The Oakland A's roster has been in a state of flux almost since Opening Day. The team made four more roster moves on Saturday, designating OF Ben Copeland for assignment, optioning IF Gregorio Petit to Triple-A Sacramento and calling up IF Adam Kennedy and RP Jeff Gray from Sacramento.
Kennedy was acquired by the A's on Friday for a player to be named later. That player was named on Saturday -- IF Joe Dillon, who had been working out at the A's extended spring training camp. With second baseman Mark Ellis expected to be sidelined for a few more weeks with a calf pull, the veteran Kennedy is likely to see the bulk of the playing time in Oakland at second base.
Kennedy, who was a starting second baseman for the Cardinals and Angels for the better part of the last nine seasons, had been playing at Triple-A Durham in the Tampa Bay organization. Kennedy was released by the St. Louis Cardinals in the off-season despite having one more year on a three-year contract. The A's will owe Kennedy only the minimum. He was the ALCS MVP for Anaheim in 2002 and won a World Series ring with the Angels that season. He hit .280 for the Cardinals last season, but hit for very little power and had trouble getting on-base. He also clashed with St. Louis manager Tony LaRussa. He is a career .276 hitter with a 717 OPS.
Gray joins the A's for his second stint in the major leagues. He spent the last few weeks of the 2008 regular season with Oakland. The right-handed reliever had a 3.38 ERA in 10.2 innings for Sacramento this season. He allowed four runs in 4.2 innings with the A's last season. Gray was a 32nd round pick of the A's in 2004 and was a collegiate teammate of A's closer Brad Ziegler at Southwest Missouri State.
The hard-throwing right-hander has a career ERA of 3.60 in the minor leagues with 255 strike-outs in 340.1 innings. Gray was a starter at the beginning of his career, but he was converted to the bullpen midway through the 2006 season and moved quickly through the A's system after that, reaching Triple-A by 2007. He has earned PCL title rings with the Sacramento River Cats in each of the past two seasons.
Petit returns to Sacramento after batting .250 in seven games with the A's. He drove in a run and scored twice. Copeland, the A's Rule 5 pick, did not appear in a game during his four days with the A's. Copeland will be exposed to waivers and if he clears, he will have to be offered back to the San Francisco Giants (his original club) for $25,000. If the Giants don't take him back or if they allow the A's to trade for Copeland, he will be eligible to be assigned to any of the A's affiliates.
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