Oakland Athletics – MLB Trade Rumors 2018-06-23T06:09:15Z https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/feed/atom WordPress Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Slusser: Increasing Future Uncertainty In Athletics' Front Office]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=125352 2018-06-19T17:12:23Z 2018-06-19T16:25:42Z Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle takes an interesting look at the future of the Athletics’ baseball operations and field leadership. She cites “increasing speculation in baseball circles and among those who know the A’s higher-ups” that the existing combination of VP of baseball ops Billy Beane, GM David Forst, and manager Bob Melvin may not be maintained past the 2019 campaign. The club is not obligated contractually beyond next season to Beane or Melvin, with the notable exception of Beane’s small stake in the team itself — a potential future wrinkle to keep in mind. Forst’s contract status is not publicly known. As Slusser explains, there’s a general sense that change is afoot in Oakland, though the direction (let alone the outcome) is not yet clear. It’s a worthwhile examination of the A’s organization that you’ll want to read for yourself to appreciate fully.

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Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Cafardo: A's "Likely" To Make Blake Treinen Available]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=125154 2018-06-17T01:13:19Z 2018-06-17T01:13:46Z
  • Athletics closer Blake Treinen is “likely to be available,” Cafardo writes in a separate piece. The A’s aren’t under pressure to move Treinen, who’s controllable via arbitration through 2020 and on a cheap salary ($2.15MM) this season. But both Treinen’s team control and his excellent pitching will make him a sought-after piece if Oakland does show a willingness to move him. The 29-year-old has been a premier reliever this season over a 32-inning span, during which he has logged a 1.13 ERA with 10.41 K/9, 2.81 BB/9 and a 49.4 percent groundball rate. Treinen has also converted 14 of 16 save opportunities.
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    Kyle Downing <![CDATA[A’s Place Matt Chapman On 10-Day DL, Recall Franklin Barreto]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=125107 2018-06-16T17:07:06Z 2018-06-16T17:07:06Z The Athletics have made a series of roster moves in advance of today’s game against the Angels. The club’s PR department announced that third baseman Matt Chapman has been placed on the DL with a right thumb contusion, retroactive to yesterday. In a related move, the club has recalled infielder Franklin Barreto. Right-hander Josh Lucas has also been recalled, with fellow righty Carlos Ramirez headed to Triple-A in order to make room on the active roster.

    As the PR department mentions in the above link, Chapman had played in all 69 of the A’s games prior to today. He’s hit 10 homers on the year and is batting .250/.346/.447. Chapman was hit by a pitch on the hand in the eighth inning of Tuesday’s game against the Astros. Because he remained in the game, it seemed at the time as though the injury wasn’t serious, but his placement on the DL says otherwise.

    Barreto, meanwhile, will be up for his third bout with the MLB club this season. Long considered one of the organization’s top prospects, the young infielder has managed just a .182/.241/.325 batting line across 83 career plate appearances at the major-league level, striking out a catastrophic 43.4% of the time. He’s still just 22, however, so there’s still plenty of room for optimism surrounding his growth and development.

    Lucas has been used in an intriguing capacity so far this year, having pitched at least two full innings in three of his four appearances on the season (only one start). He owns a 2.89 ERA across his 9 1/3 innings, with ten strikeouts against five walks. It’s not at all far-fetched to think that he’s simply up as a fresh arm to provide cavalry to an exhausted bullpen, as A’s starters have averaged fewer than four innings per start across the club’s past four games.

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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Amateur Draft Signings: 6/14/18]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=125006 2018-06-15T03:45:11Z 2018-06-15T03:45:03Z Here are the day’s deals of note from the top few rounds of the draft (rankings referenced are courtesy of Baseball AmericaMLB.comFangraphs and ESPN’s Keith Law — with the scouting reports from MLB and Fangraphs both coming free to the general public) …

    • Athletics second-round pick Jeremy Eierman will receive a $1,232,000 bonus, per Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle (via Twitter). That’s well over the $872,400 slot value that came with the 70th pick. The Missouri State produce drew big grades from BA (#26) and MLB.com (#29) as the top collegiate shortstop, with both a history of productivity and an intriguing power/speed offensive profile for a player who could potentially stick at shortstop. Analysts also note that an offensive downturn in the just-completed season introduced new questions about his long-term outlook.
    • The Cubs are in agreement with second-round pick Brennen Davis on a $1.1MM bonus, Callis reports on Twitter. That checks in just north of the 62nd pick’s $1,060,900 allocation. Davis ranked 81st on the Fangraphs board, with physical tools and projection driving the outfielder’s draft standing. He had been committed to the University of Miami.

    Earlier Updates

    • The Padres will pay out $2.6MM to land supplemental first-round choice Xavier Edwards, according to MLB.com’s Jim Callis (Twitter link). A consensus first-round talent, Edwards went 38th overall ($1,878,300 allocation) and required a well-over-slot bonus to give up his commitment to Vanderbilt. Fangraphs was the highest outlet on the Florida high-schooler, ranking him 17th among all eligible players based upon his outstanding speed, quality bat, and promising outlook as an up-the-middle defender.
    • The Rays have deals in place with compensation selection Nick Schnell and competitive balance Round B choice Tanner Dodson, according to reports from Callis (Twitter links) and Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times (also on Twitter). Schnell will receive $2.3MM; the high-school outfielder was chosen with the 32nd overall pick, which comes with a $2,171,700 slot value. He’s credited with a quality tool set and what MLB.com calls an “extremely projectable frame.” Tampa Bay will save some money on Dodson, whose $997,500 bonus falls shy of the $1,228,000 slot value at #71. He’s valued most as a power pitcher but is also said to have legitimate talent as a switch-hitting outfielder, which could give the Rays another multi-functional prospect to work with.
    • Second-round choice Nick Sandlin will go to the Indians for $750K, Callis tweets, which will leave some savings against the $939,700 pick allocation. With the signing, the Cleveland organization will add a highly effective collegiate hurler who is known less for his pure stuff than for his wide pitch mix and use of varied arm angles. Sandlin cracked the top 100 list of the Fangraphs team and landed within the top 200 draft prospects as graded by Baseball America and MLB.com. It certainly seems he’ll be an interesting player to follow as a professional.
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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Trevor Cahill Likely Headed To DL]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=124867 2018-06-13T00:39:51Z 2018-06-13T00:39:51Z
  • Athletics righty Trevor Cahill hasn’t seen any improvement in his ailing Achilles tendon and is likely headed to the disabled list, manager Bob Melvin told reporters Tuesday afternoon (Twitter links via Jane Lee of MLB.com). If that likely outcome does come to pass, then right-hander Chris Bassitt will “certainly be the first option” to step into Cahill’s spot in the rotation, the skipper adds. Cahill, who signed a one-year deal worth $1.75MM late in Spring Training after Jharel Cotton went down with Tommy John surgery, has been excellent when healthy enough to take the hill for the A’s. In 48 2/3 innings, he’s notched a 2.77 ERA with 47 punchouts against 11 walks.
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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Athletics, Second-Rounder Jameson Hannah Agree To Terms]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=124763 2018-06-12T03:44:05Z 2018-06-12T03:42:59Z
  • The Athletics have a deal in place with second-rounder Jameson Hannah, per Jon Heyman of Fan Rag (via Twitter). He’ll take home a $1.8MM bonus, a fair bit north of the $1,414,200 allocation that came with the 50th overall selection. Coming into the draft, MLB.com was by far the most bullish outlet on Hannah, grading the Dallas Baptist product as the 32nd-best player available. He’s said to possess outstanding speed, some decent power projection, and a solid hit tool at the plate along with the chops to play center.
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    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[A's Agree To Sign Second-Rounder Jameson Hannah, 25 Other Picks]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=124690 2018-06-11T03:44:36Z 2018-06-11T03:30:36Z
  • The Athletics have agreed to terms with 26 of their draft picks, as per a team press release.  The highest-selected of these players was second-rounder Jameson Hannah, a center fielder from Dallas Baptist University.  No financial terms were announced, though the 50th overall pick carries a $1,414,200 slot value.  Hannah was rated between 32nd (from MLB.com) and 60th (Fangraphs) in the prospect rankings, receiving praise for his excellent speed and strong contact at the plate.  Evaluators aren’t sure, however, whether Hannah’s contact skills will eventually lead to more power.  It’s worth noting that first-rounder Kyler Murray was not included in Oakland’s list of completed draft signings, as though the two sides reportedly agreed to terms earlier this week, though no official contract had been signed at the time.
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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Athletics, Kyler Murray Agree To Terms]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=124319 2018-06-08T19:18:58Z 2018-06-08T18:55:07Z FRIDAY: Murray will receive $4.66MM, per MLB.com’s Jim Callis (via Twitter), which checks in just below the $4,761,500 slot value. The sides have yet to put pen to paper, Callis notes.

