Oakland Athletics Drop 8 Non-Roster Invitees


Feb 22, 2014; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Oakland Athletics catcher Luke Montz poses for a portrait during photo day at Phoenix Municipal Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Oakland Athletics trimmed their spring roster on Sunday, reassigning eight non-roster invitees to minor league camp.

We reported Sunday on shortstop Addison Russell and pitchers Philip Humber, Matt Buschmann and Deryk Hooker. But Oakland also sent down pitcher Fernando Nieve, catcher Luke Montz and infielders Jose Martinez and Darwin Perez.

Nieve, 31, hasn’t pitched in the major leagues since making 40 appearances for the New York Mets in 2010. This spring, Nieve pitched five innings and allowed two runs on eight hits, walking two and fanning five. He split last season between Triple-A Columbus and Triple-A Sacramento, going to the River Cats after the A’s purchased his contract from the Cleveland Indians in August. Nieve re-signed with Oakland as a free agent in November.

He combined for a 1.89 ERA and 1.000 WHIP in 57 innings last season, striking out 64. He appeared in 29 games and made three starts. Nieve was originally signed as an international free agent out of Venezuela by the Houston Astros in 1999 and debuted in the big leagues for Houston in April 2006.

Montz, 30, hit the ball pretty well this spring, going 7-for-24 with two homers and five RBI. He also scored two runs and smacked a double in seven games. Montz played in 13 games for the A’s last season, going 5-for-28 with two runs, three doubles, a homer, five RBI and eight strikeouts. In 33 games for Sacramento, he hit .246/.352/.541 with nine homers and 29 RBI. Montz was released by the A’s last September, but re-signed with the organization in October.

He was originally drafted in the 17th round in 2003 by the Montreal Expos out of Hill College in Texas. He made his major-league debut for the Washington Nationals in September 2008.

Martinez, 28, appeared in 16 games for the A’s this spring and was 6-for-25 with no extra base hits. He scored three runs and drove in three. He spent last season in the Houston organization, where he played at Double-A Corpus Christi and Triple-A Oklahoma City. Combined, he hit .299/.334/.417 with 41 runs, 20 doubles, six homers and 50 RBI in 89 games.

He was originally signed by the St. Louis Cardinals in 2004 as an international free agent. He has never appeared in a big league game and signed with Oakland on a minor-league deal last November.

Perez, 24, only got into two spring games, going 1-for-1 with an RBI. He played at Double-A Midland last season, where he hit .237/.326/.333 in 115 games, scoring 55 runs with 19 doubles, five triples, three homers, 34 RBI and 19 stolen bases. He signed with the A’s as a minor-league free agent last April and re-signed in November. He was originally signed out of Venezuela as an international free agent in 2007 by the Los Angeles Angels.