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Recent reports have the Oakland Athletics interested in Manny Ramirez as a possible DH option in 2012. According to ESPN's Buster Olney, the A's will make a final decision in the coming week whether or not to officially try and sign the slugger. They have been checking out his workouts and some reports indicate the A's are among the finalists for his services, along with Toronto and Baltimore. Of course, if they haven't officially decided to sign him, I am curious how they were already finalists. Maybe it's just another Manny being Manny moment?
Grant Brisbee put together an interesting piece about the A's reported pursuits of Manny Ramirez and Magglio Ordonez. The most pertinent part, in my mind, is the issue of blocking other players. If the A's are engaging some kind of rebuilding strategy, it would make a lot more sense for the team to see what guys like Brandon Allen, Chris Carter, Michael Taylor and Kila Ka'aihue can do at the Major League level. In a season where the odds are slim that this team will be any good, is a Manny Ramirez or Magglio Ordonez worth the opportunity cost of not giving one of the prospects a chance?
Oakland Athletics Co-Owner Lew Wolff was on hand at the Rotary Club of San Jose for a Q & A session on Wednesday, which the Contra Costa Times' Joe Stiglich was in attendance. Wolff touched on a number of A's questions related to their move to San Jose, including renaming the team, buying the San Francisco Giants' territorial rights, as well as the team's stance with MLB on the building of a stadium in San Jose.
Stiglich reports that If the team moves to San Jose, they will be renamed the "San Jose A's," obviously. Wolff noted that whether it be from Philadelphia or Kansas City, the team will always keep the "Athletics" moniker. There was a even a stuffed version of Stomper the mascot on hand, fittingly wearing a "San Jose Athletics" uniform.
As for the Giants territorial rights, Wolff said "that has not been discussed with us." Stiglich wasn't buying it:
Considering nearly three years has passed since Major League Baseball began researching the A's stadium options, I'd be shocked if MLB hasn't tried to broker a financial settlement between the teams regarding territorial rights, if indeed what Wolff says is true.
Oh those darned, mystical territorial rights. Who really knows your truths?
Wolff also discussed the importance of revenue sharing, claiming they used "every penny" of the $32 million received from MLB. Wolff noted the general rule of thumb (according to him) is to use half of a team's revenue on the players payroll. That was around $67 million in 2011, so needless to say the A's really need that money.
Wolff was not pleased with his status with MLB on talks to put a stadium in San jose either:
"in the next couple months would be great...I'm not going to continue this much longer...what we want is an answer. We want a ‘Yes, you can relocate and share the territory,' or ‘You can't.' But not having any answer is difficult not just for me, but for the 130 people that work for us, for planning, for our baseball team every year."
Lastly, Stiglich noted the friendliness of the crowd in San Jose, but with Wolff's relationship soured with many a Oakland A's fan, he had this little quip to add about Wolff's Q & A:
You can't help but wonder how he would have been greeted in Oakland for a similar function.
That's some nice food for thought for A's fans.
For more on the A's, head over to Athletics Nation.
Manny Ramirez is quite the character. In his prime, he might have been the most feared slugger in baseball, even in the Steroid Era. That being said, Ramirez has tested positive for performance enhancing drugs multiple times and will have to serve a 50-game suspension should he make his return to the big leagues.
"Baltimore, Toronto and Oakland have shown interest in giving an opportunity for Manny to return," a source told ESPNDeportes.com. "And he is close to making a decision."
Ramirez, 39, is the author of 555 career home runs and a .312 batting average over 19 season.
While no offers have been made, a report indicates that "Oakland would guarantee more opportunities" than the Orioles or Blue Jays.
At this stage of his career Manny would bring more baggage along with him than most would like, but he could provide a boost to ticket sales and potentially even merchandise sales should he perform well. Again, though, do the Athletics really want to bring a cancer upon their clubhouse when they're set on rebuilding? I'm not so sure.
For more on the A's and to discuss the possibility of signing Ramirez, head on over to Athletics Nation.
The Oakland Athletics conducted their annual FanFest Sunday afternoon as they get ready to head down to Phoenix for spring training. FanFest is mostly a chance for the fans to meet their favorite players and hear some basic Q&As. This year's FanFest did feature some interesting tidbits with the most notable being the mention of Brandon McCarthy as a candidate for the opening day nod.
The A's will travel to Japan for a brief series with the Mariners and McCarthy and Bartolo Colon are expected to get the first two starts. As the most veteran members of the A's pitching staff at this point, the move makes sense. Dallas Braden would have gotten the Opening Day start, but he remains a bit questionable heading into the start of the season. He could be ready for his first time through the rotation, but there is no real need to push it if he is not completely ready.
Beyond McCarthy, Colon and Braden, the final two rotation spots remain up for grabs with Brett Anderson likely to return in August. Guys like Jarrod Parker, Tom Milone, Tyson Ross and others will be in the hunt for rotation sports in what should be an exciting spring training battle.
The Oakland Athletics are not spending a lot of money on big league free agents in 2012, but they are continuing to try and stock up their farm system with young talent. The latest news has the A's reportedly signing a young shortstop out of the Dominican Republic. Reports from the Dominican Prospect League website indicate Yairo Muñoz signed with the A's for $280,000.
Reports indicate that Muñoz is primarily known for his fielding, but is a solid contact hitter. Given his age one would imagine he could grow into his bat. Muñoz played in the Under Armour All-American Baseball Game at Wrigley Field last August and was 2-for-4 with what proved to be the game-winning hit.
