A’s sign Chad Pinder, Burch Smith to one-year deals

The A’s signed utility player Chad Pinder and reliever Burch Smith to one-year deals Tuesday, avoiding salary arbitration with two eligible players.

Pinder signed for $2.275 million, a strong deal for a player who was not a lineup regular in 2020.

Smith, 30, signed for $705,000, according to USA Today’s Bob Nightengale.

Pinder, 28, played in 24 regular-season games, batting .232 with two home runs and missing time late in the season with a hamstring injury. He hit .318 with two homers in seven postseason games.

In each of the previous three seasons, Pinder hit at least 13 home runs while playing seven defensive positions. Mostly an outfielder in 2019, Pinder primarily played infield in 2020 and has played both shortstop and second base for the A’s – who are unsettled at both positions right now with Marcus Semien and Tommy La Stella hitting free agency.

Smith, traded from the Giants to the A’s in February, started his season with 10 ⅓ scoreless innings before allowing three runs in his sixth and final outing and leaving with a forearm strain.

The A’s said at the time Smith’s injury did not involve his elbow ligament, on which he’d had Tommy John surgery in 2015. The right-hander was a pleasant surprise in a short 2020 sample size for Oakland given his 6.57 ERA in 65 major-league appearances entering the season.

The A’s announced the deals Tuesday, one day before the deadline for…

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