A's Option Barreto to Triple-A, Lowrie Trade Coming?

SEATTLE - The A's sent top prospect Franklin Barreto back to the minors Saturday as part of a series of roster transactions.

The move was not a surprise as indications from within the organization were that Barreto would be going back to Triple-A at some point for what is likely a short spell.

With Marcus Semien back from the disabled list and handling shortstop, and veteran Jed Lowrie still manning second base, there is no regular playing time for Barreto at the moment. But Lowrie, a switch hitter who can play all over the infield and is in the final year of his contract, is viewed as a prime trade candidate. The likely scenario is for Lowrie to be dealt before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline and Barreto to be brought back with a chance to play second base.

Barreto, still just 21, hit .190 with two home runs and four RBI in 11 games. After a hot start following his June 24 promotion, he cooled off at the plate, though he did win a game Tuesday with a walk-off homer.

The A's needed to clear a roster spot for right-hander Chris Smith, who will make his first major league start tonight against Seattle. They also reinstated Josh Phegley from the paternity list and designated catcher Ryan Lavarnway for assignment. That last transaction was needed to make room on the 40-man roster for Smith.

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