SAN DIEGO -- The A’s added another former Cal player Thursday, obtaining first baseman/outfielder Mark Canha in a trade with the Colorado Rockies for right-hander Austin House and cash considerations.
Canha was selected by the Rockies in the Rule 5 draft Thursday. Per Rule 5 rules, Canha must remain on the A’s big-league roster for all of next season or be offered back to his original team, the Miami Marlins.
Assistant general manager David Forst said Canha "will have every opportunity to make our team," and fits in well on the 25-man roster as a right-handed hitter with power who can play both corner infield spots and left field.
"He was a perfect fit for us," Forst said.
Canha, 25, a seventh-round pick by the Marlins in 2010, spent last season at Triple-A New Orleans and batted .303 with 20 home runs and 82 RBIs. He would seem to fit a similar role to Nate Freiman, another Rule 5 selection by the A’s before the 2013 season, which might minimize Freiman’s role.
Forst said Billy Butler, just signed to a three-year contract, will also play "a number of games at first," but the A’s envision Canha getting starts there too, and possibly having both players in the lineup against left-handers.
Forst said the A’s were eyeing Canha but anticipated him being selected before their turn in the Rule 5 draft and thus structured the deal to get him. House, 23, pitched at Single-A last season, going 3-4 with 19 saves and a 3.46 ERA, and Forst acknowledged the A’s "gave up a player that we liked."
To clear a spot on the 40-man roster, the A’s designated outfielder Shane Peterson for assignment. They were the final moves for the A’s before returning home following the winter meetings, at which Forst summed up the team’s activity as: "We were very busy, and then we weren’t."
The A’s dealt All-Stars Brandon Moss and Jeff Samardzija in the first two days of the meetings, receiving former Cal player Marcus Semien in the latter deal. Semien, who played alongside Canha at Cal, will enter spring as the frontrunner for the shortstop job.
"We’ve had some conversations and some meetings the last few days, but obviously sort of took a step back, and we’ll survey the landscape over the next copule weeks to see where we go from here," Forst said.
"We have the ability now to start making some additions, and we have payroll flexibility to do it," Forst said. "And we have some spots we can upgrade on our club."
* The Giants made two selections in the Triple-A phase of the Rule 5 draft, taking Brett Jackson from the Arizona Diamondbacks’ organization and right-hander Ramon Del Orbe of the Miami Marlins’ organization.
Jackson is another former Cal player, the 31st overall pick of the 2009 draft by Chicago, who has played 51 big-league games but spent most of the past three seasons at Triple-A.
Assistant general manager Bobby Evans said the Giants scouted Jackson "heavily" while the outfielder was at Cal, and that: "He gives us depth at Triple-A, and an opportunity to spend time with him and see what we can do to help make adjustments that will continue to advance his career.
Del Orbe, 22, is more of a project. The right-hander from the Dominican Republic spent last season in A-ball, and Evans said he presents "a solid fastball, a decent changeup and command that we want to see improve.
"Arm strength, there’s a relative value that you take seriously," Evans said. "There’s a lot of growth opportunity for him, and we want to really invest some time and effort in him."