The A's have Cliff Pennington starting at shortstop in the majors, but otherwise have no shortstops on their 40-man roster. Grant Green was a first round draft pick in 2009 as a shortstop, but he has since been converted into a centerfielder. They drafted B.A. Vollmuth in the third round last year, but he has since moved to third base, leaving the A's short of future options.
In his prime, which was about seven years ago at this point, Manny Ramirez was one of the most feared hitters in baseball. And while he has tested positive for steroids and would face a 50-game ban should he re-join MLB, there are reportedly a few teams interested in the slugger. He would likely be limited to a DH role, and the Oakland Athletics could potentially have a need to fill in their lineup.
According to an unnamed source -- (aren't they all unnamed sources these days?) -- the A's have shown a lot of interest in Ramirez in recent weeks. Here is the latest update from ESPNDeportes.com.
The Oakland Athletics are "very interested" in making Manny Ramirez their designated hitter next season, a source told ESPNDeportesLosAngeles.com.
Ramirez, 39, has been working out in Miami since December and has plans to have open workout sessions for clubs interested in his services at the end of January.
"The Orioles and Blue Jays saw Manny work and Baltimore liked what it saw, but Oakland has been the team that has expressed the most interest, even before having him work out," the source said.
And as for Ramirez's reaction to embarrassing himself and his family with the steroid suspension:
"Every day that goes by I regret the decisions I made due to bad advice," Ramirez told ESPNDeportesLosAngeles.com in December. "We're all human and we make mistakes. Everyone deserves an opportunity to show that they have changed."
There is no denying that Man Ram would certainly put a few extra fans into the seats should he sign with Oakland, but he comes with plenty of baggage. Not only will he not be eligible to play until June 1 or so, but he has also earned a reputation of being a poor teammate with a 'me-first' attitude. With the Athletics dedicated to rebuilding in 2012, does it really make sense to bring an aging veteran that brings more questions than answers at this point in his career?
For more on the team, head on over to Athletics Nation.
The A's are reportedly close to a deal with OF Jonny Gomes, who grew up in the Bay Area and should provide outfield depth. He recently split 2011 between Cincinnati and Washington, playing in 120 games overall.
According to a tweet by FOXSports.com's Jon Morosi, the Oakland A's have acquired Seth Smith from the Colorado Rockies for right-handed pitcher Guillermo Moscoso and left-handed pitcher Josh Outman.
Smith avoided arbitration on Sunday and signed for $2.4 million before being dealt to the A's. Smith's name had surfaced throughout the offseason in trade rumors and he had been linked to deals with the Cleveland Indians, Boston Red Sox, New York Mets, Seattle Mariners and Atlanta Braves, according to FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal.Smith seemed to be on the outside looking in to start in the Rockies outfield. Incumbents Dexter Fowler and Carlos Gonzalez and recently-acquired Michael Cuddyer are set to start.
Smith, 29, should start right away from the A's. Smith hit .284/.347/.483 with 32 doubles, nine triples and 15 home runs in 533 plate appearances last season.
For more on the Oakland A's and their offseason moves, check out Athletics Nation.
Bartolo Colon has agreed to a one-year big-league deal with the A’s, pending a physical. More to come at ESPN.com.
— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) January 15, 2012
The 38 year-old right-hander earned himself a 4.00 ERA along with a 7.4 K/9 and 2.2 BB/9 for the New York Yankees last season in 164 1/3 innings of work. Colon signed a minor league contract with the Yanks last winter and was productive as their 5th starter in 2011, though seemed to slow down as the season went on a bit.
Colon didn’t pitch in 2010 due to injury, and has already had some questionable stem cells treatments to his elbow and rotator cuff. But for the right price, Colon could prove to be a nice pickup for the A’s.
The terms of the contract were not released.
For more on the A’s, head over to Athletics Nation.
The Oakland Athletics re-signed center fielder Coco Crisp to a two-year deal that will become official tomorrow, and Crisp notes that his decision ultimately came down to the A's and the Tampa Bay Rays. Obviously, there are factors on both sides of the coin to take into account for each team, but Crisp went with the A's for a variety of reasons. As he told Susan Slusser, though he liked the idea of playing for manager Joe Maddon in Tampa Bay, he liked that the A's are on the West Coast, that they have spring training in Arizona and he's closer to his family in Southern California. The advantage of knowing the current A's players and having good relationships with them factored in as well, and he thinks that the A's have more potential than people might think.
Responding to the idea that the A's won't be in the hunt in the AL West, Crisp had this to say:
"That's on paper, but I know the talent these young players have. We could be a surprising team. I know there are a lot of players who could step it up, including me.
"It was a very tough decision, but I've loved playing in Oakland. I've had a lot of fun there, and I'm happy to be there again. We have a lot of kids with a lot of potential, and underdogs can shock some people. I'm excited to be a part of it."
Crisp compared the A's to his favorite NBA team, the Clippers, saying, "You know the Lakers are going to be good, but that's not that exciting. The Clippers, they're young, they're exciting to watch - and they've done well."
To discuss Crisp returning to the A's, head to Athletics Nation.
The Oakland Athletics were looking like they were cutting payroll and trying to rebuild as a team. But it looks like they're going to try and not totally give up on next year. Buster Olney has this report.
In some ways, this signing does make sense, as it's low-risk with decent rewards. The A's did have the potential need for a veteran or two given all the youth and so few outfielders. The payroll was incredibly low prior to this move, so it's not like the Athletics are going out and making a big splash on the free agent market.
Crisp was tied for the second highest batting average on the team among regular starters (with Cliff Pennington at .264), and remains a strong stolen base threat when healthy. He still plays very solid defense in center field because of how far he can cover an area in catching a fly ball. Crisp has a poor arm but great range. It should ensure the A's have some offensive stability at a few spots in their lineup.
