Oakland Athletics – MLB Trade Rumors https://www.mlbtraderumors.com Fri, 20 Jul 2018 05:17:03 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8.6 A’s Release Santiago Casilla https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/07/as-release-santiago-casilla.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/07/as-release-santiago-casilla.html#comments Thu, 19 Jul 2018 19:52:10 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=127766 The A’s announced Thursday that they’ve released veteran right-handed reliever Santiago Casilla, whom they’d recently designated for assignment.

The 37-year-old Casilla had a solid surface-level ERA, pitching to a 3.16 mark through 31 1/3 innings of relief. However, he’s issued 20 walks, hit four batters and thrown four wild pitches in that time while striking out just 22 hitters. The righty’s 92.9 mph average fastball velocity was the lowest mark of his career, and his nine percent swinging-strike rate is his lowest full-season mark as well.

Casilla is earning $6MM in 2018 — the second season of a two-year, $11MM free-agent deal he signed with the A’s in the 2016-17 offseason. He’s still owed about $2.35MM of that sum through season’s end. As a free agent, he’ll be able to sign with any club, and a new team would only owe him the pro-rated portion of the league minimum through season’s end. The Oakland organization will remain on the hook for the rest of that salary.

While the 2018 season hasn’t been a good one for Casilla, he pitched to a 2.66 ERA with much better marks of 8.4 K/9 against 3.5 BB/9 in 435 2/3 innings between San Francisco and Oakland from 2010-17.

All-Star Notes: Red Sox, Lowrie, Markakis, Abreu https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/07/all-star-notes-red-sox-lowrie-markakis-abreu.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/07/all-star-notes-red-sox-lowrie-markakis-abreu.html#comments Tue, 17 Jul 2018 20:10:22 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=127625 While the focus this time of year is obviously on trade possibilities, the All-Star break also provides reporters an opportunity to ask players about their own long-term preferences. It’s not surprising, then, that we’ve seen a run of stories on players who won’t be traded away, but also aren’t under long-term control.

  • The Red Sox have certainly enjoyed an excellent opening run, led by excellent performances from a number of core players. It’d be a surprise to see any mid-season dealmaking, but the club might be expected to look into some new arrangements in the offseason to come. Closer Craig Kimbrel represents the most pressing situation, since he’ll be a free agent. As Christopher Smith of MassLive.com reports, Kimbrel says he and his family would “love to stay” but certainly indicated he’ll wait to see what the market bears. Though he only arrived a few months ago, slugger J.D. Martinez says he’d be open to exploring a new pact that might eliminate some of his opt-out opportunities, as he tells Chris Cotillo of MassLive.com. Of course, there’s plenty of time left before he’s scheduled to have a shot at returning to the open market (post-2019), and there’s reason to wonder whether the organization really would want to pay up to enhance its control rights. In between those two players in terms of contract situation is staff ace Chris Sale. Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe argues that, with one more option year left to go, the Boston organization ought to look into locking up the 29-year-old for the foreseeable future.
  • It seemed at one time that infielder Jed Lowrie would feature as a trade chip, but the surging Athletics obviously now have no plans to sell. Instead, attention has turned to the question whether he might end up returning to Oakland at season’s end. As John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle writes, Lowrie says the front office has “expressed interest this time” around — unlike the prior time his contract with the A’s was nearing an end. Lowrie, a first-time All-Star in his 11th MLB season, indicated that he’d be open to working something out to return for a sixth campaign in Oakland, though it’s not clear whether any effort at mid-season talks will be made.
  • It’s a similar story for Braves outfielder Nick Markakis, another respected veteran who finally earned an All-Star nod. As Gabriel Burns of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution writes, Markakis indicated he expects to keep playing after his contract runs out this fall — which is no surprise given his strong performance thus far. Whether that’ll take place in Atlanta or elsewhere, though, isn’t yet on his mind. “We’ll deal with that stuff in the offseason when the time comes,” says the veteran.
  • Those sorts of questions have long floated around White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu, who stands out as a quality veteran on a very youthful roster. As Steve Greenberg of the Chicago Sun-Times reports, Abreu says he hopes to have a chance to win before his time is up in Chicago. His focus is on “just trying to enjoy the moment with the team” at the moment, but the slugger also indicated that he’s at least open to spending more time on the South Side. “I’d like to stay with this team,” says Abreu. And I’m going to do all in my power to make this team good as soon as possible.”
How The A's Could Add Pitching https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/07/al-west-notes-mariners-hamels-parker-anderson-bedrosian-as.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/07/al-west-notes-mariners-hamels-parker-anderson-bedrosian-as.html#comments Mon, 16 Jul 2018 00:53:05 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=127529
  • With the Athletics positioned to make additions at the trade deadline, the San Francisco Chronicle’s Susan Slusser figures the team will look to add pitching in some form.  Though the rotation is Oakland’s biggest need, Slusser suggests the A’s could “get creative” by bolstering its already-solid relief corps, which would allow the starters to make shorter outings before turning things over to the bullpen.  If the A’s do pursue a starter, it will be a mid-tier arm rather than a frontline ace — Slusser suggests the Twins’ Jake Odorizzi or Lance Lynn as the types of starters Oakland would look at obtaining, though there isn’t any indication that the A’s have specific interest in either of those Minnesota pitchers.
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    Athletics Designate Santiago Casilla, Select J.B. Wendelken https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/07/athletics-designate-santiago-casilla-select-j-b-wendelken.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/07/athletics-designate-santiago-casilla-select-j-b-wendelken.html#comments Sat, 14 Jul 2018 22:28:02 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=127406 The Athletics have made a series of roster moves; most notably among them is the DFA of right-hander Santiago Casilla. The club also selected the contract of 25-year-old righty J.B. Wendelken, while simultaneously optioning righty Ryan Dull, promoting infielder Franklin Barreto and reinstating righty Daniel Mengden from the 10-day DL.