    WEDNESDAY: The Athletics have reached a deal with No. 9 overall draft pick Kyler Murray, reports Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports. The agreement will guarantee Murray close to $5MM and allow Murray to play quarterback at Oklahoma for one year, per Heyman. Murray, one of the country’s top multi-sport athletes, could step up as the Sooners’ starting quarterback in place of Baker Mayfield, who was selected with the top overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.

    Of course, Murray is hardly a slouch when it comes to the baseball diamond. Oakland selected the center fielder ninth overall, and scouting reports on him indicate that he has plus-plus speed in addition to promising bat speed the potential for average or better power, though he’s less polished than many college bats given that he has yet to fully commit to baseball.

    Heading into the draft, Fangraphs ranked Murray as the No. 20 prospect in this year’s class, while ESPN’s Keith Law tabbed him 35th, MLB.com pegged him 36th and Baseball America rated him No. 77 among available prospects. Murray, who has yet to turn 21 years of age, is coming off a season in which he hit .296/.398/.556 with 10 homers and 10 steals in 51 games. His slot comes with an assigned pick value of $4,761,500, so it seems that his agreement with the A’s will pay him at that level or perhaps a bit more.

    It’s an interesting arrangement for Murray, who’ll lose NCAA eligibility in baseball but (clearly) not in football now that he’s agreed to a deal with a Major League organization. The agreement points to the likelihood that Murray’s future lies on the diamond and not on the gridiron, though it’s sure to be a complex arrangement. It’s not known at this time what sort of contingencies are in place in the event that Murray incurs a severe injury while playing football, though it seems likely that the A’s will have some form of safeguards in place, given the size of their investment in Murray and the level of risk that comes with allowing him to play NCAA football.

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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Athletics, Edwin Jackson Agree To Minor League Deal]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=124295 2018-06-07T23:34:32Z 2018-06-07T23:34:25Z June 7: Jackson’s deal has a $1.5MM base salary at the big league level, tweets USA Today’s Bob Nightengale (Twitter link).

    June 6: Veteran right-hander Edwin Jackson and the Athletics are in agreement on a minor league contract, Jackson’s agents at the ESQ Agency have confirmed to MLBTR. The 34-year-old recently exercised an opt-out clause in his previous minor league pact with the Nationals and became a free agent. It seems that the A’s will need to make a relatively quick decision on Jackson, as his new deal comes with a June 20 opt-out date.

    Jackson pitched well for the Nationals’ Triple-A affiliate in Syracuse this season, logging a 3.40 ERA with 7.7 K/9, 3.6 BB/9 and a 41.7 percent ground-ball rate in 55 2/3 innings (a total of 10 starts). The well-traveled righty totaled 76 innings for the Nats at the MLB level in 2017, turning in mixed results. Jackson recorded a 2.94 ERA through his first eight starts last year but surrendered nine home runs through those 49 frames. The long ball caught up to him, as he was tagged for 24 earned runs in his final 22 innings of work. Jackson did maintain solid velocity on his heater (93.5 mph) and check in with a healthy 10.1 percent swinging-strike rate in 2017.

    If Jackson sees any MLB time with the A’s, he’ll lay claim to an interesting oddity in MLB record books. The veteran righty has pitched in the Majors for 12 different clubs at present, leaving him one team shy of tying Octavio Dotel’s record of 13. Dating back to the 2003 season, Jackson has pitched in 377 MLB contests, tallying 1800 1/3 inning of 4.67 ERA ball with 6.9 K/9, 3.6 BB/9 and a 43.7 percent grounder rate. He’s two wins shy of reaching the century mark for his career.

    [Related: Oakland Athletics depth chart]

    The depth addition comes at a time when the A’s have already lost righty Jharel Cotton for the season due to Tommy John surgery and have recently placed both Andrew Triggs (nerve irritation) and Daniel Gossett (elbow strain) on the disabled list. Righty Paul Blackburn and lefty Brett Anderson, too, are on the big league disabled list for the A’s. Given the glut of injuries in the Oakland rotation picture and the close proximity of Jackson’s opt-out date, it seems there’s a decent chance he’ll ascend to the Majors with the A’s in the coming weeks.

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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[A’s Option Maxwell, Activate Blackburn, Move Powell To 60-Day DL]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=124402 2018-06-07T22:16:29Z 2018-06-07T22:16:29Z The Athletics announced a series of roster moves Thursday, activating righty Paul Blackburn from the 60-day DL and transferring outfielder Boog Powell from the 10-day DL to the 60-day DL in his place. To make room on the active roster for Blackburn, who’ll start tonight’s game, Oakland optioned catcher Bruce Maxwell to Triple-A Nashville.

    Maxwell became a controversial figure last season as the first (and still only) MLB player to take a knee during the National Anthem, but he received quite a bit more negative attention months later when he was arrested and charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. (He reached a plea agreement in mid-April.) While the Athletics front office publicly voiced support for Maxwell as a player, the team also went out and signed Jonathan Lucroy to a one-year deal, supplanting Maxwell as the starter.

    Thus far, that looks to have been a wise move. Maxwell didn’t hit much in two previous seasons with the A’s, and he’s off to a dismal .182/.207/.309 start to the season, albeit in a small sample of just 58 plate appearances. Lucroy, meanwhile, has posted a solid .263/.320/.359 slash, though that respectable production is still light years away from his peak form. He’ll continue to handle the bulk of the catching duties, and it seems that Josh Phegley will now serve as his primary backup for the time being.

    Blackburn, meanwhile, has yet to pitch in the Majors this season due to a forearm strain suffered in Spring Training. Now healthy, he’ll look to step up in an injury-plagued Athletics rotation that has lost Jharel Cotton for the season and currently has Andrew Triggs, Daniel Gossett and Brett Anderson on the MLB disabled list.

    Blackburn delivered mixed results for the A’s in 10 starts last season. On the one hand, he posted a very strong 3.22 ERA with a terrific 56.3 percent ground-ball rate and just 2.45 walks per nine innings pitched in 58 2/3 innings. On the other hand, he missed fewer bats than any pitcher in MLB, averaging just 3.38 strikeouts per nine innings pitched and turning in a 5.8 percent swinging-strike rate. Fielding independent pitching metrics all felt his true talent level was more than a run higher, with SIERA most bearishly pegging him at 5.15.

    As for Powell, he’s been out since early April with a sprained right knee. He’s already missed nearly two full months of action and has yet to go out on a minor league rehab assignment, so today’s transfer is purely a procedural move to open a 40-man spot for Blackburn. Powell has already spent 60 days on the DL anyhow, and the move to the lengthier DL doesn’t reset his eligibility for activation.

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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Athletics Select Contract Of Nick Martini, Place Matt Joyce On 10-Day DL]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=124288 2018-06-06T19:50:23Z 2018-06-06T19:50:23Z The Athletics announced today that they have selected the contract of outfielder/first baseman Nick Martini. He’ll take the active roster spot of outfielder Matt Joyce, who’s headed to the 10-day DL.

    Soon to turn 28, Martini will get the first shot at the majors in his career. The former seventh-round draft pick signed with the Oakland organization as a minor-league free agent over the winter. He owns a .299/.417/.390 slash with 36 walks against 42 strikeouts in 216 plate appearances this year at Triple-A.

    As for Joyce, he’s dealing with a lumbar issue but will have his DL stint backdated to June 3rd. The 33-year-old has to this point not hit to the standard he maintained over the prior two seasons. In 199 trips to the plate, he’s slashing .196/.308/.369 with seven long balls.