To discuss Crisp returning to the A's, head to Athletics Nation.
Andrew Bailey knew for a long time that the Boston Red Sox were after him, so he's probably been preparing to be a member of the team for quite some time. Bailey knew Boston probably wanted a closer, and that they'd be willing to pay up for him and give him a chance to star in a big market. Based on how he sounds, he seems to be relishing the opportunity. Jane Lee has more on the situation.
"I love the Bay Area, but if you’re going to get traded, I can’t think of a better situation for myself and my family to be in. It’s a big market, big team, and I’m excited about the opportunity to win over there, especially knowing Bobby V."
The Sox are a team that have struggled recently to have successful moments in the postseason, and some have that has come down to shaky closer play. With Bailey, the Red Sox are hoping to have a steady hand in the bullpen they can rely on turning the ball to in the ninth inning.
The Oakland Athletics will undoubtedly miss Bailey, as they now have to again sort through their pitching staff and figure out if they have someone they trust to close baseball games. It's hard to see anyone that fits the profile on the team at the moment.
The Boston Red Sox have been going hard after Andrew Bailey for quite some time. With Jonathan Papelbon departing, the Sox need a closer to finish off their games in the hard-hitting AL, and they might have found the bargain they were looking for when they managed to swing the Bailey trade.
The Oakland Athletics didn't really get that much in return. Josh Reddick was their prize, if you can call him that. Reddick did play right field for the Sox when Ryan Kalish and J.D. Drew got injured and had a fairly nice season, so it's a decent prize.
The Red Sox also picked up Ryan Sweeney, who was average in Oakland and will likely be around average in Boston. The A's also got prospects Miles Head and Raul Alcantara, but neither is expected to make big contributions in the near future. No big surprises here.
Hard to say who won this trade, but it looks like Boston got what they wanted out of it and Oakland will have to hope Reddick pans out.
The Oakland A's made a significant move this past week, dealing Gio Gonzalez to the Washington Nationals for four promising prospects. Because of the additions to the roster, the Athletics were forced to create room on the 40-man roster. On Friday, the front office designated Landon Powell and Jai Miller for assignment.
Powell, 29, played a handful of games in Oakland this past season and served as a backup catcher. He will have to go through waivers, but there's a good chance he will make it through and be able to return with the A's. Powell earned himself a reputation of being a great teammate and hopes to return.
Jai Miller, 25, was a bit more of a surprising move, but the outfielder has struggled to earn consistent playing time at the Major League level. There is also a chance he returns to the organization, although it's less likely than Powell.
We will have updates on where both players end up. For more on the A's, head on over to Athletics Nation.
The Oakland Athletics continued their rebuilding project on Thursday when they dealt Gio Gonzalez to the Washington Nationals for four highly-regarded prospects. While you may not know their names, A.J. Cole, Brad Peacock, Tommy Milone and Derek Norris all figure to play a big role in the Athletics' organization.
Here is a brief scouting report on each player from SB Nation's own Minor League Ball:
A.J. Cole, RHP: A 19-year-old right-hander, Cole was drafted in the fourth round in 2010 from high school in Oviedo, Florida. Tall and lean at 6-4, 180, Cole has a mid-90s fastball and made progress refining his mechanics and command this year. His curve and change are works in progress, but improving, and he has the upside of a number one or two starter.
Milone fights the skepticism of radar-wielding scouts, but he locates his below-average fastball and adequate curve with precision. His changeup and deceptive action give hitters fits, and so far no one has been able to figure out how to defeat him consistently. Milone has a small margin for error, but has clearly earned a major league trial and could end up being a very solid fourth starter.
A 22-year-old catcher, he hit just .210 this year for Double-A Harrisburg, but with 20 homers and 77 walks. He's developed into a solid defensive catcher, throwing out 40% of runners in '11 while steadily improving his blocking and receiving skills. Norris isn't going to hit for average, but his power, plate discipline, and glovework should make him a productive regular.
Peacock has always had a good arm, hitting 92-94 MPH, topping at 96-97, but was mediocre in the past due to command issues with his secondary pitches. He polished up his mechanics this year and developed better location with his plus curveball and improving changeup.
All four players were given a 'B' grade of some kind by Sickels, which is an impressive haul for Oakland. Others such as Keith Law and Baseball America also viewed the A's return as a good one, with the potential for all four players to be regulars in Oakland within a season or two.
The Oakland Athletics seem to be returning to their Moneyball roots. They love to send away quality talent in order to find young prospects who could deliver some hope for the team in the near future. And this seems to be one of those ultimate trades.
The A's have fleeced the Washington Nationals of much of their young pitching talent in their farm system. Gio Gonzalez was dealt to the Athletics for four pitchers -- RHP A.J. Cole, RHP Brad Peacock, C Derek Norris and SP Tom Milone. All of these pitchers are under contract through 2015, meaning the A's can develop them into a hopeful starting triumvirate down the line.
This is a solid haul for the Athletics. Although Gonzalez is a solid pitcher, by himself he wasn't really going to put Oakland on the map. Landing all these players could prove to be a more sustainable strategy for Billy Beane and give Oakland a better shot at contending sooner rather than later. And Washington becomes better-suited to contend in the NL East. Everyone appears to win.
If the A's can trade Andrew Bailey for more pitching talent, Oakland could be back on the rebuilding road, but their road back might not be quite as perilous.
Keith Law shot out a tweet a few minutes ago indicating the Washington Nationals have come to terms on a trade with the Oakland Athletics for starting pitcher Gio Gonzalez. According to Law, the A's acquired RHP A.J. Cole, RHP Brad Peacock, C Derek Norris and SP Tom Milone.
