Hassan duking it out to find home with A's

Hassan duking it out to find home with A's

MESA, Ariz. -- Alex Hassan blended right in on his first day in an A's uniform, walking twice in an intrasquad game with his new teammates.

"Two walks, fits right in here," manager Bob Melvin quipped.

"I haven't really done much the last five days at all," said Hassan, "so I was just happy to be on the field and be healthy."

Hassan, 26, is also the third Duke alumnus residing in A's camp this year, joining reliever Dan Otero and first baseman Nate Freiman -- the latter of whom played host to him during Hassan's recruiting trip.

"I don't know if it's the best strategy, because we weren't that good," Hassan said, smiling, "but it's pretty cool, and definitely unusual."

This is technically Hassan's second stay in the A's organization, though his first one lasted all of just three days. The A's claimed him off waivers from the Red Sox in November, lost him to Baltimore on waivers, then stole him back from the Orioles on waivers Friday to address a lack of organizational outfield depth.

The right-handed-hitting Hassan will see time in the outfield and at first base with the A's this spring, after six seasons in the Red Sox organization. He hit .287 with a .378 on-base percentage in 114 games for Triple-A Pawtucket in 2014, including .328 with a .409 OBP against lefties -- making him a prime platoon candidate for a club that greatly struggled to hit southpaws last year.

Hassan was called up by the Red Sox in September but played in just three games, going 1-for-8 with a walk.

"I think it was at the point in my career where it was good to see if there was interest in other places," he said. "I had been in Triple-A for a couple years and had done well there but hadn't gotten a real opportunity."

Of the A's, he said, "It always seemed like a good place to play. They certainly use a lot of guys, which is appealing for someone in my position from the outside looking in."

Elsewhere in camp on Sunday:

• The A's saw two home runs in Sunday's intrasquad game, one from Ben Zobrist, and another towering shot from their No. 1 prospect, Matt Olson.

"You find out a little bit about the guy, too," said Melvin. "His position's first, he can play some outfield, he gets a tough ball out there in the sun that drops, and a lot of times that can affect you a little bit, and all he does is come up the next time and hit a home run."

• Rotation candidate Chris Bassitt started the 4 1/2-inning game and faced four batters, allowing just one hit to Sam Fuld for a leadoff single.

"Everything felt really good. Everything felt on track," said Bassitt. "My cutter was a little off, but for March 1, I'll take everything today."

Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Major Lee-ague, and follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.