Oakland Athletics Send Down Josh Lindblom, Arnold Leon, Nate Freiman


Mar 9, 2014; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Oakland Athletics first baseman Nate Freiman (7) stretches to make a play at first ahead of the runner Chicago White Sox shortstop Leury Garcia (28) during the seventh inning at Phoenix Municipal Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

The Oakland Athletics trimmed their spring roster to 35 players on Sunday, optioning right-handers Josh Lindblom and Arnold Leon and first baseman Nate Freiman to Triple-A Sacramento.

The moves were announced Sunday on MLB.com.

Lindblom and Leon are ticketed to work in the starting rotation for the River Cats. Freiman spent all of last season on the active roster as a Rule 5 Draft selection (the A’s would have had to offer him back to San Diego otherwise).

Freiman, 27, an imposing target at first base at 6-foot-8 and 250 pounds, hit .238/.327/.405 this spring in 23 games, with four runs, two doubles, a triple, a home run and 11 RBI to go with 11 strikeouts.

Last season, he got into 80 games, starting 42 at first base and eight as the designated hitter, and posted a line of .274/.327/.389 with 10 runs, eight doubles, a triple, four homers and 24 RBI with 31 strikeouts.

The A’s got Freiman off waivers from Houston last March after the Astros had selected Freiman from the Padres in December’s Rule 5 Draft, meaning the same restrictions on Freiman’s roster placement applied. He was an eighth-round pick by San Diego out of Duke University in 2009.

Lindblom made one start this spring, pitching four hitless innings against the Mariners Sunday before surrendering a homer in the fifth. In six appearances and 15.2 innings, Lindblom had a 4.02 ERA and 1.277 WHIP with 11 strikeouts.

The well-traveled Lindblom, 26, was acquired in a trade last December with Texas along with outfielder Craig Gentry in exchange for outfielder Michael Choice and minor leaguer Chris Bostick. He made eight appearances, five of them starts, for the Rangers last season, with a 5.46 ERA and 1.468 WHIP in 31.1 innings, striking out 21. He also made 18 starts and two relief appearances for Triple-A Round Rock, with a 3.08 ERA and 1.083 WHIP in 108 innings, fanning 79.

Lindblom was a second-round pick of the Dodgers out of the University of Tennessee in 2008 and debuted with L.A. in June 2011. He was part of a waiver trade deadline deal in July 2012 that sent Shane Victorino from Philadelphia to the Dodgers and in December 2012, he was part of the package sent to Texas in exchange for infielder Michael Young.

Leon made one start this spring for the A’s and appeared in relief in four other Cactus League games. He had a 2.13 ERA and 0.789 WHIP in 12.2 innings, striking out 11. He split last season between Double-A Midland and Triple-A Sacramento, working in the rotation. In 24 starts between the two levels (plus a relief outing at Sacramento), Leon had a 4.12 ERA and 1.333 WHIP in 144 innings with 97 strikeouts.

Leon, 25, was signed as an international free agent out of Mexico in 2008 after pitching two years in for Saltillo in the Mexican League. He made headlines last spring for igniting a brawl during the World Baseball Classic, drilling Canada’s Rene Tosoni in the back after Canada’s Chris Robinson bunted for a hit in the ninth inning with a six-run lead.