The Oakland A's lost two of the three players that they designated for assignment last week. The team announced on Thursday that they had traded second baseman Kevin Melillo to Toronto for cash considerations and that outfielder Jeff Fiorentino was claimed off of waivers by the Baltimore Orioles.
Melillo was the A's top second base prospect the past two seasons. A wrist injury last year curtailed his offesive production with Triple-A Sacramento and then robbed him of an opportunity to play at big league spring training camp this year. Despite the wrist problem, he hit .262 with 10 homers and 55 RBIs for the Triple-A champion River Cats last season. Melillo made his major-league debut with the A's last season and walked in his only big league plate appearance. At the time of the trade, Melillo, who is over the wrist problem, was hitting .260 with five homers and 17 RBIs in 38 games.
He has good power for a second baseman and could find a home in Toronto, which moved former second baseman Russ Adams to the outfield this season. Melillo joins former A's farmhand Matt Watson on the Triple-A Syracuse Chiefs squad.
Fiorentino returns to the Orioles after being designated off of the O's 40-man roster in January. He was then claimed by Cincinnati, dropped by the Reds and claimed by the A's later that month. Fiorentino was on the A's Opening Day roster in Japan, but he had missed most of the season with injuries he sustained when he was hit in the face by an errant throw during the first week of the season. He had appeared in only eight games for the Sacramento River Cats this season.
The outfielder has appeared in 34 major league games in his career, all but two of them coming with Baltimore. He had an RBI hit in his only at-bat with the A's, which was in the Japan series against Boston. For the Orioles, he has 21 hits in 83 major-league at-bats, including a homerun.
The departures of Melillo and Fiorentino likely mean that shortstop Cliff Pennington and outfielder Richie Robnett are in Sacramento to stay. Both players were added to the Sacramento roster on Friday.
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