Scott Sizemore Rumors

A’s Notes: Lineup, Young, Cespedes, Nakajima

The Athletics held their A's Fan Fest today with manager Bob Melvin and GM Billy Beane hosting a Q&A session. Here are the highlights:

  • Melvin says second base will be an open competition between Scott Sizemore and Jemile Weeks while Grant Green, the A's fourth-best prospect as ranked by MLB.com, will also receive a hard look, reports MLB.com's Jane Lee (Twitter links).
  • Melvin plans to continue with the Brandon Moss/Chris Carter platoon at first base, tweets Lee
  • Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle tweets the A's will not use any one set lineup because Melvin has multiple options depending on matchups and who's hot. 
  • Melvin views Coco Crisp as the starting center fielder with Chris Young moving around all three outfield spots, Lee tweets.
  • Young says being reunited with Melvin is "like a breath of fresh air." (A's team Twitter feed).
  • Melvin calls Yoenis Cespedes one of most talented players in the league and Beane adds he wouldn't be surprised if the 27-year-old Cuban takes it to another level, Slusser tweets
  • Beane is confident Hiroyuki Nakajima will make a successful transition to MLB, tweets Casey Pratt of CSNBayArea.com. In fact, Beane joked he will have a tougher transition in dealing with the effervescent Japanese shortstop.
  • Beane expects their top prospect, outfielder Michael Choice, to open the season in Triple-A, unless something unforeseen happens, according to Pratt (via Twitter).
  • The A's are convinced shortstop Addison Russell, last year's first round draft choice, is mature enough to be invited to Spring Training even though it wasn't part of his contract, writes Slusser on Twitter. Slusser adds this is an indication of how much the 19-year-old has wowed the front office.

Quick Hits: Cespedes, Nationals, Axford, Calero

Links for Saturday afternoon..

  • Yoenis Cespedes' deal with the Athletics is now official, according to the club's Twitter account.  Cespedes' deal is for four years and is reportedly worth $36MM
  • In a corresponding move, the A's opened a spot for Cespedes on the 40-man roster by placing Scott Sizemore on the 60-day disabled list.  Sizemore will miss the entire 2012 campaign after tearing his left ACL.
  • Outfielders Rick Ankiel and Brett Carroll, who are both on minor league deals, are making a solid case to make the Nationals' major league squad, writes Bill Ladson of MLB.com.
  • Although people in the Nationals organization like Davey Johnson wanted him to return, Livan Hernandez says that he knew early on that his time was up in Washington, tweets Ladson.
  • The Brewers renewed the contract of right-hander John Axford this afternoon and the two sides continue to talk about a multiyear deal, tweets Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.
  • Right-hander Kiko Calero is considering a procedure similar to what Bartolo Colon underwent as he weighs a comeback, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (via Twitter).
  • Both the Yankees and Red Sox are operating differently in 2012 thanks to the luxury tax threshold of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, writes Alex Speier of WEEI.com.  The new provision, Speier writes, creates the possibility for more payroll parity than the game has seen in years.

AL West Notes: Sizemore, Ka’aihue, Abreu, Rangers

This time next year the Houston Astros will be about to join the AL West, but for now it remains baseball's only four-team division. Here's the latest news, starting with a serious injury…

  • The Athletics announced that third baseman Scott Sizemore has a torn ACL in his left knee and will miss the 2012 season.
  • An A's official tells Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle that the club is high on Josh Donaldson as a possible replacement for Sizemore (Twitter link). However, today's news makes the A's person "want to vomit." 
  • The Athletics would likely have interest in Angels infielder Alberto Callaspo if they explore the trade market for a third baseman, Slusser wrote Sunday. The A's probably wouldn't part with a significant prospect for him, however.
  • Athletics first baseman Kila Ka'aihue told Jane Lee of MLB.com that he was always looking over his shoulder with the Royals. "They never really wanted me there," he said. "I always did well enough to hang around but was always passed up." Ka'aihue is competing for the first base job in Oakland. 
  • The Angels plan to find Bobby Abreu regular playing time –perhaps 400 plate appearances or so — and the left-handed hitter is ‘fine’ with the arrangement, Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com writes. Earlier this month Abreu told ESPN Deportes that he would like to be traded if the Angels don't find him an everyday role. 
  • Not counting team president Nolan Ryan and special assistant Greg Maddux, do the Rangers have an ace? Jerry Crasnick asks this question at ESPN.com, pointing out that the two-time defending AL Champions have lost Cliff Lee and C.J. Wilson to free agency since 2010. "If we don't have a No. 1, we're stacked with 2s," pitching coach Mike Maddux said. "And that's OK.''


Athletics Notes: Sizemore, Bergmann

Here are some notes on the A's as they get set to take on the Orioles in Baltimore..


Quick Hits: McCourt, Abreu, Sizemore, Purcey

A night after striking out four times in four plate appearances, Adam Dunn walked in all four of his plate appearances in Friday's 4-2 loss to Toronto.  If we're sticking to a pattern of Dunn's "three true outcomes," then theoretically, Dunn should hit four home runs against the Blue Jays tomorrow.  Set your fantasy lineups accordingly!

