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.
With the A’s optioning him to AAA no other team can pick him up, right?
Unless he is dfa, I think
No, he has options left.
Oh, just in time for a Justin Turner rehab assignment.
lmfao you are hilarious!!!
I say Anderson gets the call. Who would’ve thought him and Cahill would be in the A’s rotation together again?
I was wondering the same thing. Wild how this game works sometimes.
Font has to make the MLB team, Anderson can be stored at AAA until his opt out date.
Oh oops, I thought Font was going into the rotation and Petit was coming off the BL. I see your point now.
The A’s still may outright release Hatcher which would free up room. What is the point of having a situational relief pitcher who can’t get anyone out?
Other long overdue moves:
DFA Hatcher, bring up Bobby Wahl – Hatcher is a nightmare pitcher who should be in indie ball until he figures out how to be a pitcher, not a thrower. He has no options so just let him be a FA and become someone elses problem. Wahl is a better pitcher who’s cruising at AAA right now, gotta go with hot hands.
DFA/trade Smolinski, promote BJ Boyd – Smolinski has options but he’s not a good enough defender to keep around especially with Canha doing the things he was supposed to do adequately. His option might be able to bring back a similar “change of scenery” guy in a trade. Boyd is a better defender than Smo.
Option Pagan for Anderson – Anderson can start or even go to the pen, but he’s definitely pitching really well right now and is a MLB quality arm. He’s made of glass, so they should take advantage while he’s able. Pagan is struggling in the early on and might still need seasoning despite being great in MLB last year.
DFA/trade Dull, bring up Bassit – Dull is exactly like Hatcher and has coasted off his beginners luck for far too long – especially on a contender. He’s got 3 options but I’m honestly just sick of his cruddy pitching. Like Anderson, Bassit is pitching too well to be in the minors right now, the A’s need to go with hot hands before they sink their possible-contending season by making the wrong moves and losing too many April and May games.
Option Maxwell for Beau Taylor or if they’re feeling aggressive, Sean Murphy. Taylor and Murphy can hit MLB pitching and are both fairly good catchers, Maxwell can’t hit and is awful behind the plate. Murphy could come up and take notes from Lucroy before he leaves in FA or Taylor just could be an upgrade over Maxwell.
Do you have Billy B. on speed dial? You should…..
Happens to be consensus of many well informed fans and scouts…he nailed it
Wow I have been screaming for exactly every single move you said. Boyd being wasted in AA then AAA…we keep looking for OF and .300+ hitter (I think he could be at least .290-.310) be a guy to get on base at bottom of lineup or with Taylor…whom has a great repoire with Pitchers…yet we see gascans Hatcher KG Dull and zpagan come in and routinely ruin my night. Bring up Anderson quit wasting him before he gets hurt and maybe he won’t…take that lone .2 Iinn nightmare from triggs and our starters outside of KG have been solid to great and elite. Wilmer Fonts though..
Maybe to make us forget how bad Hatcher is.
Font is really intriguing, but don’t take my word for it:
Boyd doesn’t get on base enough and does not have any power. There’s no consensus his defense is enough to make up for his offensive shortcomings.
Bassitt was already up and the A’s didn’t utilize him. He’s got a long history of injury so he’s not dependable. He hasn’t pitched a season out of the bullpen and the major leagues isn’t the best place to ‘try it out’.
The A’s need to challenge Franklin Barreto to see if he can play multiple positions. If he can play SS/2B/CF with any credibility at an average level – he’ll be employed for the next 15 years. If he is still pouting about not being the full time SS the A’s might need to make a change.
Maxwell can hit but he’s also the back up Catcher so his stats are based on a small sample size. If you are trying to play politics with Maxwell – fine. But bring facts to the table and not hyperbole. Neither Taylor or Murphy are ready for major league pitching nor to carry a staff.
Personnel moves are not going to be the salve that heals all and gets the A’s on a winning track.
The A’s need to rethink Scott Emerson as pitching coach. Way too many injuries and poor performances to justify a tenured position.
While he might be better than Curt Young, a bag of wet mice was better than Curt Young.
Wow, you really going to come at me for “facts not hyperbole” and defend Maxwell’s .472 2018 OPS and career .670 OPS? I watch literally every game the A’s play and he is awful from EVERY perspective, no matter what you think of his off field life. Then you pull some lies about Barreto “pouting” about not playing SS when I have never seen anything of the sort? Show evidence about that or never reply to me again.
Some people’s comments are bigger than the article!!… going back to the subject there’s go the last piece of the Donaldson trade.
I’ve been extensively studying and writing about them for other sites/companies, lol!!
And we both know Barreto is the crown of the Donaldson trade 🙂
For Donaldson we received Brett Laurie, Graveman, Sean Nolan and Franklin Barreto, Sean Nolan was DFA and picked by Chicago. Brett Laurie was traded in return we got Zach Erwin and J B Wendelken. Barreto is in AAA. Zach Erwin is in A (Stockton) Wendelken is in AA (midland). Graveman now joins Barreto in AAA Nashville. Therefore Graveman is not the last piece of the Donaldson trade!
Linda how can you be so knowledgable but not know how to spell any of their names? Its Lawrie and Nolin! lol
First of all I know that Brett’s last name is spelled Lawrie and Sean’s last name is spelled Nolin. My iPad has a habit of changing things and names. For example it place the letter “a” in front of names. My only fault was not proof reading it before I sent my comment. Thank you for being so courteous as to point that out to me.
Donaldson was traded not to received a huge return – which the A’s didn’t anyway – but just to avoid Josh’s critics about Oakland not wanting to spend the big bucks to retain him, Cespedes, and others, pure and simply…. On the other hand, Graveman’s been there three years giving all he’s got, Kendall has not fully developed yet. Franklin Barreto is ready but with Lowry playing well thus far then Barreto has to wait…
Donaldson was traded because Beane took a chance that lowrie could produce about the same stats. Lowrie turned out to be a head case. Donaldson critical of Oakland not spending had nothing to do with his trade.
It’s a combo of both, but I’m sure a scout or two warned Beane about Lawrie. Graveman and Barreto were the more important pieces.
It was always 100% about Barreto and Nolin. Its funny that if it was Stroman, Barreto and Graveman for Donaldson then that trade becomes a lot more even.
Glad to see hitting Turner did not do him any favors. Go down and repent!
Is this the earliest an Opening Day starter has ever been demoted? People track everything nowadays, there has to be a tracker for that too.
For performance related maybe. I imagine one had to be sent down earlier for a roster shuffle.
The A’s are studs! Love how they keep America guessing