If the deal does in fact go through, it would provide incredible depth to the A's pitching. MLB.com rates Peacock, Cole and Norris as three of the Nationals top five prospects. Milone is not a high profile talent, but even without significant velocity on his fastball, he somehow manages to strike people out and avoid walks. It isn't high profile, but it gets the job done.
The A's have loaded up on pitching with their recent deals, but Derek Norris brings an intriguing positional option. Norris is a catcher who spent last season in the Eastern League. John Sickels described him as follows: "Loads of power, walks, and scouting reports on his defense are getting more positive each year. Ranking may seem high for such a low batting average, but I see him as a Mike Napoli/Mickey Tettleton type who can be productive even with a low average." MLB.com had the following to say:
After having a big year in his first taste of full-season ball, Norris didn't put up the same numbers with a move to the Carolina League the following season. Though injuries played a part in that, he did show the power stroke that had impressed people when he went to the Arizona Fall League. A top catching prospect, Norris is an on-base machine, almost to his detriment. He has a good arm behind the plate, and he's continuing to work on the other aspects of catching. He moved up to Double-A in 2011 and returned to the AFL, where he was selected for the Rising Stars game.
The A's are going to be incredibly young in 2012, but the influx of young talent could make them an intriguing team to watch. We'll have more as this deal becomes official.
A report out of Boston made it seem like Athletics GM Billy Beane had a meeting with Red Sox brass during last week's Winter Meetings in Dallas, but nothing has come of it yet. Bailey, who came up through the A's farm system, would certainly be disheartened of he has dealt:
"If it happens, it wouldn't be too much of a shock," Bailey said. "Coming up in this organization, you understand we're a small-market team. Billy Beane and company build from within and trade guys when they're approaching arbitration years and free agency."
Bailey missed two months last year with a forearm strain and some elbow inflammation, although the 2009 AL Rookie of the Year and two-time All-Star still finished with 24 saves, including his last 15 opportunities, and still has plenty left in the tank.
Bailey is a New Jersey native who spends his offseasons in New England outside of New Haven, Conn with his wife.
For more on the Red Sox, head over to Athletics Nation.
With many of this year's free agents finding homes in the past week, fans should expect to hear more and more trade rumors in the coming weeks. The Oakland Athletics are interested in shedding payroll and acquiring young talent, and they can do so should the organization decide to deal Gio Gonzalez or Andrew Bailey. Multiple teams have checked in on the asking price of the two pitchers, and while there are clubs with interest in both players, do not expect a package deal anytime soon.
Teams with two marketable assets generally prefer to trade them separately to maximize the return. The Athletics likely will do that with left-hander Gio Gonzalez and closer Andrew Bailey. Certain teams, however, are interested in both Gonzalez and Bailey, according to league sources.
It is unlikely that that the Athletics will package both their chips in the same trade, sources say. But the mere possibility raises the potential for a bigger deal. The Red Sox, Rangers and Reds are among the teams that have shown interest in both Gonzalez and Bailey.
The main problem with pulling off such trades is that teams offering veterans with rising salaries want back packages of high-value, low-cost players - the very players that most clubs are reluctant to move. The Athletics likely will trade before Bailey before Gonzalez, preferring to hold off on Gonzalez until after the winning bidder for the rights to Japanese right-hander Yu Darvish is identified. At that point, Gonzalez should be in even greater demand.
It makes sense for the A's to split up their two trade chips should they decide to move both of them, especially with the organization having so many current needs. Instead of only having one franchise to pick prospects from, Oakland would have the luxury of picking through various farm systems to find the players they like most.
For more on the trade rumors, head on over to Athletics Nation.
The Oakland Athletics had a decision to make regarding Dallas Braden. Braden was eligible for arbitration this offseason, and it figured that if he didn't get a new deal, he would file for it to try and get a better deal for himself. The process would have taken longer for both sides, and it could've been trouble for all involved.
The A's weren't about to let that issue linger, so they got Braden locked up quick. Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
Braden is in good shape when he's healthy; he had a one year, $3.35 million deal last season, although it's fair to say he probably didn't play as well he would've liked because of his injuries. However, he's quickly being considered as a veteran on this unit, maximizing his importance to this young team and young pitching staff. Although he probably isn't the best pitcher available, the deal is reasonable and proportional to Braden's overall worth.
With Braden expected to be back at some point early next season (maybe early!), this all seems fairly rationl.
To discuss Braden and the A's, head on over to Athletics Nation.
The Oakland Athletics entered the offseason expecting to lose most of their free agents, and one more is just about out the door. A week after declining arbitration from the A's, outfielder Josh Willingham is reportedly close to an agreement with the Minnesota Twins. Willingham has been linked to the Rockies and Indians as well and reports indicate he will make a decision within the next 48 hours.
While the A's will not receive a pick directly from the Twins, they will still receive some compensation for the loss. As the team looks to build for its eventual new home somewhere, draft picks will be essential to building up a core for this team.
The A's outfield will have plenty of room for competition with Willingham soon to join David DeJesus on the road elsewhere. Add in an eventually departing Coco Crisp and you have three spots open for young players. The A's added outfielder Collin Cowgill in the Trevor Cahill-Jarrod Parker trade and he will likely immediately compete for one of those three spots.
For more discussion on what will continue to be a busy offseason for the A's, check out Athletics Nation.
The Oakland Athletics made a handful of moves on Monday that gives a solid idea as to what the 2012 team is shaping up to look like.
