In 2012, the Oakland A's called up a minor league first baseman named Brandon Moss, and he proved his worth to the team, hitting 21 home runs with a batting average of .291.
In 2013, the A's are taking another risk on a minor league first baseman. This year, it is Nate Freiman who is getting his chance after the A's claimed him off waivers from their new division rivals in Houston (via CSNCalifornia.com).
Why is it significant that the A's are claiming some minor league first baseman off waivers?
First of all, he is automatically on the 40-man roster now. Also, if he is designated for assignment by the A's, the San Diego Padres (the team who originally drafted him) have a chance to take him back if they want him because of the MLB rules.
The A's have been searching for a right-handed first baseman to complement Brandon Moss since the A's traded Moss' platoon-mate, Chris Carter, to the Astros for Jed Lowrie.
Freiman, in 137 games last year, hit 24 homers and 105 RBI in Double-A ball. This spring, he is hitting .278 in the Cactus League. He owns a career .294 batting average in four minor league seasons.
This is a low-risk, high-reward situation for the A's. If he fails to provide the power he has shown in the minors, then the A's just waive him. If his power translates to the majors, then the A's could have the 2013 version of Brandon Moss.
Also, Freiman would be platoon-mates with Moss. They could give the A's a new power-hitting duo at first base.