop out of Florida. He ended this season on a hot-streak for Double-A Midland, hitting .444 in his final 36 at-bats, with three home runs and seven RBIs. After struggling in his transition to Double-A in 2017, going from hitting .266 in Single-A to .224 with Midland, Martin hit .300 for the Rockhounds this season, with six home runs and 42 RBIs in 118 games.

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