OAKLAND -- The A's snagged two international prospects on the same day they were officially allowed to submit contracts for this year's class.
In the fold are a pair of shortstops: Nicaraguan Jesus Lopez, signed to a $950,000 bonus, and Dominican Carlos Hiciano, awarded $750,000. That leaves the A's with just under $300,000 worth of international pool money, as they started with an allotted figure of $1,926,100.
Teams can trade pool money and continue to pluck from the international class through July 15.
Lopez, 16, is considered "one of the best hitters in Latin America," according to Baseball America, who ranked him No. 14 on their international prospect list.
The 6-foot-2 Hiciano, ranked No. 26 on MLB.com's international prospect list, is "a high-energy infielder with good feet and a good throwing action on defense," according to MLB.com's scouting report, which also includes this information:
"Scouts like his strength potential and believe he has the speed to be an above-average baserunner in the future. They also love his athleticism, along with the idea of moving him to third base or the outfield in the future if necessary."
A's not ready to commit to Parker for Thursday
OAKLAND -- The A's aren't yet committing to Jarrod Parker for Thursday's start against the Cubs.
Oakland's right-hander, who left Saturday's start early due to right hamstring tightness, experienced some soreness while throwing a bullpen session on Tuesday, but not enough to worry the A's, who are still hopeful he can stay on track.
"He was able to throw his bullpen without any complications," manager Bob Melvin said, "though there were times when he felt it just a little bit. Going after it in a bullpen with the intensity he did, we'll wait until tomorrow to see how he feels before we make a decision on whether or not he starts on Thursday.
"After he would let the ball go and take a step or so, there were times he said it felt a little bit tight, but it wasn't precluding him from throwing the ball in the fashion, mechanically, that he normally does. So we'll just kind of wait and see."
Parker will play catch on Wednesday, but how he runs will truly indicate his readiness for a start the next day. Should he be unable to go on schedule, the A's are likely to turn to either Dan Straily, who was expected to be recalled Saturday for a start in Kansas City, or top pitching prospect Sonny Gray, who was scratched from his Tuesday start for the River Cats -- presumably as insurance for Parker.
Parker then could potentially start Saturday if the A's decide he needs an extra couple of days of rest.
"I think it'll be pretty evident tomorrow," Melvin said. "If there's some soreness, we probably won't mess with that. If we feel it's all cleared up, then we'll go ahead and start him on Thursday. We're not going to make a decision until we have to."
Gray to start Triple-A All-Star Game
OAKLAND -- The A's organization will be well represented at this year's Triple-A All-Star Game, as it was revealed on Tuesday that three players from the Sacramento River Cats have been invited to the July 17 affair at Aces Ballpark in Reno, Nev.
Right-hander Sonny Gray, Oakland's 2011 first-round Draft pick and No. 5 prospect, will be the starting pitcher for the Pacific Coast League, and fellow first-rounders Michael Choice (No. 2 prospect/No. 96 overall) and Grant Green (No. 3) will join him on the roster.
This marks the second straight season a Sacramento pitcher has been selected to start the game, with righty Graham Godfrey, now in the Pirates' organization, having taken the hill last year.
Gray, 23 and in his first full season at Triple-A, currently ranks fourth in the PCL with a 3.02 ERA. Through 15 starts, he's 7-5 with 98 strikeouts and just 32 walks in 95 1/3 innings. Gray is considered to be the next logical choice to join the A's rotation should a spot become available.
"We all knew he was a talented guy, being a first-round pick, we felt like he would be a quick mover, and it's played out that way," manager Bob Melvin said. "Now, whether or not he starts here anytime soon, I can't tell you that, but he's certainly put himself in a position to."
Choice, also in his first season with Sacramento, entered the day hitting .286 with 11 home runs and 53 RBIs to go along with a .385 on-base percentage through 77 games.
Green, who was just named the PCL Player of the Weeks, also has 11 home runs. Overall, he's batting .320 with 23 doubles and three triples.
• Catcher John Jaso, who hasn't started a game since June 20 due to a left palm abrasion, has "a good chance" of getting the nod behind the plate for Wednesday's game against the Cubs, according to manager Bob Melvin.
• In light of the BART strike, the A's are encouraging fans to carpool to games. According to the club, "all of our lots will be available for parking including offsite parking. We believe that we will be able to accommodate all fans for the next three games" through the homestand that concludes Thursday.
• The A's have gone 54 days without placing a player on the disabled list, their longest such streak since May 28-Aug. 30, 2005 (94 days).