The move wasn't so much of a surprise, but rather the timing of it. Moss' reunion with the A's, though not expected to exceed the length of the spring schedule, lasted just five weeks.
Moss' inclusion in the January trade with Kansas City that brought prized lefty reliever Ryan Buchter to Oakland was largely related to financial implications. The A's took on $5 million of the remaining $8.25 million on Moss' two-year contract -- a responsibility that will remain since he went unclaimed.
"We knew coming into the spring the odds were long for him," A's general manager David Forst said. "I told that to Brandon when we made the trade, and when faced with needing a roster spot right now we just felt it made sense to go ahead and do it sooner rather than later. Anyone else we would've considered taking off the 40-man has a chance to help us."
The A's are set at both corner outfield spots, as well as first base and DH, which left Moss without a position. He would've been a sensible backup option, but the A's are eyeing younger talent for these spots, including Renato Nunez, who is out of options but rehabbing a hamstring injury, and Mark Canha. Both have minimal experience at first base, while the 34-year-old Moss spent much of his first tour with the A's (2012-14) at the position.
"If somebody has a 25-man roster spot, I think there are ways he can help," Forst said. "It was clear it wasn't going to happen here in the outfield or at the DH spot or at first base. I think he absolutely has the chance to help someone, but somebody's got to have a spot for him."
"We wish him the best," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "I hope he hooks on with somebody else. He's still got something left in the tank."
For Labourt, this is his third team in as many days, having been claimed off waivers by the Reds from Detroit on Friday. He made his big league debut with the Tigers last year, pitching to a 4.50 ERA in six relief appearances as a September callup.
LaBourt's fastball reaches 97 mph, per Forst, and he's averaged 8.8 strikeouts per nine innings across seven Minor League seasons. The 23-year-old has a 3.61 ERA and a .227 opponents' average in that span, which includes 157 games (87 starts).
"He's got a great arm," Forst said. "The velocity is great. He struggled at Triple-A last year, but for a while he had gotten his command issues under control. He has a great arm, and we need depth from that side, for sure."
Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010.