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    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Daniel Gossett Leaves Game With Elbow Tightness]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=124036 2018-06-04T01:57:53Z 2018-06-03T23:32:58Z
  • Athletics starter Daniel Gossett left today’s game after five innings due to elbow tightness, though he told reporters (including Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle) that his removal was precautionary.  “I just didn’t want to overextend anything or have it lead to anything that might be worrisome,” Gossett said.  The right-hander will undergo an MRI tomorrow in Oakland.  Any missed time for Gossett would further thin out an already injury-riddled A’s pitching staff, as Gossett was himself a rotation fill-in while Brett Anderson and Andrew Triggs were out on the disabled list.
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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Kendall Graveman Goes To DL With Forearm Strain]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=123991 2018-06-05T02:59:23Z 2018-06-03T16:53:01Z
  • The Athletics’ Triple-A affiliate in Nashville has placed righty Kendall Graveman on the DL with a forearm strain, according to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle. Fortunately, Graveman doesn’t have any structural damage and should only miss 10 days, Slusser reports. Nevertheless, the injury continues a difficult year for Graveman, who entered 2018 off three straight respectable campaigns but has spent a large portion of the season in the minors. The 27-year-old worked to a 7.60 ERA in 34 1/3 innings prior to his demotion and also hasn’t been great in Nashville, where he has posted a 4.50 ERA in 24 frames.
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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Poll: Which Surprise Team Has Best Shot At Playoff Berth?]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=123461 2018-05-28T17:59:40Z 2018-05-28T15:55:54Z As the 2018 MLB season nears the one-third mark, the playoff races in each league are beginning to take shape. While it’s no surprise that the majority of the sport’s so-called super teams have lived up to the billing thus far, several unexpected contenders may be emerging to challenge for postseason berths. None of the Mariners, Athletics, Braves, Phillies or Pirates were popular playoff picks entering the campaign, but all are in contention at this point, and a few of those teams even possess elite records.

    The most successful of those clubs has been Seattle, which is one of just five teams with a winning percentage above .600. The Mariners have raced to a 32-20 mark (.615), the fourth-best record in the American League, even though they’ve had to go without superstar second baseman Robinson Cano for two weeks and won’t get him back in the near future. Cano suffered a fractured right hand in mid-May, but the 80-game suspension he incurred almost immediately after that injury is the more costly blow because it’ll render him ineligible for the playoffs – if the Mariners qualify, that is.

    A postseason berth for Seattle would be its first since 2001, thus snapping the longest playoff drought in American sports. There’s clearly plenty of work for that to happen, particularly for a team that hasn’t been spectacular statistically and possesses a less shiny 27-25 Pythagorean record. But the Mariners’ actual record right now is so impressive that they won’t need to be great from here on out to remain firmly in the mix throughout the regular season. FanGraphs is projecting a mediocre 56-54 win-loss total over the Mariners’ final 110 games, but even in that scenario, they’d finish with 88 victories – three more than Minnesota amassed in 2017 en route to an AL wild-card berth.

    The wild card is likely the M’s only path to the playoffs, as even though they’re just one game out of the AL West race, there’s little question the reigning World Series champion Astros will pull away with the division. Given the talent in the AL, a wild-card spot will be tough to come by for the Mariners, but general manager Jerry Dipoto seemingly increased his team’s odds last week when he acquired reliever Alex Colome and outfielder Denard Span from the Rays. The Mariners already owned one of baseball’s best bullpens without Colome, and his presence should make Seattle an even harder out in close games. At 15-8, the Mariners have been one of the majors’ top teams in one-run contests this season.

    Staying in the AL West, Oakland has perhaps exceeded expectations at 28-25, though it has scored fewer runs than it has allowed (234 to 237). Still, despite its underwhelming Pythagorean mark (26-27), FanGraphs is projecting an above-.500 final record for Oakland (82-80) – which would be its first such season since 2014 and could keep it in the discussion into September. However, with the Yankees or Red Sox (whichever team doesn’t win the AL East), Angels and Mariners among the teams fighting for two wild-card positions, a playoff position looks a bit unrealistic for the A’s.

    Over in the National League, both the Braves (30-21) and Phillies (29-21) have gone from serving as longtime NL East doormats to looking like two of the premier teams in the game. Milwaukee, arguably a surprise team but one that did garner some preseason hype after winning 86 games in 2017, is the lone NL club with a superior record to Atlanta and Philadelphia. And only the Cubs have a better run differential than the Braves, who have outscored their opponents by 60 (261 to 201).

    The Braves’ arduous, years-long rebuild is clearly paying dividends now, as a host of players under the age of 25 – including Ozzie Albies, Ronald Acuna (who’s now on the DL), Dansby Swanson, Sean Newcomb, Mike Soroka, Luiz Gohara and A.J. Minter – have been among their driving forces this year. With that group joining a few slightly older, already established players (superstar Freddie Freeman, Ender Inciarte and Mike Foltynewicz, to name a few), Atlanta looks as if it’s going to be around for a long time. And it might be ready now to return to the playoffs, where it hasn’t been since 2013, though the NL East is going to be a dogfight with both the Phillies and favored Nationals (29-22) right behind the Braves.

    As for those Phillies, they own an even longer playoff drought than the Braves (six years), but that streak doesn’t look as if it’ll last much longer. Like Atlanta, Philadelphia went through a few years of suffering while simultaneously managing to stockpile young talent (Aaron Nola, Odubel Herrera, Rhys Hoskins, Seranthony Dominguez, Nick Pivetta, Vince Velasquez, Scott Kingery) that has either already established itself in the majors or is in the midst of doing so. Philly’s also a sleeping giant in terms of payroll, a club capable of spending alongside other big-money juggernauts, and it’ll put that advantage to use in the coming years. It already started last winter with the expensive free-agent signings of Jake Arrieta and Carlos Santana, two additions which have paid off so far (Santana did endure a poor April, but he’s gotten off the mat this month).

    As with the Braves, the Phillies should be around for a while, and a playoff spot this year certainly isn’t out of the question. Although, despite their tremendous starts, FanGraphs is projecting both teams to finish with 82 wins and extend their playoff droughts.

    Baseball’s other Pennsylvania-based team, the low-payroll Pirates, lost the battle for public opinion over the winter when they traded two veteran cornerstones (Andrew McCutchen and Gerrit Cole) for younger players and didn’t sign any free agents to major league contracts. Some Pirates fans even called for owner Bob Nutting to sell the team in the wake of those deals, but he didn’t oblige.

    Now, the Pirates are a solid 28-24 (plus-22 run) and have gotten there with some help from Colin Moran and Joe Musgrove, two players acquired in the Cole package. Fellow offseason acquisition Corey Dickerson – whom general manager Neal Huntington stole from the Rays in another trade – has been even better, while veteran holdovers Starling Marte and Francisco Cervelli are also amid excellent seasons. Pittsburgh may be able to hang in the race all year, then, for the first time since 2015 – its most recent playoff berth. It’s going to be an extremely tall task to actually return to the postseason, though, with six NL teams – including the division-rival Brewers, Cubs and Cardinals – ahead of Pittsburgh in the standings and several more breathing down its neck.

    Every year in baseball, surprise teams emerge to upset the preseason apple cart. Just as the Twins, Diamondbacks and Rockies crashed the playoff party last year, at least one of the Mariners, Athletics, Braves, Phillies or Pirates could do it in 2018. The question is: Which team has the best chance to play into the fall?

    (poll link for app users)

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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[A's Place Santiago Casilla On DL]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=123331 2018-05-27T02:42:49Z 2018-05-27T02:42:53Z
  • The Athletics made a series of moves Saturday, sending Santiago Casilla to the DL with a strained shoulder, optioning Josh Lucas to the minors and recalling Carlos Ramirez and Chris Bassitt. The most notable member of the group is Casilla, who ranks third among A’s relievers in innings pitched this year (21 2/3). Casilla opened his age-37 season with an appealing 3.32 ERA over that span, though he also totaled too few strikeouts and too many walks (14 in each case) and benefited from a .186 batting average on balls in play.
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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Injury Notes: Prado, Murphy/Goodwin, DeJong, Casilla, Trumbo, More]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=123270 2018-05-26T05:15:52Z 2018-05-26T05:08:48Z It seems that Marlins infielder Martin Prado has suffered a rather significant left hamstring injury, as Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald reports. The 34-year-old has endured a run of significant problems with his hamstring muscles in the past year or so. Details aren’t yet known, but it certainly sounds as if Prado will be sidelined for a lengthy stretch. He’s owed $13.5MM this year and $15MM for the 2019 campaign. The long-productive infielder has struggled to a .169/.221/.180 batting line in 95 plate appearances on the season.