According to John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle, Oakland has signed first baseman Daric Barton, utility player Adam Rosales and catcher Landon Powell to one-year contracts. Barton has been with A's since his MLB debut in 2007 and is a career .252 hitter. Rosales came to Oakland in 2010 and has put up a .237/.290/.361 line over two seasons with the club. Powell has been with the Athletics since his MLB debut in 2009 and famously caught Dallas Braden's perfect game in 2010.
On the arbitration front, Shea also reports that all six of Oakland's arbitration-eligible players have been tendered contracts. These players are All-Star pitcher Gio Gonzalez, starters Dallas Braden and Brandon McCarthy, relievers Joey Devine and Andrew Bailey and outfielder Ryan Sweeney.
The bulk of Oakland's pitching staff now appears to be set for next season, although the trade talks surrounding Gonzalez are beginning to heat up.
For all news and information regarding Oakland baseball, please visit Athletics Nation.
The Oakland Athletics are entertaining offers for their All-Star left-hander, Gio Gonzalez. According to several different reports, the Toronto Blue Jays are in hot pursuit and may be the most attractive option for both sides.
On Monday, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle tweeted the following:
Slusser later followed this up with a post on SFGate's Athletics blog, The Drumbeat by noting that the Blue Jays are flush with prospects in the wake of the Roy Halladay trade. Her sources are claiming that the A's are seeking a minimum of two of any organization's top four prospects for Gonzalez, as well as some mid-level minor leaguers.
Another Slusser article on the Chronicle website noted that the Athletics are perfectly willing to hold on to their top players if they're unable to find a perfect deal and move them next summer when the market improves. Gonzalez would definitely qualify as one of Oakland's elite players.
For all news and information on the Oakland A's, please visit Athletics Nation.
The Oakland Athletics completed their first big move of the offseason as they completed a deal with the Arizona Diamondbacks that sent Trevor Cahill and Craig Breslow to Arizona in exchange for Jarrod Parker, Collin Cowgill and Ryan Cook. The move is intended as one of many possible moves to help the team reset itself for their eventual move into a new ballpar.
Assistant general manager David Forst chatted with the media about the deal Friday evening. He acknowledged the difficulty of trading a front end starter like Trevor Cahill. However, he believes the team got a prospect with the top-of-the-rotation stuff. Jarrod Parker could very well prove to be better than Cahill and the team gets an extra three years of service time.
Even if they end up a wash, the A's landed an outfielder in Collin Cowgill that will immediately compete for a spot in their starting outfield. With the entire starting trio of Coco Crisp, Josh Willingham and David DeJesus gone or soon to be gone, there are plenty of roster spots open. Add in a live arm like relief pitcher Ryan Cook and it could prove to be a very solid deal for the A's.
As Forst said though, this does not necessarily end the A's wheeling and dealing this offseason. The A's have made it clear they do not "have" to trade any of their pitchers, but if the deal is right they will make it. That means Gio Gonzalez and Andrew Bailey will continue to sit out their collecting offers. With more than two months until pitchers and catchers report to spring training, there is plenty of time to work on a deal.
The Oakland Athletics and Arizona Diamondbacks completed one of the bigger deals of the offseason thus far on Friday afternoon. The A's sent starting pitcher Trevor Cahill, reliever Craig Breslow, and cash considerations to Arizona for prized pitching prospect Jarrod Parker, relief pitcher Ryan Cook and outfielder Collin Cowgill.
The players involved recently discussed the deal with Susan Slusser of the SF Chronicle. Here are a few of the highlights, all coming courtesy of Twitter. As for the guys coming to Oakland:
Colin Cowgill tells me: "I'm super excited. I just learned the news and I couldn't be more excited." Hopes for starting OF spot.
Jarrod Parker tells me: "It's a real shock to be moved, but I'm glad to get an opportunity with Oakland."
Ryan Cook: "It came as an absolute shocker, my emotions are mixed. ... But I'm excited to embark on this journey with Oakland."
And for the guys headed to the desert to join the D-backs:
Trevor Cahill tells me: "I'd heard the rumors but I never thought I'd be the guy to get traded."
Cahill: "Looking at it positively, I get to go somewhere where they want to win now. I loved it in Oakland, I'm comfortable there"
Breslow tells me: "I've been on the other side, not being desired.... I've never been traded to a team that wants my services."
On paper, this looks like a move that could greatly benefit both teams. The D-backs to improve their club as they attempt to win in the very near future, while the A's continue to build for the future and rid themselves of salary obligations.
For more on the deal, head on over to Athletics Nation.
Oakland Athletics beat writer Susan Slusser has reportedly confirmed that the A's have dealt All Star pitcher Trevor Cahill to the Arizona Diamondbacks. Reports indicate the A's are sending Cahill and relief pitcher Craig Breslow to the DBacks for RHP Jarrod Parker, OF Collin Cowgill and RHP Ryan Cook. The deal has not been announced by the A's, but all indications are that it is just about wrapped up.
Once the deal does officially go through, Parker will immediately contend for a spot in the A's 2012 starting rotation. That specific spot remains to be seen given that the A's are still actively shopping much of the rest of their rotation.
Cowgill will likely immediately compete for a starting outfield spot. David DeJesus left for the Chicago Cubs and Josh Willingham is not going to be returning, which opens up a couple spots for some healthy competition. Chris Carter and Michael Taylor will be competing for those and other spots. Ryan Sweeney is the only significant outfielder from the A's 2011 25-man roster still under contract.
Ryan Cook will get a shot at a bullpen spot in 2012, although it is possible he could start the season at Triple-A. Cook split his 2011 season between Double-A Mobile and Triple-A Reno. He made 48 appearances between the two and finished with a 2.21 ERA over 61.0 innings.