    It’s been a solid enough season for the 37-year-old Casilla on the surface, who owns a 3.16 ERA through 31 1/3 innings pitched. But his 4.08 FIP and 5.80 xFIP paint a wildly different picture. He’s also walked nearly as many hitters (20) as he’s managed to strike out (22), in part due to a career-low 9.0% swinging strike rate. As Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle notes, he’s likely to go unclaimed; Casilla is in the second season of a two-year, $11MM deal, and any claiming team would be on the hook for the prorated portion of his salary. He’ll likely be given the choice to accept a minor league assignment.

    Wendelken will be making his first appearance in the majors since 2016, when he tossed 12 2/3 rough innings for the Athletics to the tune of a 9.95 ERA. The right-hander ultimately required Tommy John surgery, and remained out of commission until the beginning of this season. Thus far at the Triple-A level, he’s chucked a healthy 28 1/3 innings, managing a 3.49 ERA (2.39 FIP). The most impressive part about Wendelken’s performance this year is a whopping 14.29 K/9 against just 2.54 BB/9; it certainly seems likely that he’ll prove an upgrade over Casilla.

    Mengden, 25, hasn’t pitched since June 23rd after suffering a right foot sprain during a start in which he gave up five earned runs across just two innings. While Mengden certainly isn’t known as an overpowering pitcher (5.46 K/9), he limits walks (1.89 BB/9) and has posted a 4.47 ERA on the season thus far in 90 2/3 innings.

    Billy Beane Says He Sees Athletics As Buyers https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/07/billy-beane-says-he-sees-athletics-as-buyers.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/07/billy-beane-says-he-sees-athletics-as-buyers.html#comments Sat, 14 Jul 2018 02:59:39 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=127318 It sounds as if the Athletics won’t shy away from improving their roster despite facing a challenging path to the postseason. President of baseball operations Billy Beane indicated he’s “preparing” to act as a buyer this summer in an interesting chat with Tim Kawakami of The Athletic (subscription link).

    Clearly, the A’s front office will be realistic both about the odds of the postseason and the need to keep an eye on the future. As Beane says, the club will “have to be calculating and not go scorched earth” at the deadline, particularly given that it is still facing a big gap in the Wild Card race and a very tall order to challenge in the division.