    Here’s more on the injury front:

    • The Nationals finally got some promising injury news, as they’ll send both Daniel Murphy and Brian Goodwin on rehab assignments beginning tomorrow. Jon Heyman of Fan Rag tweeted the news with regard to the former; Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post tweeted manager Davey Martinez’s announcement on both players. Murphy has yet to appear in the 2018 campaign after offseason microfracture surgery, while Goodwin has been slow to return from a wrist injury.
    • It’s still unclear just how long the Cardinals will go without shortstop Paul DeJong, but he says he has been given a four-to-eight week estimate by the medical professionals, as Rick Hummel of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. More than anything, it seems that broad range indicates that there’s not a lot of clarity at this point as to how long it’ll take to heal. All involved will obviously hope that it hues toward the earlier estimate, as the replacement options all have their warts as semi-regular shortstops.
    • It seems the Athletics will go without reliever Santiago Casilla for a stretch. He has been diagnosed with a shoulder strain, as MLB.com’s Jane Lee reports (Twitter links). Details of his anticipated absence are not yet available, but it’s said to be likely that Casilla will end up on the DL. At the same time, he says he does not believe it’s a serious malady. The veteran entered play today with an ugly 14:13 K/BB ratio, but had allowed eight runs on only 11 hits in his 21 innings of action.
    • Though he seemingly avoided a more concerning fate, Orioles slugger Mark Trumbo will likely head to the DL to rest his ailing right knee, as Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com was among those to report (Twitter links). Trumbo was diagnosed with a fairly significant case of arthritis, which won’t necessarily put him on the shelf for long but also probably isn’t the best news for a defensively limited player who’s owed $12.5MM this year and $13.5MM next. He has been productive thus far in 2018, though, with a .309/.317/.469 slash through 82 plate appearances. On the other hand, it’s somewhat worrisome that he has managed only a pair of home runs and a single walk in that span.
    • In other AL East news … so long as there are no surprises in the interim, Nate Eovaldi will finally start for the Rays on Tuesday, as Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times tweets. The Yankees announced that reliever Tommy Kahnle is back from the DL, which represents a promising development given the uncertainty that surrounded him when he went on the shelf. And while the Blue Jays still aren’t planning on a near-term return from Troy Tulowitzki, skipper John Gibbons says the veteran shortstop is at least ready to begin running, as Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.ca tweets.
    • While the Padres had hoped to welcome back catcher Austin Hedges in relatively short order, he’s now halting his rehab after his problematic right elbow flared up, as MLB.com’s AJ Cassavell writes. It still seems there’s little reason to fear that Hedges is dealing with a real structural problem, though surely it’s frustrating for the organization that he hasn’t yet fully turned the corner.
    • Meanwhile, the Angels provided an update on hurler Matt Shoemaker, though it mostly suggests ongoing uncertainty with regard to the root of his arm issues. As the club announced, and MLB.com’s Maria Guardado tweets, the latest examination “ruled out peripheral nerve involvement” but “showed mild edema in the forearm.” Shoemaker is also said to have undergone a bone scan. The results of that weren’t specifically cited, but it seems to suggest that the organization is looking at quite a lot of possibilities to figure out what’s really causing problems for the starter.
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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Rays Acquire Wilmer Font]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=123248 2018-05-25T23:17:32Z 2018-05-25T22:13:46Z The Rays have announced the acquisition of righty Wilmer Font from the Athletics. Minor-league righty Peter Bayer will go to Oakland in return.

    Font had recently been designated for assignment by the A’s. His stop there hasn’t been any better than his opening to the season was with the Dodgers. In 17 innings this year, Font has allowed 24 earned runs on 31 hits.

    Optimists will note that Font has managed 16 strikeouts to go with just five walks on the year. Those figures line up more with Font’s promising showing at Triple-A last year, when he worked to 3.42 ERA in 134 1/3 innings with 11.9 K/9 and 2.3 BB/9.

    Ultimately, it’s tough to look past the fact that opposing hitters have somehow managed to drive the ball out of the park a dozen times in Font’s first 24 MLB innings. But the Rays certainly have a need for arms and don’t mind taking the risk, so they’ll see if they can get the 28-year-old on track.

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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[White Sox Claim Dustin Garneau]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=123150 2018-05-24T17:53:32Z 2018-05-24T17:35:02Z The White Sox have claimed catcher Dustin Garneau off waivers from the Athletics, per a club announcement. Righty Miguel Gonzalez was bumped to the 60-day DL to create a 40-man spot.

    Garneau had just been designated for assignment. Now, he’ll head to Chicago to help bolster a catching unit that just lost starter Welington Castillo for much of the rest of the season.

    The 30-year-old Garneau hasn’t played in the majors this year, but has appeared in 87 games over the past three seasons. He hasn’t hit much in his limited opportunities at the game’s highest level, and is carrying a paltry .208/.263/.333 batting line in 80 plate appearances this season at Triple-A, but at times he has posted quality offensive numbers in the upper minors.

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    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[How The A's Drafted Matt Chapman]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=123008 2018-05-23T00:57:37Z 2018-05-23T00:56:19Z
  • The Athletics’ pick of Matt Chapman with the 25th overall selection of the 2014 draft came about due to something of a “reverse Moneyball” situation, The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal writes (subscription required).  Chapman had only modest hitting numbers in college ball but his skillset was heavily praised by A’s scouts; unlike the events of the film and Michael Lewis’ book, Billy Beane and company decided to go against the statistics to choose Chapman, as a private workout for the team prior to the draft helped answer the front office’s concerns.  The pick looks like a great one for the A’s, as Chapman has broken out into one of the game’s most promising young stars.
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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Blake Treinen Sustaining Success]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=122967 2018-05-22T20:10:51Z 2018-05-22T16:47:13Z Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle examines Athletics closer Blake Treinen’s improved results since coming to Oakland last summer. The big righty has always shown phenomenal pure stuff in the majors, but had not quite figured out how to maximize it on the hill. While he’s handing out less walks than before, he’s also working in the zone less than in prior years. And he has generated less grounders (a still-impressive 53.3%) in exchange for a jump in swinging-strikes (all the way up to 18.8%). Treinen credits experience gained through “the maturation process.” Whatever the precise cause, the results — a 1.19 ERA with 10.7 K/9 and 2.8 BB/9 over 22 2/3 innings in 2018 — certainly suggest that he has settled in nicely.

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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Athletics Designate Dustin Garneau For Assignment]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=122920 2018-05-21T18:50:58Z 2018-05-21T18:50:58Z The Athletics announced on Monday that they’ve designated catcher Dustin Garneau for assignment. His roster spot will go to fellow catcher Bruce Maxwell, who has been reinstated from the restricted list. Josh Phegley was optioned to Triple-A Nashville to open an active roster spot for Maxwell’s return.

    Maxwell had been on the restricted list over the weekend due to the fact that his ongoing legal issues prevented him from traveling out of the country for the Athletics’ series in Toronto. In essence, however, Garneau’s DFA is largely a corresponding move for yesterday’s waiver claim of reliever Carlos Ramirez (also from Toronto). Had the Jays been playing in another location, they’d likely have designated Garneau to facilitate the claim anyhow in more direct fashion.

    [Related: Oakland Athletics depth chart]

    The 30-year-old Garneau has had a rough start to the season in Nashville, batting just .206/.253/.338 over the life of 75 plate appearances. That’s a departure from an otherwise strong (albeit Pacific Coast League-aided) track record in Triple-A for the former Rockies farmhand, as Garneau boasts a career .263/.331/.499 slash line at the minors’ top level. In the Majors, however, he’s mustered a meager .192/.264/.320 batting line in 277 trips to the plate. The A’s will now have seven days to trade Garneau or place him on either outright or release waivers.

    With Maxwell back on the roster, he’ll continue to serve as the primary backup to starter Jonathan Lucroy. Phegley will head back to Triple-A, where he’s hitting .224/.320/.412 in 100 plate appearances. He’d be next in line in the event of another absence for either of the Athletics’ current top two catchers.

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    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Khris Davis Rejects A's Extension Offer]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=122872 2018-05-21T01:25:11Z 2018-05-21T01:25:11Z
  • Khris Davis and the Athletics were in talks about a one-year extension to cover Davis’ final season of arbitration eligibility, though Heyman reports that Davis declined an offer from the team.  It isn’t known whether negotiations are ongoing or if the two sides will table the issue.  Davis has a .235/.307/.497 slash line and 13 homers through his first 205 PA, so he is on pace to earn another big raise from his current $10.5MM salary in his last arb year.

