A's acquire reliever Ramirez for Petit
Right-hander adds needed depth to Oakland's bullpen
PHOENIX -- By way of trade, the A's on Wednesday added depth to what appeared to be the most sure thing at the start of Spring Training -- an intact bullpen that compiled the league's best ERA last season.
Recent injuries, though, influenced the club to acquire right-handed reliever Edwar Ramirez from Texas in exchange for infielder Gregorio Petit in an effort to add insurance to a depleted relief corps.
Ramirez, who turns 29 on Sunday, reported to Major League camp Wednesday as the A's prepared to host the Dodgers for a night game at Phoenix Municipal Stadium.
"I'm happy to be here," Ramirez said upon his arrival. "I like this team. Spring for me has been pretty crazy, but I feel good."
The Dominican reliever has only pitched in one spring game due to a couple transactions that kept him on the move but not on the field. He was designated for assignment by the Yankees on Feb. 28 before being shipped to the Rangers on March 9 for cash considerations.
The veteran righty pitched for the Yankees the past three seasons, compiling a 6-2 record and 5.22 ERA while scattering 93 hits and striking out 116 in 96 games.
"We were obviously looking for some more depth in our bullpen with some of the injuries and some of the timetables as far as those are concerned," A's assistant general manager David Forst said. "This is a guy we've seen a lot of in the Yankees system over the last few years, and the Rangers had been interested in Petit, so we knew they were interested and kept it in the back of our minds."
Petit, who has been shuffled between Triple-A Sacramento and Oakland five times in the last two years, was one of nine A's players reassigned to the Minors on Sunday.
"Whatever they decide to do with me is fine," Petit told MLB.com at the time, "but I'm hungry. I'm going to keep playing hard to just get a shot. Once I get a real shot, I know I'll make the most of it."
The 25-year-old Petit is a career .278 hitter in just 25 big league games and could possibly land regular playing time with a Texas club that has to manage without utility infielder Khalil Greene this year.
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"It takes talent to get talent," said manager Bob Geren, who plans on putting Ramirez in Thursday's game against the Giants. "We're happy with who we acquired and hopefully it works out for everyone.
"He has good stuff and good movement, so he's ready to go. We'll get him in games and go from there."
Ramirez's chances of making the 25-man roster will heavily depend on the health of key bullpen members, including Andrew Bailey, Craig Breslow, Michael Wuertz and Joey Devine -- all of whom have suffered setbacks this spring.
"It's hard to say how the math works out right now and who fits where," Forst said. "[Ramirez] has only thrown an inning this spring, which makes it hard, but we'll take a good look at him the next 10 days."
Of the four mentioned, all but Devine appear to be back on track for Opening Day. The right-hander began playing catch again Monday after experiencing tendinitis in the same arm that underwent Tommy John surgery last year, but it is still unknown when he'll see game action.
"Everyone seems to be doing fine," Forst said, "but Joey is a little behind where we expect him to be. You can't have too many guys, so it made more sense to add depth there."
Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.