The following players have been signed to 2018 minor league contracts or acquired via trade or waivers by the Oakland Athletics and could be members of the Sounds roster this upcoming season:
*Last Update 1/15/18*
OF Anthony Garcia - Garcia, 25, was recently signed to a minor-league contract by the A's. Garcia has spent his entire professional career in the St. Louis organization after the Cardinals drafted him in the 18th round of the 2009 First-Year Player Draft. Over the last three seasons, the right-handed hitter has split time with Double-A Springfield and Triple-A Memphis. The majority of his 2017 season was logged in Double-A as he hit .294 with 69 RBI, 57 runs, 18 doubles and 15 home runs. The Puerto Rico native was a mid-season and post-season All-Star in the Texas League. Garcia will likely spend time in Nashville as well as Double-A Midland in 2018.
OF Nick Martini - Martini, 27, joined the A's organization on a minor-league deal in late November. The left-handed hitting outfielder has spent time with Double-A Springfield and Triple-A Memphis during each of the last three seasons. Drafted by St. Louis in the 7th round of the 2011 First-Year Player Draft, Martini spent each of his first six professional seasons with the Cardinals organization. The Illinois native played in 98 games for the Redbirds in 2017, hitting .303 with 60 runs, 55 RBI and 31 extra-base hits. Martini could start the season patrolling the outfield in Nashville or Midland.
LHP Jarret Martin - Martin, 28, was recently signed to a minor-league contract by Oakland. The southpaw has never pitched at the Triple-A level but put together the best year of his career with Double-A Richmond in 2017. Martin went 4-2 with a 2.04 ERA in 37 games (one start). In 39 2/3 innings, the California native struck out 40 and limited Eastern League opponents to a .167 batting average. He finished 2017 with 10 consecutive scoreless appearances. With Oakland rebuilding their bullpen during the offseason, it will be tough for Martin to make a huge leap to the big leagues, but it's not out of the question to see him in Nashville early in 2018.
INF Steve Lombardozzi - Lombardozzi, 29, signed a minor-league contract with Oakland on January 10 and will receive an invitation to Major League spring training. The versatile infielder played in the Miami organization in 2017, spending majority of the season with Triple-A New Orleans. The Minnesota native played two games with the Marlins in his first big league action since 2015 with the Pirates. Lombardozzi played primarily at second base for the Baby Cakes and got brief time at third base and left field. A switch-hitter, Lombardozzi hit .274 with 53 runs, 38 RBI and 20 extra-base hits with New Orleans. With the departure of Joey Wendle, Max Schrock and Yairo Munoz, there's a good chance Lombardozzi is in the infield mix for Nashville in 2018.
OF Slade Heathcott - Heathcott, 27, signed a minor-league contract with Oakland on January 10 and will receive an invitation to Major League spring training. The 2009 first-round pick (29th overall) of the New York Yankees, Heathcott spent the 2017 season with the San Francisco Giants organization. In 119 games between Double-A Richmond and Triple-A Sacramento, Heathcott hit .267 with 60 runs, 41 RBI and 39 extra-base hits. The Texas native made his Major League debut with the Yankees in 2015 but hasn't been back to the big leagues since. With a busy Oakland outfield heading into spring, it remains to be seen where Heathcott starts his 2018 campaign. There's a good chance he's in Music City at some point during the upcoming season.
LHP Jeremy Bleich - Bleich, 30, also signed a minor-league contract with Oakland and will receive an invitation to Major League spring training. A southpaw from Louisiana, Bleich spent the 2017 with the Los Angeles Dodgers organization between Double-A Tulsa and Triple-A Oklahoma City. In 38 appearances out of the bullpen, the lefty went 5-4 with a 3.77 ERA. He covered 62 innings and struck out 52. The left-handed reliever watch will be something to keep an eye on during spring. Daniel Coulombe is the only southpaw reliever on the A's 40-man roster at the moment. Although Bleich has never pitched in the big leagues, it's not out of the question he can pitch his way into that opportunity in 2018. There's a good chance he and non-roster invitee Jarret Martin hold down the Nashville bullpen early in the season.
LHP Eric Jokisch - Jokisch, 28, has also signed with Oakland on a minor-league contract with an invitation to Major League spring training. Jokisch joins Jarret Martin and Jeremy Bleich as the three left-handed pitchers Oakland has invited to spring training as non-roster players. Drafted by the Chicago Cubs in 2010 out of Northwestern, Jokisch has bounced around in recent years. He pitched in the Marlins and Rangers organizations in 2016 before latching on with Arizona in 2017. With Triple-A Reno last year, Jokisch went 8-8 with a 4.21 ERA in 28 games (21 starts). In 134 2/3 innings, he allowed 139 hits and struck out 91. Jokisch limited PCL batters to a .267 average in what is widely considered a tough side of the league to pitch in. Look for Jokisch to be part of Nashville's staff in 2018 with an opportunity to get back to the big leagues for the first time since 2014.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.