A's invite 19 players to Spring Training
McPherson, Desme among group given Minor League deals
Arizona Fall League sensation Grant Desme, former Angels third baseman Dallas McPherson and ex-Reds reliever Marcus McBeth are among 19 players extended invitations to Spring Training on Monday by the A's.
McPherson, 29, missed all of the 2009 season with back problems, but he has the most extensive Major League experience of the six free agents among the 19 signed to Minor League contracts by Oakland.In parts of four seasons with the Angels, McPherson hit 18 homers and drove in 45 runs while batting .245 in 371 at-bats. Most of that production came in 2005, when, while making 55 starts at third base, McPherson hit a solid .295 with eight home runs and 26 RBIs in 205 at-bats. McBeth made 23 relief appearances for Cincinnati in 2007 after being dealt by the A's to the Reds in a trade involving Chris Denorfia. He returns to Oakland after a solid year in Triple-A, with a 2.69 ERA and .189 opponents average in 67 innings for Pawtucket in the Boston organization. Others recently signed to Minor League contracts and invited to Spring Training are pitchers Cedric Bowers, Fernando Hernandez and Matt Wright, and infielder Matt Whitney. The other 13 invitations went to players already within the A's organization: right-handers Sam Demel and Tyson Ross; catchers Josh Donaldson, Joel Galarraga, Anthony Recker and Max Stassi; infielders Adrian Cardenas, Grant Green, Brett Wallace and Jemile Weeks; and outfielders Matt Carson, Corey Wimberly and Desme. Desme was recently named MVP in the Arizona Fall League, which he'd lit up with 11 homers and 27 RBIs for the Phoenix Desert Dogs. He split the 2009 Minor League season between Class A Kane County of the Midwest League, and high Class A Stockton of the California League, combining at the two stops for 31 homers and 40 stolen bases -- ranking as the Minors' lone 30-40 man.