Athletics general manager Billy Beane had hoped to acquire some pitching help before the trade deadline. He settled for shoring up his infield with switch-hitting Alberto Callaspo.
Callaspo, a third baseman with the Los Angeles Angels, immediately fills a hole at second base in Oakland and gives the A’s some much-needed depth around the rest of their infield.
"We needed some infield help, particularly somebody who could help swing it from the right side," said Beane, not long before the A’s were shut out by the Toronto Blue Jays 5-0 on Tuesday night. "We needed some help on the right side swinging. That’s become noticeable over the last month or so."
Unable to land Chicago White Sox pitcher Jake Peavy, who went to Boston in a three-team trade with Detroit, the A’s traded for Callaspo for minor league infielder Grant Green in a deal that was completed while both teams were still playing.
Callaspo was removed from the Angels game against the Texas Rangers after the fourth inning on Tuesday night. Green was a late scratch from Triple-A Sacramento’s lineup.
Callaspo has played 217 games at second base during his career but none since 2010. He’s been the Angels primary third baseman since then, batting .253 with five home runs and 36 RBIs in 86 games this season.
"I spoke to Alberto tonight and mentioned the fact that he’s going to be over there," Beane said of second base. "The good thing is he’s played a lot of it in the past but there’s no question there’s been a little bit of a void the last couple of years."
The A’s have had their own void at second base.
Jed Lowrie, who has 73 starts at shortstop this season, played second base Tuesday to give light-hitting Eric Sogard a break. Sogard is hitting .268 with two home runs and 19 RBIs.
Oakland’s lineup definitely could use a boost after being blanked by Mark Buehrle and two relievers.
Buehrle allowed five hits over seven innings while Jose Bautista and Emilio Bonifacio each homered to help the Blue Jays end the A’s four-game winning streak.
Dan Straily (6-5) lost his third straight decision, giving up five runs — two earned — on six hits. He walked two and struck out two.
"You saw some two-strike hits, which means he probably wasn’t as precise as he needs to be, especially when he’s ahead," Oakland manager Bob Melvin said of Straily. "Then he got some balls over the middle of the plate. That’s a ballclub … you have to be on top of your game, and that just wasn’t the case tonight."
Derek Norris had two hits for the A’s.
Buehrle (7-7) extended his scoreless innings streak to 20, did not walk a batter and struck out two. He retired 10 of the first 11 batters he faced five days after tossing a two-hit shutout against the Houston Astros.
Blue Jays right-hander Steve Delabar struck out the side in the eighth on nine pitches and leads all AL relievers with 70 strikeouts.
NOTES: Sogard was credited with a single in the first inning of Monday night’s game, with an error taken away from Edwin Encarnacion. It gives Sogard an eight-game hitting streak. … A’s LHP Brett Anderson (foot) threw 57 pitches in a side session. He’ll likely throw live batting practice on Friday. … RHP Bartolo Colon (14-3, 2.54 ERA) is scheduled to start for the A’s on Wednesday. He’s 10-5 lifetime against the Blue Jays. … Blue Jays RHP R.A. Dickey (8-11, 4.86) makes the start for the Blue Jays. He’s 0-3 in his last four starts after a season-best three-game winning streak.