The A's are in a bit of a fire-sale mode at this point as they look to build a team that could conceivably compete when a hypothetical stadium opens in 2015. Although Trevor Cahill had club options after 2015, that also boosted his value and provided a potential for the best return. The A's will hit plenty of speed bumps in 2012, but they will likely have some intriguing young talent to keep fans interested.
The rumor mill heated up on Friday as the Oakland Athletics and Arizona Diamondbacks were connected on a possible trade involving starting pitcher Trevor Cahill. Naturally this has led to a flood of competing rumors about the deal. Initially the reports were a deal just involving RHP Jarrod Parker. Then the deal would also include Collin Cowgill, with Craig Breslow joining Cahill in heading to Arizona.
Ken Rosenthal tweeted the deal was still fluid but that it was close to being done. This came shortly after Bob Nightengale tweeted that Arizona plans on having Parker fill their fifth starter role and thus would not include him in the deal. Parker and Cahill are actually the same age, but Parker has no MLB service time while Cahill has three years of MLB service time.
This situation remains in flux with competing rumors flying around. It sounds like a deal could happen very soon. Of course, this deal could also fall apart in a matter of minutes, so we'll just have to wait and see. For more on the A's, head over to Athletics Nation.
The Oakland Athletics rumor mill remains hot and heavy even with teams dispersing from the winter meetings to continue their offseason business. The A's have reportedly made it known that everybody but Jemile Weeks is on the table for possible trades. Gio Gonzalez was the big name this past week, but fellow All-Star Trevor Cahill is also getting into the mix.
Reports out of the winter meetings indicate Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers spoke with Oakland about both Gonzalez and Cahill. The Diamondbacks have several top prospects, although not all are readily available. Jon Heyman is reporting Tyler Skaggs is unavailable and Trevor Bauer is ineligible to be dealt.
Parker had Tommy John surgery in 2009 and sat out all of 2010. He returned in 2011 and struggled early with his command. It started to come together in the second half of the season as he put together a dominant July in which he was 4-0 with a 1.93 ERA. He was a late season call up and got a start in for the Diamondbacks, as well as one appearance in the playoffs.
Cowgill is coming off a 2011 season in which he hit .354 with 13 home runs and 70 RBIs in 98 games at Triple-A Reno. Cowgill spent the final month and a half of the season with the Diamondbacks where he hit .239 in 36 games.
The big news of the day saw superstar slugger Albert Pujols sign with the Los Angeles Angels. Pujols joined C.J. Wilson in signing with the Angels and setting them up as the favorites in the American League West. Pujols will likely take over at first base, which could leave the Angels looking to move Mark Trumbo either to a new position or a new team.
There have been some rumors the Oakland Athletics might be interested in a Bailey-for-Trumbo deal. That was subsequently shot down by another source, but anything is possible at this point. The A's have some potential options at first base in Brandon Allen and Chris Carter, but given the moves they may or may not be considering, nothing can really be ruled out. The team is potentially trying to move guys like Gio Gonzalez and Andrew Bailey and those deals will involve plenty of moving parts.
As for any other impact on the A's from the Angels acquisitions? Well, let's just say, it's a good thing the A's were not planning on contending the next few years. It might be rather difficult otherwise.
The MLB winter meetings are in full swing and although Billy Beane left town Tuesday evening, the rumor mill continues to furiously churn out possible destinations for starting pitcher Gio Gonzalez. The A's are in a continual rebuilding mode as they ideally are looking to have a competitive team in time for a new stadium in 2015. Whether the stadium happens or not is a side issue for the purposes of the here and now. The odds of Gio Gonzalez being around for any new stadium are slim as he approaches free agency before then.
The Miami Marlins are the most prominent team mentioned as they are looking to add some quality pitching around an improving offense. The A's reportedly have asked for Jesus Montero and either Dellin Betances or Manny Banuelos from the Yankees. They are also reportedly talking to the Tigers and Phillies. A cross-section of the rumors has revealed some interest from the above teams, as well as the Nationals, Reds and Diamondbacks.
Although the A's have made it fairly clear they are looking to unload Gonzalez, they are still in a seller's market given his low cost and the general need for pitching across the league. The Winter Meetings are a good opportunity to discuss deals, but in reality, any deal is likely to go down later in the month after the initial face-to-face at the meetings.
Andrew Bailey is pretty popular right now.
The Winter Meetings is always a place for the swirling of names and Bailey's seems to have the most wind behind it. According to ESPN's Jayson Stark, the Blue Jays, Red Sox, Rangers, Padres, Mets and Reds are all interested. FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal tweeted that the Angels are also interested.
The interest makes sense as Bailey is a 27-year-old closer who doesn't cost an arm-and-a-leg. Stark mentioned that though the A's are looking all over their roster as they try to retool, that Bailey still seems like the best bet to be moved. He has a career 2.07 ERA though some regression this season dropped it to 3.24. The San Francisco Chronicle reports that Fautino De Los Santos could replace Bailey in the closer role if Bailey is indeed moved.
Despite some injury concerns, Bailey could a nice get for a team somewhere, joining the long list of players groomed by the A's only to leave.
For more on the A's, head over to Athletics Nation.
The Oakland Athletics offseason has had first blood drawn as outfielder David DeJesus agreed to terms on a two-year contract with the Chicago Cubs. The A's offered arbitration to DeJesus as a Type B free agent, which means his signing will net Oakland a compensatory pick in the sandwich round between rounds one and two. There was some thought that DeJesus might end up accepting arbitration, but he obviously got the kind of offer he wanted.
