OAKLAND, Calif. - The Oakland A's acquired infielders Ben Zobrist and Yunel Escobar from the Tampa Bay Rays for catcher John Jaso, minor league infielder Daniel Robertson and minor league outfielder Boog Powell, the club announced today. To clear a spot on the 40-man roster, the A's designated infielder Andy Parrino for assignment.
Zobrist batted .272 with 10 home runs and 52 RBI in 146 games with the Rays last year. He also drew 75 walks, which tied for seventh in the American League. The 33-year-old switch hitter batted .340 against left-handed pitching compared to .246 against right-handers. Zobrist started games at five different positions, including 74 at second base, 23 at shortstop, 17 in left field, 16 in right field and seven in center field. He made his Major League debut with Tampa Bay in 2006 and hit .264 with 114 home runs, 511 RBI and 102 stolen bases in 1064 games in nine seasons with the Rays. He leaves Tampa Bay as the Rays all-time leader in doubles (229) and walks (542) and ranks second in games, runs (565), hits (1016) and triples (32).
Escobar hit .258 with seven home runs and 39 RBI in 137 games with Tampa Bay in 2014. He started 134 games at shortstop and has made 950 starts at shortstop since 2008, which are the most in the majors over that span. The 32-year-old right-handed hitter is a .276 career hitter with 69 home runs and 393 RBI in 1074 games in eight seasons with Atlanta (2007-10), Toronto (2010-12) and Tampa Bay (2013-14).
Jaso batted .264 with nine home runs and 40 RBI in 99 games with Oakland before going on the disabled list Aug. 25 with a concussion. He missed the remainder of the season, the second consecutive year his season ended early due to a concussion. The 31-year-old left-handed hitter made 79 starts, all against right-handed pitching. Jaso is a .259 career hitter with a .359 on-base percentage in 480 games over six seasons with Tampa Bay (2008, 10-11), Seattle (2012) and Oakland (2013-14).
Robertson batted .310 with 15 home runs and 60 RBI in 132 games with Single-A Stockton in 2014. He added 72 walks for a .402 on-base percentage and ranked fourth in all of minor league baseball with 110 runs scored. The 20-year-old right-handed hitter was selected by the A's as a compensation pick following the first round of the 2012 draft. Robertson is a .287 career hitter with 29 home runs and 136 RBI in 288 games over three seasons in the minors. He was the top A's prospect according to Baseball America. In Beloit in 2013, Robertson batted .277, hit nine homers, and brought in 46 runs.
Powell hit a combined .343 with three home runs and 28 RBI in 83 games with the A's Single-A affiliates at Beloit and Stockton last year. He stole 16 bases and added 61 walks for a .452 on-base percentage. The 21-year-old left-handed hitter was a 20th round pick of the A's in the 2012 First-Year Player Draft. Powell is a .317 career hitter with three home runs and 55 RBI in 177 career games in three minor league seasons. Powell was the 2014 Midwest League All Star Game Most Valuable Player.
Parrino batted .152 with a home run and three RBI in 21 games over three stints with Oakland in 2014. He also combined for a .274 batting average with seven home runs and 57 RBI in 103 games with Triple-A Round Rock and Triple-A Sacramento.
The Beloit Snappers open up the 2015 season on the road on Thursday, April 9th against the Clinton Lumberkings. The home opener at Pohlman Field will be Wednesday, April 15th against the Quad Cities River Bandits.
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