    [SOURCE LINK]
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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Khris Davis Suffers Right Groin Strain]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=122837 2018-05-20T20:15:10Z 2018-05-20T19:54:18Z
  • Athletics slugger Khris Davis left their game Sunday with a right groin strain, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle writes. The severity isn’t known, though Slusser points out that groin strains tend to take anywhere from two to six weeks to heal. A stint on the disabled list seems like a strong possibility, then, and that would be a tough development for the surging A’s. The club’s on its way to a 25-22 start, and Davis has certainly had a role in that with a .235/.307/.497 line and a team-high 13 homers in 205 PAs.
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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Athletics Claim Carlos Ramirez From Blue Jays]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=122839 2018-05-20T19:25:30Z 2018-05-20T19:12:28Z The Athletics have claimed right-hander Carlos Ramirez off waivers from the Blue Jays, per an announcement from Oakland.

    Oakland will be the second organization for the 27-year-old Ramirez, who had been with the Blue Jays since 2009. Ramirez started off as an outfield prospect with the Jays before moving to the mound in 2014. He impressed enough as a minor league pitcher to reach the majors in 2017, and has since logged a combined 19 innings at the game’s highest level (2 1/3 this year). During that small sample of work, Ramirez posted a 2.84 ERA/4.84 FIP with 8.05 K/9, 3.79 BB/9 and a 33.3 percent groundball rate, but that wasn’t enough to prevent Toronto from designating him for assignment last week.

    Given that Ramirez has three options remaining, he seems likely to start off as minors depth with the Athletics. The A’s currently have a full bullpen, and the unit has begun the year with the majors’ 12th-best ERA (3.82).

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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Triggs Exits With Nerve Discomfort In Forearm]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=122597 2018-05-18T02:39:43Z 2018-05-18T02:12:42Z
  • Athletics right-hander Andrew Triggs exited tonight’s start in Toronto after just 2 1/3 innings due to what the team is calling nerve discomfort in his right forearm, per Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle. Presumably, he’ll head for further testing following the game, though the early diagnosis doesn’t sound especially promising. In the event of a DL trip for Triggs, the A’s could turn to righty Kendall Graveman, who is trying to get back on track in Triple-A after a rough start to the season. Right-hander Daniel Gossett has posted terrific numbers since being sent down to Nashville as well, while hard-throwing prospect Frankie Montas is also delivering solid production in Triple-A.
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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[A's Release Slade Heathcott]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=122538 2018-05-16T22:24:48Z 2018-05-16T22:23:29Z
  • The Athletics released outfielder/first baseman Slade Heathcott from their Triple-A affiliate in Nashville, per the Pacific Coast League’s transactions page. The former first-round pick was once considered one of the Yankees’ best prospects, but he’s appeared in just 17 big league games and collected 30 plate appearances (albeit with a strong .400/.429/.720 slash to show for it). Strong production in his brief cup of coffee notwithstanding, Heathcott has never been much of a force in the upper minors. After tearing through Class-A Advanced as a 21-year-old (.314/.382/.486), he’s slashed .258/.329/.415 in 205 Double-A games and .263/.338/.358 in 177 Triple-A contests. His numbers with Nashville this season — .266/.333/.376 in 120 PAs — are a near mirror image of his career stats at that level.
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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Cahlill Set To Return; Graveman Back To Triple-A]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=122455 2018-05-16T02:33:57Z 2018-05-16T02:33:57Z Trevor Cahill is set to return from the disabled list tomorrow after missing one start, per Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle. The Athletics will have him displace Kendall Graveman in the rotation, she adds in a separate column. Graveman pitched reasonably well in his one start after a demotion to Triple-A, but the A’s still would like him to continue to round back into form in Nashville following a surprisingly ugly start to the season. As Slusser notes, Oakland could’ve dropped Brett Anderson from the rotation, but doing so would mean designating the lefty for assignment.

    Graveman was optioned out to make room on the roster for the return of Stephen Piscotty — who homered in his first at-bat back with the team tonight — from the bereavement list. The Athletics will need to make another roster move to accommodate Cahill’s activation tomorrow, which could mean optioning Jake Smolinski to Nashville as well, per Slusser.

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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[A's Sign Dean Kiekhefer To Minors Deal]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=122325 2018-05-14T19:21:28Z 2018-05-14T19:21:28Z
  • The Athletics signed left-handed reliever Dean Kiekhefer, per Eddy. He’d recently been released by Cincinnati. The 28-year-old tossed 22 innings at the big league level with the Cardinals in 2016, working to a 5.32 ERA with 14 strikeouts against seven walks (four intentional) and two hit batters in that brief time. Kiekhefer landed with the Mariners via waivers in the 2016-17 offseason but was outrighted off their 40-man roster shortly thereafter. Last year, he logged a 4.47 ERA with 8.5 K/9, 3.9 BB/9, 0.61 HR/9 and a 46 percent grounder rate in Triple-A. He opened the season with eight innings of one-run ball in the Cincinnati organization, albeit at the Double-A level.

    [SOURCE LINK]
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    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Bruce Maxwell Not Permitted To Play In Toronto]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=122276 2018-05-14T01:07:27Z 2018-05-14T01:07:00Z
  • Because Bruce Maxwell hasn’t yet been sentenced following his plea agreement for a change of disorderly conduct, Canadian immigration laws will prevent Maxwell from joining the Athletics during their upcoming four-game series in Toronto, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports.  Maxwell will have to be demoted at some point before Thursday’s series opener if the A’s are to have a backup behind Jonathan Lucroy.  Slusser suggests that prospect Beau Taylor (off to a hot start at Triple-A) could be considered even though he isn’t on the 40-man roster, though Josh Phegley could also be called up if Oakland didn’t want to make another transaction to clear room for Taylor.
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    Kyle Downing <![CDATA[Injury Notes: Naquin, Graveman, Buchter, Hendriks, Vielma, Alvarez,]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=122111 2018-05-12T23:22:32Z 2018-05-12T17:23:04Z The Indians have placed outfielder Tyler Naquin on the DL with a left hamstring strain, Jordan Bastian of MLB.com writes. Naquin limped into second during yesterday’s game while running out a double, and stayed in the game through the remainder of the inning. He was taken out subsequently, though, and sent to get an MRI. There’s no word yet on the severity of Naquin’s injury, nor how long he’ll be out. It’s surely a disappointing development for the Indians; Naquin’s hitting .333/.367/.453 on the year, albeit with an unsustainable .442 BABIP. In a related move, the Indians activated reliever Tyler Olson from the paternity list for today’s game.

    Other injury notes from around the league…

    • Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle provided some injury updates on Athletics players with a pair of tweets today. Right-hander Kendall Graveman is “limping around” after taking a liner off his shin last night. While the situation is reportedly better than expected, the A’s aren’t yet certain whether they’ll need to push back Graveman’s next side session. Meanwhile, Ryan Buchter (shoulder strain) will begin a throwing program next week, and Liam Hendriks (groin strain) is scheduled to throw off a mound today.
    • In Orioles injury news, infielder Engelb Vielma is set to have surgery on his knee (according to Rich Dubroff of PressBoxonline.com). He sustained the injury after tripping over a mound while running down a fly ball in foul ground during a minors game, and while it’s not thought to be season-ending, some in the Orioles organization have loudly voiced their frustrations about the circumstances surrounding the injury. Meanwhile, Jon Meoli of the Baltimore Sun tweets that Pedro Alvarez’ hamstring tightness will hold him out of today’s lineup, though there’s still hope that he could be called upon to hit if needed.
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    Kyle Downing <![CDATA[West Notes: CarGo, Fowler, Pence]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=122104 2018-05-12T15:37:25Z 2018-05-12T15:37:25Z A combination of poor offensive output and surging young Rockies outfielders staking claims to playing time has led to an unusual “platoon” situation for Carlos Gonzalez, as Kyle Newman of the Denver Post writes. CarGo is hitting just .236/.278/.427 on the season with three homers, while David Dahl and Noel Cuevas both boast wRC+ figures above 100 (though each has a BABIP above .420). Gerrardo Parra has also seen a reduction in playing time thanks to the young duo’s hot streaks. Newman notes that manager Bud Black is making his lineup card each day with many factors each day, including rest, pitching matchups and the hot hand. Gonzalez signed a one-year, $8MM deal with the Rockies this past season after struggling for much of 2017.

