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A’s Yonder Alonso sits; is trade imminent?

NEW YORK – The A’s roster continues to churn.
The team announced a series of moves that appear to position them to deal All-Star first baseman Yonder Alonso, who is reportedly coveted by a number of suitors as trade talks heat up.
First baseman Matt Olson and right-hander Frankie Montas were promoted from Triple-A Nashville and joined the club before Friday night’s game against the Mets. In another move that could help the A’s compensate for Alonso’s loss, they announced the signing of slugging first baseman Chris Carter to a minor league contract and assigned him to Nashville.
Interestingly, Alonso, 30, did not start on Friday night against Mets left-hander Steven Matz. Ryon Healy got the nod at first base instead. Alonso, who made his first All-Star appearance and was the leading vote-getter on the players’ ballot, took a .273 batting average with 21 home runs and 45 RBIs into the game.
Carter, 30, tied for the National League lead with 41 home runs for Milwaukee last year but faltered with the Yankees this season, triggering his release on July 10. He batted .201 with eight home runs and 26 RBIs for the Yankees and failed to make contact an alarming number of times, with 76 strikeouts in 184 at-bats.
The itinerant Olson was recalled from Nashville for the fourth time since June 3. He is doing what he can to put a positive spin on the uncertainty he is facing.
“It’s always nice to be the guy they want when they have an extra spot,” he said. “I just deal with the travel.”
Manager Bob Melvin believes Olson will join Montas in being an integral part of the plans moving forward.
“As much experience as he can get this year will be good for him based on the fact that we feel he has a hell of a future here,” the manager said.
Melvin is eager to see what Montas, 24, can provide as a long or short reliever, depending on his needs.
“He’s going to get this thing figured out pretty soon and he’s going to be a force for us, whether he’s in a starting role or, this year, in a bullpen role,” Melvin said.
The highly-regarded Montas struggled earlier this season, compiling a bloated 6.91 ERA in 21 relief appearances from April 5 to June 7. Opponents batted .308 against him with nine home runs, most among major league relievers at the end of his first stint.
He was optioned to Nashville on June 11. He was used primarily as a starter there because, according to Melvin, the organization wanted him to refine all of his pitches, including his changeup, and not rely quite so heavily on his high-octane fastball.
“In a relief role, you might not have time to establish all of those pitches,” Melvin said. “But there are times when you need another pitch in your pocket.”
Montas appeared in seven games with the Sounds, six of them starts, and went 0-1 with a 4.22 ERA. He limited opponents to a .213 batting average.

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