Some news from around the majors as we go into the weekend…

  • Frank McCourt will be able to meet the Dodgers' May 31 payroll, reports Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times.  One of Shaikin's sources says McCourt is still looking to secure the funds to meet the next payroll deadline on June 15.  If McCourt fails to meet payroll, Major League Baseball will seize control of the team from the embattled owner and cover the payroll itself.
  • With Bobby Abreu on pace to easily reach 433 plate appearances and cause his $9MM option for 2012 to vest, the Angels will owe $48MM in 2012 to Abreu, Vernon Wells and Torii HunterMark Saxon of ESPNLosAngeles.com thinks allowing Abreu's option to vest "would be just another poor long-term decision for a GM [Tony Reagins] that seems to be specializing in them," and wonders why the Halos would tie so much money up in the outfield when their top prospect (Mike Trout) is an outfielder and Peter Bourjos is in the picture.
  • In his analysis of today's Scott Sizemore-for-David Purcey trade, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports notes that the Tigers first contacted the Athletics about Purcey on the very day that Oakland acquired the left-hander from the Blue Jays.  The deal was a natural match since "the A’s long have had interest in Sizemore," and plan to convert him to a third baseman.
  • Matthew Eddy of Baseball America wraps up the week's minor league transactions.
  • Joe Girardi said he could move Nick Swisher into a platoon with Chris Dickerson if Swisher doesn't pick up his hitting from the left side of the plate, reports Wallace Matthews of ESPNNewYork.com.  Swisher still has four months to get on track, but right now it looks like there's no chance the Yankees will pick up his $10.25MM option for 2012.
  • Ryan Drese was granted his release by the Orioles earlier today, and Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun reports the veteran righty is expected to sign a minor league deal with the Astros.

Tigers Acquire David Purcey For Scott Sizemore

The Tigers have acquired left-hander David Purcey from the Athletics for second baseman Scott Sizemore, the teams announced. The move provides the Tigers with another left-handed relief option and gives the A's second base depth behind the struggling Mark Ellis. In related moves, the Tigers called Danny Worth up and the A's called Bobby Cramer up.

Purcey, a 2004 first rounder, arrived in Oakland last month, after the Blue Jays designated him for assignment. He has a 3.60 ERA for the A's and Blue Jays this year with a 10K/7BB ratio through 15 innings. Last year, the 29-year-old posted a career-best 3.71 ERA with 8.5 K/9 and 4.0 BB/9 in 34 innings out of Toronto's 'pen.

Sizemore has been Detroit's everyday second baseman since getting the call to the Majors in early May. He has a .222/.329/.238 line in 74 plate appearances this year, which is similar to the batting line he produced as a rookie in 2010 (.224/.296/.336). A fifth round pick in 2006, Sizemore has a .301/.387/.453 line in the minor leagues.

The Tigers currently have three left-handed relievers on the active roster: Daniel Schlereth and recent additions Charlie Furbush and Adam Wilk (Brad Thomas is on the DL). Wilk and Furbush debuted this week and Purcey has pitched more MLB innings than Schlereth and Thomas combined, so he'll provide manager Jim Leyland with something of a known commodity.


Tigers Talk: Avila, Raburn, Ordonez, Inge, Boesch

The Tigers made quite a bit of noise yesterday, declining to pick up Magglio Ordonez's option and announcing that they would not pursue Cliff Lee or another top tier free agent starting pitcher, among several other things. John Lowe of The Detroit Free Press has some more today…

  • First base (Miguel Cabrera) and centerfield (Austin Jackson) are the only positions set in stone for next year, and they plan to fill several others from within. Alex Avila (.228/.316/.340 in 333 plate appearances) will take over as the starting catcher, and Ryan Raburn (.280/.340/.474 in 410 PA) will essentially have a full-time outfield job. Second base will also be filled from within, with Will Rhymes and Scott Sizemore representing the early favorites. Once he returns from knee surgery, Carlos Guillen is expected to be a "jack of all trades."
  • The Tigers do have interest in bringing Ordonez back, presumably at a rate much lower than the $15MM option they declined. That could fill the hole at designated hitter.
  • Dave Dombrowski acknowledged that Brandon Inge's defense is why they want him back, but they feel he can chip in double digit homers as well. Yesterday we heard that the two sides were discussing a multi-year contract.
  • Brennan Boesch, who hit .163/.237/.222 in the second half after a .342/.397/.593 first half, will "have to step up" like any young player who wants a full-time job according to the GM.
  • Dombrowski told Tom Gage of The Detroit News that he wants to add a middle-of-the-order bat, and he would prefer it to be a lefthanded hitter (Twitter link). Cabrera led the league with 32 intentional walks, so finding him some protection is a must. Some notable lefty bats that will be on the free agent market: Adam Dunn, Russell Branyan, Brad Hawpe, and Hideki Matsui, though all of those guys are defensively challenged. 

Odds & Ends: Stauffer, Twins, Tigers, Desmond

Links for Sunday….


Stark’s Latest: Trade Block, Mets, Phillies, Tigers

ESPN's Jayson Stark has a new blog post up with some trade rumor nuggets for us. It's behind the Insider wall (if you don't have a subscription yet, what are you waiting for?), so I can't give away too much…

  • Stark lists 16 players currently on the trade block. Among the names we haven't seen mentioned recently: Willie Harris, Andy Marte, Tim Stauffer, Omir Santos, and Brad Thomas.
  • The Mets are looking to move one of their extra catchers, either Santos or Chris Coste, and are looking to add "major league-ready triple-A pitching depth." Aren't we all…
  • The Phillies are looking to add all sorts of pitching depth, and have interest in the recently released Chad Gaudin.
  • Scott Sizemore's rocky spring has the Tigers looking for a second base upgrade.
  • Kansas City is shopping Brayan Pena in their perpetual search for starting pitching.
  • The Braves have told other clubs that David Ross is available, "possibly in a catcher-for-catcher swap for a younger backup-catcher type."