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A’s add Michael Ynoa to 40-man roster despite 39 career innings, none above Single-A

Nov 21, 2012, 11:17 AM EDT

michael ynoa athletics

One of the most interesting 40-man roster additions yesterday was the A’s choosing to protect 21-year-old pitching prospect Michael Ynoa from the Rule 5 draft despite his throwing a grand total of 39.2 career innings and not yet pitching above Single-A.

Ynoa received a then-record $4.25 million bonus when he signed with the A’s out of the Dominican Republic as a 16-year-old in 2008. He was already 6-foot-7 then and considered an excellent prospect with huge upside, but injuries have repeatedly derailed his career.

Ynoa threw a total of nine innings from 2008-2011, missing all of 2011 following Tommy John elbow surgery, but came back this year to throw 31 innings. Of course, those 31 innings came as a 21-year-old in rookie-ball and low Single-A, and Ynoa struggled mightily with a 6.46 ERA and 25/25 K/BB ratio.

Clearly the A’s believed there was at least some chance one of the other 29 teams would take a flier on Ynoa in the Rule 5 draft next month despite a complete lack of experience or success and they didn’t want to lose their $4.25 million investment for nothing. And so in 2013 he’ll be the only player in low Single-A on a 40-man roster.

  1. Just a Fan - Nov 21, 2012 at 11:23 AM

    He will be the 5th starter and win 12 games with a 3.27 ERA in the Bigs, I’m just talking trash, but the A’s have magic in their farm system and seem to just grow young starters. Amazing……….

    • Francisco (FC) - Nov 21, 2012 at 11:35 AM

      The A’s use Miracle-Gro.

  2. APBA Guy - Nov 21, 2012 at 11:49 AM

    I wouldn’t call it magic. I’d call it OCD, since practically all they drafted in the Great and Powerful Beane era was pitching up until a few years ago. Now they primarily trade for guys who have proven they can pitch in the minors. Ynoa has an injury history that makes Josh Johnson look like Ironman. But he has that big arm, the holy grail in scouting pitchers.

  3. husky2score - Nov 21, 2012 at 11:59 AM

    If anything has Billy Beane written on it, it was a terrific move.

  4. paperlions - Nov 21, 2012 at 12:43 PM

    This was a no-brainer move. There are plenty of teams with open 40-man roster spots, and probably plenty of teams that can stash him in the bullpen for the year and have him do middle relief while he throws on the side to work on specific things….he’s only 21, if a team can sacrifice a spot on the 25-man for him….and let’s face it, most teams use at least one bull pen spot on a guy that rarely throws and that isn’t that good and teams usually have at least one bench guy that doesn’t contribute much….so a lot of teams could find a way to shuttle him back and forth between the active roster and IR due to questionable “injuries”….and it would be well worth it to get someone with his potential.

  5. digbysellers - Nov 21, 2012 at 1:01 PM

    Not Miracle-Gro…it’s Soul Glo with Mr. Randy Watson.

  6. Norm B - Nov 21, 2012 at 3:38 PM

    He won’t be the only player. Cubs have Gerardo Concepcion.

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