Trade could lead to more playing time for Olson

Trade could lead to more playing time for Olson

OAKLAND -- While Yonder Alonso suited up in Mariners gear down the hall Tuesday afternoon, Matt Olson settled into the A's clubhouse for what he hopes to be a permanent stay.

"I said, 'You can unpack your bags and throw your bag underneath somewhere and hopefully not have to repack again here,'" A's manager Bob Melvin said.

Olson, recalled from Triple-A Nashville on Tuesday, is back with the big league club for a sixth time this season, and no longer as simply a backup outfielder. With Alonso dealt to Seattle in a trade that was finalized Sunday, Olson will draw extended playing time at his natural first base position.

Per Melvin, Olson and Ryon Healy will platoon at the position, meaning Olson will be at first base against right-handed starters. On Tuesday, with lefty Ariel Miranda drawing the start for Seattle, Healy began the game at first, before Olson entered as a defensive replacement in the eighth. He singled in his lone at-bat in the 10th of a 7-6 loss.

"It's nice," Olson said. "I never had a problem with the outfield, kind of whatever gets you in the lineup type of deal. Going back to first is very natural for me, and I think I play the position well, so I'm excited."

Olson, 23, was a first-round Draft pick of the A's in 2012 and a highly touted power prospect whose stock somewhat dropped in recent years while he struggled to find consistency with the bat. But the A's still consider him to be a significant piece of their future, much like many of the other young faces residing on their roster.

Olson was batting .272 with 23 home runs and 60 RBIs in 79 games with Nashville. He also has four home runs in 18 games over his previous five stints with Oakland.

"He's having a great year and really deserving to be here," Melvin said. "Obviously with our All-Star, Yonder, there, it wasn't in the cards for him to be here as a first baseman, and that's his position. So we are excited about seeing what was probably our top prospect a few years ago. Hopefully he gets to settle in and show everybody what he can do."

"Everybody who gets up here wants to stay here," Olson said. "I've got to go out there and play when I'm in there."

Worth noting

Outfielder Matt Joyce returned to the lineup Tuesday after serving a two-game suspension for directing an anti-gay slur at a fan during Friday night's game in Anaheim.

• Catcher Ryan Lavarnway, who was designated for assignment Saturday, cleared waivers and was outrighted to Triple-A on Tuesday.

Jane Lee is a reporter for Follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.