Lavarnway, who agreed to a minor league contract with the A's on Nov. 30, is looking to make an impact in both the World Baseball Classic and with the A's this spring, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
The veteran will depart A's camp on Feb. 27 to play for Team Israel in Seoul, South Korea, and will be busy before and after the tournament trying to make his mark on the A's. The former Red Sox prospect, who was a sixth-round pick in 2008 out of Yale, has hit only .198 over 134 major league games in stints with Boston, the Orioles and Braves. However, Oakland is reportedly impressed with his ability to handle pitchers, and he also comes to the Bay Area on the recommendation of former A's and current Red Sox hitting coach Chili Davis, who was familiar with Lavarnway from his time in the Boston organization. Manager Bob Melvin has described Lavarnway as a possible "late bloomer" from his observations thus far, and he could certainly carve a out a spot for himself on the major league roster considering Oakland's relative dearth of right-handed backstop depth behind Josh Phegley. "It seemed like there would be an opportunity here," he said, "and that's all I can ask for at this point in my career - for someone to believe in me and give me a chance to play up to my potential."