    A pair of other items out of the West…

    • Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle writes that the Athletics could start running more often following the promotion of speedy outfielder Dustin Fowler to the big league club. Enter Thursday’s game, Slusser notes that the A’s were just 7-for-14 in steal attempts on the season; those steals and steals attempts totals both rank second to last in the majors. In the meantime, Fowler was 8-for-10 during his time in Triple-A this year. Manager Bob Melvin describes Fowler as a “true base stealer”. Said Fowler on the subject:  “That’s something I’ve worked on my whole career, so I’d like to step it up and see how I can do at the big-league level as much as I can.” 
    • Giants outfielder Hunter Pence has reportedly resumed his rehab assignment (h/t Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports). Pence, who has been on the DL since April 20th after suffering a thumb injury, was originally expected to miss no more than the ten-day minimum. However, Pence began feeling some recurring thumb soreness during his initial rehab assignment, necessitating a retreat from playing in games for a bit. That was only five days ago, so it appears the setback wasn’t viewed as particularly serious. With Mac Williamson still being held out of games following concussion symptoms, the Giants will hope they can get Pence back into their depleted outfield mix sooner than later.
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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Athletics Promote Dustin Fowler, Place Trevor Cahill On 10-Day DL]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=121920 2018-05-09T18:17:44Z 2018-05-09T18:15:08Z 1:15pm: Cahill is expected only to be out for the required ten days, skipper Bob Melvin tells reporters including MLB.com’s Jane Lee (via Twitter). It is obviously not seen as a significant injury.

    10:41am: The Athletics have announced the promotion of outfielder Dustin Fowler. He’ll take the open roster spot created by the placement of righty Trevor Cahill on the 10-day DL.

    Fowler, acquired in last summer’s Sonny Gray trade, will be back in the majors after his first stint ended in calamity with a ruptured patella tendon in his very first game. The 23-year-old has been at full strength this year at Triple-A, where he has recorded a .313/.333/.484 batting line in 132 plate appearances.

    It is not fully clear at the moment whether Fowler will get an extended look, as the A’s will ultimately need to add another arm to account for Cahill’s absence. It’s possible, though, that he’ll be given a chance to stake a claim to the job in center. The club has received middling production from Matt Joyce and Stephen Piscotty thus far and does not have a true center fielder on the roster. While Mark Canha has hit well since stepping in up the middle, and the A’s have a bevy of outfield-capable options, there’s a path to playing time for Fowler if the club so chooses.

    As for Cahill, he has been diagnosed with an elbow impingement. It’s not clear at the moment how long he will be expected to miss. He had been off to an excellent start after signing with Oakland for $1.5MM late in camp. Cahill has worked to a 2.25 ERA with 11.6 K/9 against 2.3 BB/9 over 24 frames in four outings.

    Filling the void could mean bringing back Kendall Graveman, but his struggles have persisted since his demotion. Otherwise, Frankie Montas and Daniel Gossett appear to be the top options on the 40-man roster.

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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Athletics Release Simon Castro]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=121549 2018-05-04T13:30:40Z 2018-05-04T13:30:40Z The Athletics have released right-hander Simon Castro from their Triple-A club, per the Pacific Coast League’s transactions page. The 30-year-old turned in a solid year with the Oakland organization in 2017 but had gotten off to a rough start in 2018.

    Originally signed by the Padres as an 18-year-old, Castro was flipped to the White Sox as the centerpiece in 2011’s Carlos Quentin trade. At the time, he ranked among the game’s top 100 prospects, but ultimately he didn’t establish himself with either organization. After being cut loose by the Sox, he spent two years with the Rockies before landing with the A’s on a minor league deal prior to the 2017 season.

    Castro logged a career-high 38 innings with the A’s in the Majors last year, pitching to a 4.38 ERA with 8.5 K/9, 3.4 BB/9 and a 32.7 percent ground-ball rate in that time. He posted gaudy strikeout totals with Oakland’s top affiliate in Nashville as well, continuing a recent trend at the Triple-A level. While Castro has limited big league experience, his past three Triple-A campaigns (2015-17) saw him work 148 1/3 innings of 3.52 ERA ball with 11.8 K/9, 3.2 BB/9 and 0.85 HR/9.

    This season, he’s whiffed 12 hitters in 8 1/3 innings but also issued six walks and yielded seven earned runs. Castro has a fairly lengthy track record of missing bats in the upper minors and only turned 30 last month, so he’s likely to catch on as a depth piece elsewhere.

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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Athletics Select Contract Of Brett Anderson]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=121355 2018-05-02T17:29:05Z 2018-05-02T17:28:33Z TODAY: Oakland has indeed selected Anderson’s contract. Righty Emilio Pagan was optioned to create roster space.

    YESTERDAY: Brett Anderson arrived in the Athletics’ clubhouse on Tuesday night and is expected to start for Oakland tomorrow in place of recently demoted Opening Day starter Kendall Graveman, writes John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle. The A’s will have to formally select Anderson’s contract beforehand, though they have an open spot on the 40-man roster, so they won’t need to make a corresponding move to accommodate him.

    The news means that for the first time in seven years, the Athletics’ rotation will feature both Anderson and Trevor Cahill — two now-30-year-old pitchers who were once viewed as potential building blocks for the A’s. Over a span of two years, however, Oakland traded both pitchers in separate deals that netted Jarrod Parker, Drew Pomeranz, Ryan Cook, Collin Cowgill and Chris Jensen.

    Since he last suited up for the A’s, Anderson has appeared for the Rockies, Dodgers, Cubs and Blue Jays at the big league level, at times functioning as a decidedly above-average starter but also dealing with myriad back injuries in addition to blister issues and a broken finger on his pitching hand. In the four seasons since he was traded Anderson has pitched a total of 290 1/3 innings — the vast majority of which came with the 2015 Dodgers (180 1/3 innings, 3.69 ERA, 5.8 K/9, 2.3 BB/9, 66.3 percent ground-ball rate).

    [Related: Oakland Athletics depth chart]

    As Shea notes, Anderson had an opt-out provision in his contract, which likely contributed to the decision to bring him back to the big league level. However, one could hardly argue that Anderson didn’t earn the promotion based on merit, either; in four starts and 19 innings thus far with Triple-A Nashville, he’s surrendered four earned runs (1.89 ERA) on 17 hits and two walks with 25 strikeouts and a 65.2 percent grounder rate. He’ll join Cahill, Sean Manaea, Daniel Mengden and Andrew Triggs in Oakland’s rotation for the time being.

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    Jason Martinez <![CDATA[Knocking Down The Door: Fowler, Guerrero, Staumont, Stewart, Urias]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=121271 2018-05-01T22:54:40Z 2018-05-01T22:20:53Z “Knocking Down the Door” is a regular feature that identifies minor leaguers who are making a case for a big league promotion.  

    Dustin Fowler, CF, Athletics (Triple-A Nashville) | Athletics Depth Chart

    Despite a devastating leg injury that occurred during the first inning of his MLB debut last June, many still expected Fowler to be the starting center fielder on Opening Day. While health did not appear to be a major factor—he had 47 plate appearances in 19 games this spring—the 23-year-old was understandably rusty at the plate. He hit just .222 with two walks and 13 strikeouts in the Cactus League. As a result, his Oakland A’s debut would have to wait until he began to show the form that catapulted him up prospect lists with the Yankees last season (.871 OPS, 13 HR, 19 2B, 8 3B, 13 SB in 70 Triple-A games). If the last seven games are any indication, he is getting close.

    With 14 hits in his past 33 at-bats, including his first two homers of the season, a trio of three-hit games, three doubles and a pair of triples, Fowler has boosted his batting average over the .300 mark. He also has six stolen bases, which is a good indication that he’s recovered from his injury. The versatile Mark Canha has been productive while getting the majority of starts in center field as of late, but he’ll move back into a part-time role once Fowler arrives.

    Vladimir Guerrero Jr., 3B, Blue Jays (Double-A New Hampshire) | Blue Jays Depth Chart

    A 19-year-old with only a few weeks of Double-A experience has no business being on this list. Or being this good, even if his father is a Hall of Famer. But Vladimir Jr., after just 96 plate appearances, is making it clear that he has no business being at this level for much longer. The right-handed hitting third baseman is slashing .380/.442/.582 with two homers, eight doubles, 10 walks and 10 strikeouts in his first 20 games. He was also 7-for-13 in MLB camp during an impressive spring that he capped off with a walk-off homer in an exhibition game in Montreal.

