OAKLAND -- The A's on Sunday claimed infielder Luke Hughes off waivers from the Twins, signaling a likely change in the third-base picture.
With Hughes, a career .224 hitter, set to join the team Monday, it's probable that Oakland demotes Josh Donaldson, who entered the day with a dismal .094 average through nine games.
But a corresponding 25-man roster move isn't expected until Hughes' arrival, so manager Bob Melvin refrained from divulging any information related to the looming transaction. However, when asked if Hughes would be inserted into the third-base mix, Melvin replied, "There's a good chance of that."
"He's a versatile guy that can play anywhere in the infield," he said. "He's got a little power, and we'll see what he has to offer."
Hughes, 27, appeared on Minnesota's Opening Day roster and went 2-for-10 with two RBIs in four games before he was designated for assignment Wednesday. Last year he played in 96 games for the Twins, compiling a .223 average with seven home runs and 30 RBIs.
The Australian native, who gives the A's three Aussies in the clubhouse, has spent the majority of his big league career on the right side of the infield, having appeared in 40 games at second base and 37 at first. He's played in 16 at third base, which was his primary position in the Minors.
To clear a spot on the 40-man roster for Hughes, the A's transferred lefty Dallas Braden to the 60-day disabled list. Braden, who was shut down April 2, was initially expected to begin his throwing program again this week, but whether he does is unknown.