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Athletics Select Jonah Heim

The Athletics have selected the contract of catcher Jonah Heim, per a club announcement. He’d have qualified for minor-league free agency had he not been moved onto the 40-man roster.

Heim, 24, is a former fourth-round pick who took some time getting acclimated to the professional ranks as a hitter. He hasn’t yet debuted in the majors but is obviously seen as a near-term option in Oakland.

Last season represented a breakthrough for Heim, who was acquired from the Rays in the 2017-18 offseason. He posted a .282/.370/.431 batting line in 208 Double-A plate appearances, walking 24 times against just 27 strikeouts. Then, he boosted his power (as did so many others) in a 119 PA run at Triple-A, where he slashed .358/.412/.557.

The A’s are expected to rely heavily upon newcomer Sean Murphy in 2019. Josh Phegley (or a replacement) will likely open as the reserve. But Heim will also be an option if and when a need arises.

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