Susan Slusser Rumors

Pirates Claim Josh Lindblom, Outright Angel Sanchez

The Pirates have claimed righty Josh Lindblom off waivers from the Athletics, Pittsburgh has announced. Oakland recently designated him for assignment.

In a corresponding move, the Bucs outrighted right-hander Angel Sanchez to Triple-A. Sanchez was claimed by Pittsburgh back in July. He has yet to appear above the Double-A level.

As for Lindblom, the 27-year-old saw just one MLB appearance last year. He tossed 84 minor league innings, working to a 5.79 ERA with 6.4 K/9 versus 2.8 BB/9. Lindblom has played in parts of four major league campaigns.

Slusser On The Dan Haren Trade

Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle was recently named Rumor Royalty for the A’s.  She answered a few questions for MLBTR for the series.

MLBTR: Some have called Billy Beane’s return on Dan Haren "quantity over quality."  Do you agree?  What is your opinion on the Haren haul?

Slusser: My understanding is that the A’s felt that Arizona might be the best match all along for Haren and that they received pretty much exactly what they asked for, so clearly these are prospects the A’s valued highly, Carlos Gonzalez and Brett Anderson in particular. Maybe there’s some belief the A’s should have gotten one of the Diamondbacks’ young big-leaguers, but that was never on the table. I’m not sure they would have done better elsewhere, and they got some quality and certainly quantity – which isn’t a bad thing. Mark Ellis was a throw-in in the Damon deal, essentially; no one really noticed him at the time. He turned out to be the most valuable piece, long-term.

Slusser On Barry Bonds Possibilities

We recently named Susan Slusser Rumor Royalty for the A’s.  She is the team’s beat writer for the San Francisco Chronicle.  As part of the feature she answered a few questions for us.

MLBTR: Could you see any team beside the A’s signing Barry Bonds?  In your estimation, what’s the most the A’s would pay for a year of Bonds

Slusser: An insider told me at the winter meetings that two other teams besides the A’s had asked about Bonds, so it’s impossible to rule out. If he plays – and that seems to be a pretty big if — Oakland has the best shot, but estimating a salary is really tough. If there’s no other interest and Bonds really wants to play, considering all the issues that surround him, the price tag could be pretty cheap, say $5-$6 million. If there’s more interest, it could go up. The A’s did pay Mike Piazza $8 million last year.

Do the A’s really want Bonds, though? There are good reasons to sign him, and equally solid reasons not to. They need to put fans in the seats after moving their most popular player, and they don’t have much in the middle of the order right now. On the other hand, they might alienate much of their fan base with Bonds, and a team that is in "full bore” rebuilding mode might not be looking to spend on a 43-year-old free agent with lots of legal problems and an iffy clubhouse reputation. There is no doubt it has been discussed internally, however.

Slusser On Blanton/Street/Ellis Trade Possibilities

Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle was recently named Rumor Royalty for the A’s.  As part of the feature, I asked her a few questions.

MLBTR: It seems Joe Blanton is a hot commodity, but we’re not hearing much about Huston Street or Mark Ellis. Do you expect any of these three to be with the team on Opening Day?

Slusser: I think Blanton gets moved by the trading deadline, at the latest, but probably before then. Street opens the season with the team but potentially could get moved by the deadline if a contender were to lose a closer, but overall, he’s less likely than Blanton to get dealt – he’s three years younger and, coming off an arm injury, he’s not going to bring back as much. Ellis has one year left on his deal, so wouldn’t bring a ton in return, plus he’s a great guy to have as a role model for young players. Clearly, no one is untouchable at this point, but of all the A’s more veteran guys, he’s the best bet to be around all year.

Rumor Royalty: Susan Slusser (Athletics)

As originally described here, Rumor Royalty is an MLBTR series where I name the one journalist for each team who has done the most for us hot stove junkies.  If the writer is up for it, I ask that person questions for publication on the site.  You can see all of the entries in the series here.

Today we present the honor for the Oakland Athletics to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle.  Here’s a link to the newspaper’s A’s page.  Slusser also contributes to their A’s Drumbeat blog.  Slusser has been the A’s beat writer for the Chronicle for over a decade, bringing a refreshing sense of humor to what can be a grueling job.  She has answered three questions for MLBTR, and they’ll be running over the next few days.

Other journalists on tap: La Velle E. Neal III (Twins) and Mike DiGiovanna (Angels).