Pache doesn't make A's Opening Day roster, could be traded


Cristian Pache's time with the Athletics could be ending soon.

A's manager Mark Kotsay revealed Monday night after Oakland's 12-6 exhibition win over the San Francisco Giants that the speedy outfielder didn't make the Opening Day roster despite a strong spring.

The 24-year-old, acquired last year from the Atlanta Braves in the Matt Olson trade, is out of minor league options and will have to be designated for assignment or traded.

"There are some teams interested, and they should be," Kotsay told reporters Monday. "This kid still has a big future in this game, in my opinion. He's a plus defender, and I think the offensive side always takes longer to develop. Unfortunately for us, where we're at, we kind of ran out of time with that."

Should the A's designate Pache for assignment, he'll be exposed to waivers and might be scooped up by another team. But if he goes unclaimed, he'll remain with Oakland and could be sent to Triple-A. Pache showed plenty of promise during spring training, and it's likely another team would take a chance on him -- or, perhaps, trade with the A's for him before season-opening rosters are set by Thursday morning.

Pache slashed .302/.362/.419 across 21 games this spring with eight RBI and two triples. He made adjustments at the plate in camp, allowing him to improve upon the 26.9 percent strikeout rate and .166 batting average he posted last season. His glove remained steady as ever, too, after he finished last year's campaign with a .995 fielding percentage in 70 starts.

It's safe to say Oakland had high expectations for Pache, who was viewed as the centerpiece of the March 14, 2022, blockbuster trade that dealt Olson to Atlanta in return for the outfielder, pitchers Ryan Cusick and Joey Estes, and catcher Shea Langeliers. Pache was one of MLB's top-20 prospects in 2021, according to, and was the only player with major league experience included in the deal.

Langeliers was a top-100 prospect in 2021 and a top-10 catching prospect, but he since has emerged as the trade's top acquisition and is in line to start for the A's behind the plate this season.

Kotsay also announced that infielder Kevin Smith, who enjoyed a productive spring himself, and catcher Kyle McCann will start the season in Triple-A, and Brent Rooker and Conner Capel will be on the Opening Day roster.

RELATED: A's name Muller as 2023 Opening Day starter vs. Angels

In the end, Pache's struggles last season were too much to overcome despite his improvements at the plate.

"It was really hard to run out of time with a player that you feel is young and still has a huge future in this game,” Kotsay said (h/t San Francisco Chronicle's Matt Kawahara). “Unfortunately, for us and the roster, we’ve kind of run out of time with the options that Pache is out of, and we’re going to have to make a move.”

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