    That said, Beane made clear that he sees a chance to make this a season to remember. “The idea that we can sort of push off an opportunity because we think we’ll be better next year is just a bad approach from our standpoint,” he said. “We’ve got to do everything we can.”

    While there are no promises that any additions will be made, and there are still a few weeks until the deadline, it’s clear there’s a sense of optimism in Oakland. The A’s entered play today twelve games over .500, after all, even while cobbling together a rotation that is missing many of its most promising young arms due to injury.

    Unsurprisingly, Beane suggested the starting staff is the primary area he’ll target at the deadline. That certainly seems to be the clearest area for improvement on the roster, though it’ll at least be interesting to see just how bold the organization ends up being — and whether moves in other areas are at least contemplated.

    Athletics Select Contract Of Jeremy Bleich https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/07/athletics-select-contract-of-jeremy-bleich.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/07/athletics-select-contract-of-jeremy-bleich.html#comments Fri, 13 Jul 2018 22:03:54 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=127301 The Athletics have selected the contract of lefty Jeremy Bleich, per a club announcement. To open a 40-man spot, the club shifted Andrew Triggs to the 60-day DL.

    This move is ten years in the making for Bleich, a 2008 sandwich round pick who has never yet seen the majors. Persistence paid off for the Stanford product, who was selected by the Yankees and has also spent time in the Pirates, Phillies, and Dodgers organizations.

    Now 31 years of age, the southpaw has turned in a solid showing this year at Triple-A. Through 39 innings in 27 outings, he owns a 3.00 ERA with 8.8 K/9 and 2.1 BB/9. While he has been tagged by right-handed hitters, Bleich has held opposing southpaws to a .200/.224/.291 slash.

    A's Activate Brett Anderson, Place Paul Blackburn On DL https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/07/al-west-notes-ms-cano-cruz-as-astros-tucker.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/07/al-west-notes-ms-cano-cruz-as-astros-tucker.html#comments Sun, 08 Jul 2018 14:21:26 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=126887
  • The Athletics announced that they’ve reinstated left-hander Brett Anderson from the 10-day disabled list and placed righty Paul Blackburn on the 10-day DL (retroactive to Saturday) with right elbow lateral epicondylitis. Anderson missed nearly two months with a left shoulder strain, adding to a long list of injuries in the 30-year-old’s career. He struggled in 15 1/3 innings before hitting the shelf, yielding 13 earned runs on 25 hits. Blackburn has endured a similarly poor season in the run prevention department (7.16 ERA in 27 2/3 frames), though ERA estimators FIP (3.56), xFIP (4.33) and SIERA (4.37) suggest he has deserved far better. It’s unclear how much time Blackburn could miss, but the location of his injury is alarming – especially considering he sat out all of April and May with a right forearm strain. Swapping Anderson for Blackburn will continue to leave the A’s with more than a full rotation’s worth of starters on the DL (depth chart).
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    Athletics Considering Extension For Jed Lowrie https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/07/athletics-considering-extension-for-jed-lowrie.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/07/athletics-considering-extension-for-jed-lowrie.html#comments Sun, 08 Jul 2018 01:02:02 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=126849 Just as the Athletics are interested in extending designated hitter Khris Davis, they’re also considering a new deal for second baseman Jed Lowrie, FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reports. Unlike Davis, who’s controllable via arbitration in 2019, Lowrie is slated to hit free agency at season’s end.

    Rosenthal proposes a two-year, $15MM extension, which would represent a slight annual increase over the $6MM Lowrie is raking in this season on a club option. Given that he’ll play his age-35 season in 2019, a long-term deal will be hard to come by for Lowrie, though he has made his case for a pay raise dating back to last year.

    The switch-hitting Lowrie racked up the second-most games played (153) and plate appearances (645) of his career in 2017, when he slashed an easily above-average .277/.360/.448 with 14 home runs en route to a personal-high 3.5 fWAR. Executive vice president of baseball operations Billy Beane offered effusive praise for Lowrie after the season, and though the veteran later came up in winter trade rumors, the Athletics ended up retaining him.

