OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Journeyman infielder Adam Rosales is on the move again, and the Arizona Diamondbacks found a reliable shortstop to fill what in only a couple of days became a big void as they chase a playoff spot.
Rosales was traded by the Oakland Athletics to the Diamondbacks on Monday for minor league right-hander Jeferson Mejia, then the A’s later dealt ace Sonny Gray to the Yankees for three prospects as everyone expected they would do.
Arizona began the day holding the top spot in the NL wild-card race but was suddenly without a shortstop.
Ketel Marte was placed on the bereavement list Monday following the death of his mother in a car accident in the Dominican Republic.
“It’s something I know no 23-year-old should have to go through,” general manager Mike Hazen said.
In addition, Nick Ahmed has been on the disabled list since June 28 and is recovering from a small fracture in his right hand. He had the surgically implanted pins removed last week and has yet to begin rehabilitation on the hand. And Chris Owings was put on the 60-day DL on Monday after fracturing a finger on a bunt attempt against St. Louis on Sunday.
Hazen said the team had no intention of acquiring a shortstop, considering the depth at the position, until that all changed when Owings got hurt and Marte had to depart the team.
“This sort of took a 90-degree turn on us yesterday,” Hazen said, noting of Rosales, “He’s going to step into a pretty big role right away and I think he can handle it.”
Rosales, who filled in at shortstop for 36 of the 38 games when starter Marcus Semien was hurt this season, is no stranger to switching teams. And the last-place A’s are dealing for prospects as they have historically done.
“It was a true pleasure playing for the Green and Gold AGAIN! Thank you Oakland A’s fans, friends and family #goodmemories #goodpeople,” Rosales posted Monday afternoon on Twitter from the San Francisco airport.
During an 11-day span late in the 2013 season, Rosales was claimed off waivers by Texas from Oakland, went back to the A’s off waivers from the Rangers and then returned to Texas once again on waivers only to watch his former team win the AL West without him.
The popular Rosales returned for a second stint with the A’s this year . He was batting .234 with four homers and 27 RBIs in 71 games.
“He’s as team-type of player as anybody I’ve been around,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “You pinch-hit for him and he’s high-fiving the guy that pinch-hits for him. He’s all about the team, and when he’s not playing he keeps himself prepared and ready to play. We’ve had him here multiple times for that reason, because not only is he great and versatile on the field, but he is a terrific clubhouse presence and all about the team, and he enjoys being here, too. Another guy we really wish the best. He’s going into another potential playoff situation, and I think his versatility will work for them over there too. He even said to me, ‘Who knows, after this year, might be back again.’ That would be great because he’s been here so many times, he literally is in a revolving door here.”
The 22-year-old Mejia was 1-1 with a 6.08 ERA in 18 relief appearances for Class-A Kane County before going to Class-A short season Hillsboro, where he made three relief outings. He combined to go 1-1 with a 6.21 ERA.
Last week, Arizona acquired catcher John Ryan Murphy from Minnesota for minor league left-hander Gabriel Moya and on Monday also acquired reliever David Hernandez from the Angels to return to the desert where he played from 2011-15.
Hazen said the Diamondbacks had other more high profile infielder names in trade discussions that didn’t materialize.
“I think there are certain deals that could be bigger that you could push across the finish line (but there wasn’t enough time),” he said.
AP Sports Writer Bob Baum in Phoenix and AP Freelance Writer Michael Wagaman contributed to this report.
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