DeJesus had his worst season as a professional in 2011, finishing the season with a line of .240/.323/.376. He played in 131 games, but got moved in and out of the lineup as he dealt with some modest injuries and the managerial whims of Bob Geren early on.
The A's are looking to get younger and cheaper and are letting their free agents walk this offseason. Josh Willingham is expected to leave as well with a variety of teams bidding for his services. The A's would get Type A compensation for Willingham. The A's will be looking to Michael Taylor, Chris Carter and other young players to step up next season in an attempts to build around their youth.
For more on the A's offseason, head over to Athletics Nation.
As the 2011 MLB Winter Meetings approach, the Oakland Athletics are doing plenty of due diligence work in preparation for potential trades. Thanks to the team's stadium situation (or lack thereof), the team is looking to get younger in advance of some kind of decision. If the A's are unable to get a stadium deal done soon they are stuck in neutral and will not be adding payroll. If they actually get a stadium deal done, they will be looking to prepare to contend as they are moving into the stadium in four or five (or more) years. Accordingly, young talent that will be too expensive in four or five years is officially on the market.
The two biggest names thus far are starting pitcher Gio Gonzalez and closer Andrew Bailey. Given that the A's are looking down the road, having a top of the line closer is not particularly necessary at this point. Buster Olney believes it is a virtual certainty that Bailey is dealt in the coming months. The Mariners have reportedly gotten involved in the bidding, but you can basically look through the list of contenders that struggled in late innings and add them to the rumors. The A's will use the Winter Meetings to get teams bidding against each other and drive up the price. Bailey is only now entering arbitration so he has even more value.
Gio Gonzalez remains the top name available from the A's. He led the team in wins, ERA and strikeouts, and will command a steep price as he remains under team control. The Marlins are said to be in on the bidding but reportedly declined any package involving Logan Morrison or Mike Stanton. The A's could be looking for a prospect haul along the lines of what they got for Dan Haren in late 2007. That deal netted the A's Brett Anderson, Chris Carter, Carlos Gonzalez, Dana Eveland, Greg Smith and Aaron Cunningham.
It is highly unlikely any deals will go down between now and the Winter Meetings. Once all the GMs are in one place, the horse-trading can begin and Billy Beane can start pitting teams against each other to boost the offers.
For more on what should be a busy offseason for the Oakland A's, head over to Athletics Nation.
After continued seasons of collective struggles at the plate, the Oakland Athletics have hired Chili Davis to become the next hitting coach for the organization. After spending one year with the Pawtucket Red Sox, the Triple-A affiliate for the Boston Red Sox, Davis will move west and take over a very important role with Oakland. The hiring was confirmed on Friday evening by Susan Slusser:
I have had it confirmed that Chili Davis will be the new #Athletics hitting coach.
Chili will have his plate full -- bad pun intended -- with the A's, especially with the organization expected to have an influx of young hitters in the coming years. With players such as Josh Willingham and Hideki Matsui likely leaving for free agency, it will be imperative for Davis to work effortlessly with the prospects making their way to the Major Leagues in the coming months.
This appears to be a good hire on the surface. Davis reportedly worked well with the Red Sox and their organization and he has been a hot commodity by multiple teams in recent years.
For more on the A's, check out Athletics Nation.
The Oakland Athletics will be fairly quiet this offseason as they continue trying to figure out their stadium situation. While they will be signing few significant free agents, there are still some pertinent dates that will impact their offseason. Although the A's will likely not be re-signing several of their bigger free agents, they still have transactional issues to deal with in order to get the corresponding draft picks in return.
November 23 is the deadline for the A's to offer salary arbitration to their Type A and Type B free agents. In order to get draft pick compensation, salary arbitration must be offered to the player and then rejected by that player. A player rejects it when they don't think they can get any sort of deal that would beat the arbitration offer. In the A's situation, Josh Willingham is expected to get several sizable offers. David DeJesus will likely get some offers, but it remains to be seen how valuable they will be. The players have until December 7 to accept a salary arbitration offer.
The winter meetings kick off the first week in December and A's GM Billy Beane will be as popular as anybody at this meeting. The A's have made it known that a vast majority of their roster is on the market for the right deal. Considering the A's have a boatload of quality starting and relief pitching, there will be plenty of teams knocking on Beane's hotel door.
December 12 is the deadline to tender contracts to arbitration-eligible players. The A's have ten arbitration eligible players and all are expected to get contracts. That could change over the next few weeks, but it would be a bit of a surprise.
The 2011 Major League Baseball season conclusion is less than two weeks old, but for most fans the time has come to start thinking about 2012. MLB's free agency period has begun, which means Winter Meetings are just around the corner, which means the report date for pitchers and catchers is not far behind. Pitchers and catchers report in February, with spring training games beginning a couple weeks later.
The A's will kick off their spring training schedule on Friday, March 2 against the Seattle Mariners in Peoria. At this point they are only scheduled to play two split-squad games with the first on March 5 against the Angels and Cubs and the second on March 17 against the Cubs and Giants. The A's play an abbreviated spring training schedule because they will be traveling to Japan to open their season against the Seattle Mariners in Tokyo.
Spring training tickets will go on sale Monday, December 5 at 10:00am PT and can be purchased as individual tickets or season tickets at the A's Spring Training website. The A's play their spring training home games at Phoenix Municipal Stadium.