    The only question for now is whether he makes a stop in Triple-A before he begins his MLB career. Once he’s in the Majors, he’ll be in the lineup on a regular basis. With Josh Donaldson expected back soon from the disabled list after missing time with shoulder discomfort, it’s possible that Guerrero spells him at third base a few days per week and serves as the designated hitter on other days. The odd man out would be Kendrys Morales, who is hitless in his last 21 at-bats and is 8-for-50 on the season.

    Josh Staumont, RP, Royals (Triple-A Omaha) | Royals Depth Chart

    Entering 2017 as one of the Royals’ best prospects, Staumont flopped in his first full season in the upper minors with a 5.56 ERA and 7.0 BB/9 in 124 2/3 innings between Triple-A and Double-A. A move to the bullpen has him back on track so far in 2018.

    While the walks are still an issue—he’s walked seven in 10 1/3 Triple-A innings—he’s allowed just one earned run and hasn’t walked more than one batter in seven of his eight appearances. The 24-year-old right-hander has also struck out 22 batters, including 10 over his past two outings (3 2/3 IP). Coincidentally, the Royals have one of the worst bullpens in the Majors. Their closer, Kelvin Herrera, isn’t part of the problem, but he’s expected to be traded to a contender by July 31st and probably sooner than that. Staumont should get a chance to prove that he can be a part of the team’s late-inning, post-Herrera relief crew.

    Christin Stewart, OF, Tigers (Triple-A Toledo) | Tigers Depth Chart

    The Tigers had a fairly uneventful offseason, which wasn’t totally unexpected as they moved toward a rebuild. But with several free agents available at a discounted rate—Carlos Gomez, Carlos Gonzalez and Jon Jay are just a few examples—it was a bit surprising that they took a hard pass and began the season with Mikie Mahtook and Leonys Martin in their starting outfield. While it’s not clear whether the Stewart factored in to the decision—he hit 28 homers in Double-A in 2017, but also struck out 138 times—he could soon get the chance to show that he can be a part of the solution.

    Not only has the 24-year-old left fielder continued to mash in the upper minors—he’s slashing .311/.404/.568 with four homers, five doubles and 11 walks in his first 89 Triple-A plate appearances—he’s also striking out at a much lower rate than in year’s past (24 % in ’17; 15 % in ’18). Playing alongside Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez should only help to continue that trend.

    Luis Urias, 2B, Padres (Triple-A El Paso) | Padres Depth Chart

    Padres hitters continue to rack up strikeouts at a record pace. They lead the league with 309 whiffs in 1135 plate appearances and are on their way to surpassing the MLB single-season record of 1571. As a comparison, Urias has struck out 150 times in 1618 plate appearances in the minors. He also has 166 walks. The 20-year-old won’t be their savior in 2018, but he can certainly help this bunch.

    Over his first 19 games in Triple-A, Urias is slashing .307/.416/.440 with two homers, four doubles, 13 walks and 15 strikeouts. He has nine hits, six walks and one strikeout over his last 22 plate appearances. The Padres moved quickly to fill two rotation spots with prospects—Joey Lucchesi and Eric Lauer both debuted in April—and now it’s becoming increasingly possible that Urias joins them to replace the struggling Carlos Asuaje (.576 OPS) as the starting second baseman.

    Photos courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Khris Davis Hopes To Remain With Athletics]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=121032 2018-04-28T23:38:14Z 2018-04-28T23:22:17Z
  • The Athletics are reportedly discussing a one-year extension with slugger Khris Davis, who’d welcome the opportunity to stay in Oakland, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle relays. “I want to be an Oakland Athletic,” Davis said. “I think I fit in well here. I like the organization, I like the coaching staff, I like my teammates.” Interestingly, Slusser suggests there’s at least a small chance that the low-payroll Athletics could designate Davis for assignment next offseason if he hasn’t agreed to an extension and they fear his arbitration award will be too high. That would be an eye-opening move by Oakland, for which Davis has slashed .247/.322/.525 (125 wRC+) with a major league-high 92 home runs in 1,381 PAs since joining the team prior to 2016. The 30-year-old Davis is making $10.5MM this season and, as Slusser notes, could wind up at $15MM or more in 2019 – his final arb campaign.
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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Athletics Place Ryan Buchter On 10-Day DL]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=120986 2018-04-28T04:15:48Z 2018-04-28T03:57:36Z
  • The Athletics have placed southpaw Ryan Buchter on the DL, per a club announcement. He’ll be replaced on the active roster by Danny Coulombe. At this point, the team plans to shut Buchter down for at least ten days and possibly longer, as MLB.com’s Jane Lee tweets. The 31-year-old southpaw, who was acquired over the offseason, has been quite good thus far for the A’s. He’s carrying a 1.69 ERA with 9.3 K/9 and 3.4 BB/9 over 10 2/3 innings.
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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[A’s Reportedly Discussing One-Year Extension With Khris Davis]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=120939 2018-04-27T03:59:45Z 2018-04-27T03:58:13Z The A’s have approached Khris Davis’ representatives at Octagon about a one-year extension for the 2019 season, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports within his latest column on the A’s (subscription required). The two sides are in the early stages of talks about a deal that’d buy out Davis’ final year of arbitration well in advance. Davis is controlled through 2019 regardless, so a one-year extension would largely be about establishing cost certainty for the club and about protecting against injury or a notable decline from Davis’ vantage point.

    Oakland and Davis came to terms on a one-year, $10.5MM contract this past offseason, avoiding arbitration in the process. With another characteristically strong season at the plate — Davis is off to a .257/.339/.535 start with seven homers — the 30-year-old slugger would be primed for one more significant boost in his salary. As a loose point of reference, he received a $5.5MM raise this past offseason, so a typical season could push his salary beyond the $16MM point next year.

    Davis’ skill set, while not one that has been rewarded handsomely in free agency in recent years, is one that still plays quite well in the arbitration process. Locking Davis up now could potentially save the A’s a bit of cash over what he’d command in his final trip through the arbitration process. Extensions of this nature aren’t exactly commonplace, though the Nationals brokered a one-year deal that bought out Bryce Harper’s final arbitration around this time last season.

    While a salary ranging anywhere from $14-17MM (speaking speculatively) would be substantial for the budget-conscious A’s, Oakland can certainly afford to make that type of commitment to Davis in 2019. At present, right-hander Yusmeiro Petit and outfielder Stephen Piscotty are the only players signed to guaranteed contracts for the 2019 season. They’ll earn just under $13MM combined.

    Oakland will have a sizable arbitration class, with Marcus Semien, Kendall Graveman, Blake Treinen, Liam Hendriks, Chris Hatcher, Josh Phegley, Jake Smolinski, Ryan Dull, Ryan Buchter and emerging ace Sean Manaea each qualifying in addition to Davis. Of that group, only Semien seems likely to command anything north of $5MM, though. Manaea will be first-time eligible as a Super Two player, while the others are primarily role players that are either first-time eligible as well (Dull, Buchter) or are currently earning relatively minimal salaries.

    The A’s will surely want to leave some room for potential free-agent signings and trade acquisitions, particularly given their increasingly promising young core, though it certainly seems that there’d be room for Davis’ salary, the rest of their arb class, and a few new additions. Oakland will watch $26MM come off the books when Jonathan Lucroy, Matt Joyce, Jed Lowrie, Santiago Casilla and Trevor Cahill come off the books, and their Opening Day payroll of roughly $68.9MM was quite a bit lower than the $83.6MM they averaged from 2014-17.

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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Athletics Option Kendall Graveman]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=120931 2018-04-26T22:59:36Z 2018-04-26T22:59:36Z The Athletics announced this afternoon that they’ve optioned Opening Day starter Kendall Graveman to Triple-A Nashville. Fellow righty Chris Bassitt is also being optioned to Triple-A, while recently acquired reliever Wilmer Font has been added to the active roster. The A’s will announce another move tomorrow (perhaps Yusmeiro Petit being activated from the bereavement list, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle suggests).

    The move comes as somewhat of a surprise given Graveman’s standing in the organization. The 27-year-old has been a reliable member of the starting five (when healthy) dating back to the 2015 season, pitching to a 4.11 ERA through 407 innings from 2015-17.

    Thus far, the 2018 campaign has proven to be a nightmare for Graveman, however. In 28 1/3 innings, Graveman has allowed 28 earned runs on 41 hits (seven homers) and 11 walks with 23 strikeouts. No pitcher in Major League Baseball has allowed more hits or earned runs, and Graveman’s seven homers trail only Cole Hamels for the MLB lead. (Hamels has tossed 6 1/3 more innings.)