    Keeping Lowrie has paid dividends in 2018 for the A’s, who have exceeded expectations to post the American League’s sixth-best record (49-40) and are 6 1/2 games out of a wild-card spot. Lowrie has been a key part of their success, having already surpassed last year’s HR total (15) and logged 3.1 fWAR in just 379 PAs. He has also batted .291/.359/.503, giving him the A’s top wRC+ (139), and appeared in 86 of the team’s 89 games. The durability Lowrie has demonstrated since last season is especially notable for a player who has dealt with his share of injury issues dating back to his 2008 debut with the Red Sox. Indeed, Lowrie has only amassed 100-plus appearances three times.

    Along with his past injury troubles, both the A’s and Lowrie will have to weigh his age in deciding his future. Free agency has been unkind lately to 30-somethings, particularly this past winter, which may point Lowrie toward an in-season extension if Oakland ends up offering one at a fair price. Otherwise, Lowrie could be one of five free agents for the low-payroll A’s, whose only guaranteed salaries for 2019 currently belong to reliever Yusmeiro Petit ($5.5MM) and right fielder Stephen Piscotty ($7.33MM). The A’s otherwise have nothing but arbitration-eligible and pre-arb players, including 22-year-old middle infielder and potential Lowrie successor Franklin Barreto, whom they “would not necessarily” be worried about blocking because he’s so young, Rosenthal says.

    Athletics Planning To Keep Blake Treinen? https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/07/cafardos-latest-abreu-astros-ramos-nats-as-treinen-orioles.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/07/cafardos-latest-abreu-astros-ramos-nats-as-treinen-orioles.html#comments Sat, 07 Jul 2018 22:50:41 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=126829
  • The Athletics are suggesting to teams that closer Blake Treinen isn’t available for trade, though clubs are wondering if that’s just a ploy to drive up his price, per Cafardo. If the A’s expect to push for a playoff spot this year and next, they may well keep Treinen, who’s under control through 2019 for affordable prices. Treinen has been an integral part of this year’s Oakland team, which is a solid 48-40 and sits 7 1/2 games back of a wild-card spot. Across 42 2/3 innings, Treinen has logged a near-spotless ERA (.84) with 10.97 K/9, 2.53 BB/9 and 22 saves in 24 opportunities.

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    A's Place Matt Joyce On 10-Day DL https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/07/injury-notes-bryant-correa-dyson-joyce-feliz.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/07/injury-notes-bryant-correa-dyson-joyce-feliz.html#comments Sat, 07 Jul 2018 21:09:25 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=126815
  • The Athletics announced that outfielder Matt Joyce has hit the 10-day DL due to a lumbar strain, with a placement retroactive to July 5.  Outfielder Nick Martini is up from Triple-A to take Joyce’s roster spot.  This is the second time in almost exactly a month that Martini has replaced Joyce due to the veteran’s ongoing lumbar issues.  It’s safe to say that the back problems have contributed to Joyce’s down numbers, as he is hitting just .203/.311/.359 with seven homers through 226 PA this season.
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    Athletics, Khris Davis Discussing Possible Extension https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/07/athletics-khris-davis-discussing-possible-extension.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/07/athletics-khris-davis-discussing-possible-extension.html#comments Sat, 07 Jul 2018 04:01:33 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=126756 The Athletics are holding extension talks with slugger Khris Davis, according to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle. Per the report, “numerous talks” have already taken place between the Oakland brass and Octagon agent Lou Nero.

    Despite the evident mutual interest, Slusser indicates that it’s far from clear whether anything will get done. The length of a potential contract is an obvious stumbling block. By her reckoning, Davis’s camp might only bite at a three-year guarantee, but that feels steep from the organization’s perspective.

    Davis, 30, is under arbitration control for another season. He’s earning $10.5MM for 2018 and will surely command another healthy raise. After all, Davis is threatening to register more than forty home runs and one hundred runs batted in for the third-straight season.