Oakland Athletics Spring Training Schedule (all times PACIFIC):
Pitchers and Catchers: TBD
First Workout: TBD
Position Players: TBD
First Full Workout: TBD
3/2: at Mariners, TBD
3/3: vs. Mariners, 12:05
3/4: @ Cubs, TBD
3/5: vs. Angels (SS), 12:05; @ Cubs, TBD
3/6: @ Brewers, TBD
3/7: vs. Dodgers, 12:05
3/8: @ Dodgers, TBD
3/9: @ Rockies, TBD
3/10: vs. Reds, 12:05
3/11: vs. Royals, 12:05
3/12: @ White Sox, TBD
3/13: vs. Brewers, 12:05
3/15: @ Rangers, TBD
3/16: vs. Mariners, 6:05
3/17: vs. Cubs (SS), 12:05, @ Giants, TBD
3/18: @ Diamondbacks, TBD
3/19: vs. Diamondbacks, 12:05
3/20: vs. Cubs, 12:05
3/21: @ Royals, TBD
3/28: vs. Mariners in Japan, TBD
The Oakland A's have adopted a wait-and-see attitude during the 2012 MLB offseason as they listen to offers from other teams. The A's will listen to offers for all of their players outside of Jemile Weeks, according to Ken Rosenthal.
Oakland's offseason approach stems from the uncertainty surrounding the team's long-term stadium plans. If the A's stay put in Oakland, the team will likely cut down on its payroll. If the A's move to nearby San Jose, however, the organization will look to make moves and contend as its new venue opens.
Oakland is waiting on recommendations from commissioner Bud Selig's blue ribbon committee as they consider their long-term prospects. For now, the A's are unlikely to re-sign their big free agents, namely Josh Willingham, David DeJesus and Hideki Matsui.
The A's have insisted that Weeks is untouchable. The 24-year-old played in 97 games in 2011 and recorded a .303 batting average in addition to two home runs and 36 RBIs.
Major League Baseball free agency is under way and teams are officially allowed to make contact with free agents on other teams. The Oakland A's did not make any initial offers to their current free agents due to their stadium situation, which means they will begin checking out the open market. This leaves players like Josh Willingham, Coco Crisp and Hideki Matsui all likely looking for new homes in 2012.
Coco Crisp's agent, Steve Comte, believes the San Francisco Giants are a viable option for him. The folks at McCovey Chronicles fully expect this to happen and the folks at Athletics Nation are resigned to the fact that the A's are in a horrible situation when it comes to getting any deals done.
The Giants are in a position where Coco Crisp would be an excellent fit for the team at the top of their order. He still has a ton of speed and would be an excellent table-setter for a team that will regain some pop in the form of Buster Posey. The Giants have a couple other more significant holes, so it will be interesting to see if they stick with Andres Torres or try and bring in Crisp.
Josh Willingham may not be willing to re-sign with the Oakland A's, according to his agent Matt Sosnick.
Sosnick spoke with the Contra Costa Times and said that Willingham is looking for a three-year deal but the A's are not in a position to be the team that lands him.
At 32, Willingham was the A's best power hitter with 29 homers and 98 RBIs. His 98 RBIs were the most by an Athletic since 2006, when Frank Thomas drove in 114 runs.
Willingham's impending free agency would be his first time on the open market and he would be a top get for a lot of teams looking for an outfielder. Manager Billy Beane is aware of the likelihood that he will lose such a huge part of an already lackluster offense.
Willingham is one of five free agents on the A's and management has until Thursday to sign them before they are able to test the open market.
Willingham's family is in Florence, Ala. so a move east is highly likely.
Now that the 2011 World Series has come to a close, MLB free agency will get going Saturday evening at 9:01pm pacific. Players cannot begin to sign with new teams until Wednesday November 2 at 9:01pm pacific time, but they can begin filing Saturday evening. The process was delayed by 24 hours this year as part of the ongoing collective bargaining process between MLB and the MLB Players Association.
As the Oakland Athletics prepare for 2011 free agency, they are in a tough position due to the continually delayed nature of a new stadium. The A's have been trying to figure out new stadium plans for years and it remains in a perpetual delay at this point. The team has looked at San Jose but has to deal with the territorial rights of the San Francisco Giants.
As long as the team is delayed in getting a new stadium, their player budget will remain a question mark. The A's spent approximately $65 million last season, and it remains to be seen what that number will be for 2012. It could go up with a modest increment, or the team could further tighten up the purse strings while they figure out the stadium issue. This means they could find themselves struggling not only to land outside free agents, but even re-signing some of their own free agents.
Here are the A's free agents as we approach the start of free agency:
While the A's try to figure out their internal free agency questions, they are in a position to potentially score some draft picks if some of these free agents walk. The fine folks at MLBTradeRumors.com put together a reverse-engineered look at the Elias Rankings used to determine compensation.
Based on their projections, Josh Willingham would be a Type-A free agent and David DeJesus is a Type-B free agent. The team has shown interest in re-signing both players, but if they were to walk, the A's would not end up empty-handed.
The Oakland Athletics disappeared off the radar over the last month with playoffs going on, but they have remained busy in recent days. Earlier this past week, the A's released relief pitcher Michael Wuertz and claimed RHP Evan Scribner and OF Cedric Hunter off waivers from the San Diego Padres.
The A's held a 2012 team option for Wuertz that would have cost them $3.25 million. After a dominant 2009 season, Wuertz struggled in 2010 and was even worse in 2011, finishing this past season with a 6.68 earned run average and 1.87 WHIP in just over 33 innings. Wuertz has spent quite a bit of time on the disabled list the last two seasons and the A's cannot afford to tied down that kind of money on another injury-prone player.
Evan Scribner and Cedric Hunter both spent some time in the big leagues, but were with the Triple-A Tuscon Padres. Coincidentally enough, both suffered season-ending injuries within a week of each other in July. Assistant GM David Forst indicated that Hunter is 100% healthy and Scribner was on track to be ready for spring training.
For more on the A's, check out Athletics Nation.
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