    [Related: Oakland Athletics depth chart]

    Graveman entered the season with three years, 14 days of Major League service time, putting him on track to reach free agency after the completion of the 2020 season. He needs to accumulate a total of 158 days of big league service time in 2018 in order to surpass four years of service and remain on track for that free agency date, which should still be attainable unless the demotion proves to be an especially lengthy one. He’d need to spend about a full month in the minors in order to miss out on the requisite service time for free agency that offseason.

    With Graveman temporarily out of the rotation, the A’s have Sean Manaea, Daniel Mengden, Trevor Cahill and Andrew Triggs holding starting jobs. There’s been no announcement as to who’ll step into his spot, but righty Daniel Gossett has pitched well in two starts since being optioned to Nashville. Flamethrowing Frankie Montas is also starting down in Nashville and is on the 40-man roster, though he’s gotten off to a poor start. Veteran lefty Brett Anderson is also with Oakland’s Triple-A affiliate and throwing well — 1.89 ERA, 25-to-2 K/BB ratio in 19 innings — and the A’s have an open 40-man roster spot to accommodate him if he is the preferred option.

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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Athletics Acquire Wilmer Font]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=120844 2018-04-25T20:41:34Z 2018-04-25T20:29:53Z The Athletics have acquired righty Wilmer Font from the Dodgers, per a club announcement. Lefty Logan Salow will head to Los Angeles in return.

    Font is out of options, so he’ll need to be added to the active roster by the A’s. He cracked the Dodgers pen to open the 2018 season but was knocked around early. Thus far in 2018, opponents have scored 13 earned runs and cracked five home runs in Font’s 10 1/3 innings of work.

    That said, Font is an interesting player to take a risk on. He was lights out as a starter last year at Triple-A, carrying a 3.42 ERA with 11.9 K/9 against 2.3 BB/9. The A’s will hope that Font can rediscover the form that produced those results and convert it into MLB production.

    Salow was a sixth-round pick in last year’s draft who showed some swing and miss, but also some command struggles, in his first two dozen innings as a professional. The southpaw has shown well out of the gates at the Class A level in 2018, allowing just one earned run on one hit and two walks while compiling eight strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings.

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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Liam Hendriks Undergoing Minor Hip Surgery]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=120775 2018-04-25T02:22:25Z 2018-04-25T02:22:25Z Athletics righty Liam Hendriks is undergoing a relatively minor surgical procedure on his ailing hip, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The Australian-born reliever is a cyst removed from his right hip and will also receive a platelet-rich plasma injection to accelerate the healing process. A’s trainer Nick Paparesta tells Slusser that Hendriks, who was set to have the procedure earlier today, will rest for the next 10 days before beginning rehab. Slusser notes that it’ll be a matter of weeks before he’s back on the mound. Hendriks, 29, logged a 3.99 ERA with a terrific 149-to-37 K/BB ratio in 128 2/3 innings for the A’s from 2016-17.

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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[White Sox Acquire Trayce Thompson]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=120416 2018-04-20T00:27:57Z 2018-04-20T00:20:50Z The White Sox have announced the acquisition of outfielder Trayce Thompson from the Athletics. Cash or a player to be named later will head in return.

    This move explains the team’s other just-announced transaction, as Thompson will require a 40-man spot. It’s the third time Thompson has changed uniforms since the start of April. He entered the month in DFA limbo after being dropped from the Dodgers’ 40-man and then moved to the Yankees and on to the A’s.

    The result is that the 27-year-old will land back where things began for him back in 2009, when the Sox chose him in the second round of the amateur draft. He first reached the majors with the Chicago organization back in 2015 and since then has compiled a cumulative .232/.307/.440 batting line in 459 total plate appearances.

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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Athletics Designate Trayce Thompson For Assignment]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=120254 2018-04-17T21:34:10Z 2018-04-17T21:22:13Z The Athletics have designated outfielder Trayce Thompson for assignment, as Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle was among those to tweet. His roster spot was needed with starter Trevor Cahill and reliever Lou Trivino coming to the majors.

    Thompson has already bounced from the Dodgers to the Yankees and then on to the A’s via the waiver wire, so it’s possible he will again be on the move. If is not traded and clears waivers, Oakland will presumably look to stash him at Triple-A.

    The 27-year-old outfielder only got into three games in his short time with the Athletics, striking out four times in his seven plate appearances. Thompson also struggled at the plate last year with the Dodgers and their top affiliate. He spent most of the year at Triple-A, where he slashed .212/.269/.363 with nine home runs in his 369 plate appearances.

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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Athletics To Recall Trevor Cahill]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=120221 2018-04-17T16:05:47Z 2018-04-17T16:05:47Z
  • The Athletics will call on right-hander Trevor Cahill to take the ball in tonight’s game against the White Sox, as MLB.com’s Jane Lee writes. Oakland brought Cahill back to the organization on a one-year, $1.5MM deal late in Spring Training after it was learned that young righty Jharel Cotton would require Tommy John surgery. The veteran Cahill, who broke into the Majors with the A’s back in 2009, has made a pair of starts in the minors as he builds up arm strength and tossed 83 pitches in his most recent outing, Lee notes. Manager Bob Melvin said that the right-hander might be able to go a bit longer than that this time out, though it obviously Cahill’s performance will dictate what type of leash he’s given.
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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[A’s Reportedly Approached Matt Chapman About Extension]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=120127 2018-04-16T14:22:21Z 2018-04-16T14:20:40Z The Athletics have been rumored to have interest in pursuing long-term deals with corner infielders Matt Olson and Matt Chapman in the past, and Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that the A’s did indeed approach Chapman’s camp about an extension at some point. However, agent Scott Boras informed the club that there’s no interest in discussing an extension at this time.

    That Oakland already has interest in locking up Chapman beyond his standard level of club control is hardly a surprise; the 24-year-old has flashed one of the most dynamic gloves in all of baseball in his short time in the big leagues (+22 Defensive Runs Saved, +12.2 Ultimate Zone Rating in 868 innings) in addition to plenty of promise at the dish. Chapman hit .234/.313/.472 in 326 plate appearances last season, and he’s significantly reduced his strikeout rate in 2018 (from 28.2 percent to 16.4 percent) while slashing a robust .333/.403/.650 through his first 67 trips to the plate. It’s not clear whether Chapman was approached before or during the current season, but it’s certainly easy to see why the A’s believe him to be a potential cornerstone.

    While Chapman is controlled through the 2023 season at present, the Athletics also have a well-documented history of trading players before they reach the end of their CBA-allotted level of team control (as Slusser notes). Josh Donaldson, Sonny Gray, Josh Reddick, Andrew Bailey, Trevor Cahill and others have been shipped out by the A’s over the past five to six years before reaching the open market — some by just a few months (Reddick) but some as many as three to four years in advance of free agency (Donaldson). An extension for Chapman certainly wouldn’t preclude an eventual trade (as Cahill exemplifies), but establishing cost certainty at a reasonable rate would certainly enhance the chances, especially if the team can indeed secure a new stadium deal around the time that Chapman is presently slotted to hit free agency.

    Extensions for players with under a year of big league service time are rare but not unheard of, as Spring Training 2018 made abundantly clear. Paul DeJong’s six-year, $26MM deal with the Cardinals set a new benchmark for players with under a year of big league service back in March, and the Phillies even more aggressively brokered an extension with Scott Kingery before the 24-year-old had played a single game in the Majors. One would imagine that both could be data points in any future talks that arise between the A’s and Boras, though the price will only go up as Chapman accrues more service time and delivers further production at the big league level.

    Boras, of course, has a reputation for advising his clients to go through the arbitration process and reach free agency as early as possible, though there have been exceptions to that general guideline. Jered Weaver, Carlos Gonzalez, Carlos Gomez and Elvis Andrus are among the Boras clients that have signed long-term deals while in their arbitration or pre-arbitration years.

    Such deals require mutual interest, though, and as Slusser examines at greater length in the focal point of her column, Oakland’s paltry attendance figures don’t do the club any favors when trying to convince young talent to stay around. Slusser speaks with team president Dave Kaval, second baseman Jed Lowrie and others in highlighting not only the team’s 2018 attendance struggles, but also an unorthodox upcoming promotion in which the A’s are hosting a home game that is free to the public.

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