PHOENIX -- Non-roster first baseman Mike Sweeney will be making the trip to Japan with the Oakland Athletics this week.
Outfielder Todd Linden was told Monday that he's staying back in Arizona despite a strong spring.
The A's open the season March 25 with the first of two games against the defending World Series champion Boston Red Sox, and the clubs also will play a pair of exhibitions beforehand with Japanese teams.
Sweeney, 34, has had a solid spring after receiving a minor league contract last month to join the A's after spending his first 13 major league seasons with the Kansas City Royals.
"He is playing very well," Oakland manager Bob Geren said Monday. "He's had a great spring. He's been told he's going to Japan. The rosters won't be finalized until right before the game that day, but he's going on the trip."
The A's can bring 30 players to Japan because of the exhibition games, but must set their 25-man roster before the season opener next Tuesday. The 25-man roster can be at 28 players with three ineligibles. Those three likely would be two starters who won't be pitching during the series as well as injured third baseman Eric Chavez, who will stay in Arizona to get more rehabilitation work done and some appearances in minor league games.
If Sweeney makes the team, he would have to be added to the 40-man roster and someone else would have to be taken off to make room. His agents extended the time period for Oakland to make a decision on putting him on the roster, allowing him to make the Japan trip.
The A's were supposed to make a decision on Sweeney by Wednesday but now have until the day of the opener. Sweeney could wind up in a platoon situation at designated hitter with Jack Cust, who also will get time in left field.
Whether the A's decide to keep Dan Johnson is still up in the air, and he is out of options. They have tried trading him before to no avail.
For now, everybody is gearing up to leave the desert Wednesday night.
This Web site address hangs on the bulletin board in the A's clubhouse at Phoenix Muni Stadium: http://www.all-about-teaching-english-in-japan.com/flighttojapan.htm l -- some tips for players to prepare for the 12-hour trip.
Linden stayed in the clubhouse before Monday's Cactus League game against the Royals rather than warm up with his teammates -- a clear sign he's disappointed about the team's choice and that he's taking it as a sign he won't make the club.
The 27-year-old Linden is 5 for 7 with three RBIs in his last three games and batting .577 (15 of 26) overall this spring. He walked and scored a run in Monday's 6-2 win over the Royals.
"What kind of message is that supposed to portray to me after having a good spring? 'You have no shot,' " Linden said of not traveling to Tokyo. " 'You aren't in the mix' -- when they told you you'd have a shot."
ROCKIES 4, GIANTS 2 (10), at Tucson, Ariz. -- Ian Stewart was simply looking for a pitch to drive.
The former Modesto Nut drove it straight over the right-field wall to lift Colorado over San Francisco in 10 innings.
"He left one up and I was able to hit it hard," Stewart said of his homer off Alex Hinshaw. "It's getting late in spring training so we'd like to get some wins under our belt and get used to winning."
A'S 6, ROYALS 2, at Phoenix -- Dana Eveland's five shutout innings in Oakland's victory likely sealed his spot in the A's rotation.
Eveland, who came to the A's from Arizona in the trade for Dan Haren, gave up three hits, walked two, struck out four and induced nine ground ball outs against the Royals before giving way to Chad Gaudin, who is recovering from hip and foot surgery.
Gaudin, who struck out one, figures to be the A's fourth starter and is slated for his first start on April 12 when the A's travel to Cleveland.
ASTROS 12, DODGERS 10, at Vero Beach, Fla. -- Michael Bourn and Hunter Pence hit consecutive home runs and Houston beat Los Angeles in the final exhibition game at Dodgertown.
After 60 years at the camp, the Dodgers are set to move next year to an $80 million complex that they'll share with the Chicago White Sox in Glendale, Ariz.
"It is a special place," said former Dodgers ace Carl Erskine, who played the national anthem on his harmonica. He threw the first pitch at cozy Holman Stadium when it opened in 1953, back when grassy embankments served as the outfield walls.
SHORT HOPS -- Japanese right-hander Daisuke Matsuzaka will start Boston's regular-season opener against Oakland in Tokyo on March 25. ... Juan Gonzalez (abdominal strain) missed his seventh consecutive spring training game Monday and is losing ground in his effort to win a spot on the Cardinals.