    Those counting stats may not play quite as well in free agency as they once did. But that doesn’t mean that Davis’s bat wouldn’t be seen as a valuable asset. He has been a steady producer since landing in Oakland, with a .245/.322/.521 cumulative slash (127 OPS+) through 1,595 plate appearances. While his overall utility is greatly diminished by a lack of defensive and baserunning ability, Davis would hold appeal to other American League clubs.

    All things considered, it’s an interesting situation. The sides reportedly weighed an arb-only deal earlier this season, but that never came to fruition. It’s possible that a multi-year scenario would better suit all sides, though there’s also good reason to expect that the club will be wary of making too great a commitment. For Davis, he says he’s “keeping an open mind” but will mostly trust his agent.

    Athletics Outright Liam Hendriks https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/07/athletics-outright-liam-hendriks.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/07/athletics-outright-liam-hendriks.html#comments Mon, 02 Jul 2018 19:14:25 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=126385 The Athletics announced Monday that right-hander Liam Hendriks has cleared waivers after being designated for assignment last week. He’s been sent outright to Triple-A Nashville. The 29-year-old Hendriks technically has enough MLB service time to reject the assignment in favor of free agency (three-plus years), but because he’s still shy of five years of service, doing so would mean forfeiting the remainder of this season’s $1.9MM salary. Assuming he accepts, he’ll be eligible to elect free agency at season’s end unless he’s first added back to the 40-man roster.

    Hendriks was, at one point, a promising prospect in the Twins’ minor league system but didn’t pan out in Minnesota or in a brief stint with the Royals. The Blue Jays picked him up off waivers, and while he struggled in his first run with the Jays, he turned in a dominant 2015 season out of the Toronto bullpen. The Jays flipped him to the A’s that offseason in exchange for Jesse Chavez — and Hendriks went on to enjoy another pair of solid seasons in the Oakland ’pen.

    Prior to the 2018 season, Hendriks had turned in a three-year run with a 3.63 ERA and an outstanding 220-to-48 K/BB ratio through 193 1/3 innings between the Jays and the A’s. He missed more than a month with a strained groin earlier this year, though, and he’s posted an unsightly 7.36 ERA with 12 strikeouts against seven walks in 11 innings when healthy. Hendriks didn’t receive much of a leash when returning from the DL, and he was tagged for four runs in his final appearance before being designated. He’ll now look to rebuild his stock in Nashville with the hope of earning another look in manager Bob Melvin’s bullpen later this season.

    A's Getting Interest In Treinen, Trivino, Buchter https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/06/al-west-notes-cruz-athletics-gallardo-angels.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/06/al-west-notes-cruz-athletics-gallardo-angels.html#comments Sat, 30 Jun 2018 17:00:45 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=126172
  • The Athletics are getting calls about their relievers, as a scout tells Peter Gammons (Twitter link) that Blake Treinen, Lou Trivino, and Ryan Buchter have all drawn interest from multiple teams.  Treinen has been mentioned as a potential trade chip, though Gammons says that Oakland has declined all offers for the closer.  Treinen has two more years of control remaining via arbitration, while Buchter has three and Trivino only made his MLB debut this season.  The A’s would surely need quite a bit to part with any of the trio, though a trade isn’t out of the question if the team is considering buying at the deadline.  The A’s still have a big deficit to make up in both the AL West and wild card races, though an 11-2 run in their last 13 games has given them an impressive 45-38 record.
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    Injury Notes: Darvish, Nelson, Cordero, Chapman, Strasburg, Cespedes, Font, Dunning https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/06/injury-notes-darvish-nelson-cordero-chapman-strasburg-cespedes-font-dunning.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/06/injury-notes-darvish-nelson-cordero-chapman-strasburg-cespedes-font-dunning.html#comments Sat, 30 Jun 2018 04:58:11 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=126146 With ongoing uncertainty leading to some real worry, it came as something of a relief when the Cubs announced that Yu Darvish has been diagnosed with a right elbow impingement, as Sahadev Sharma of The Athletic was among those to cover on Twitter. Already on the DL, Darvish will receive a cortisone shot before being examined again next week. It’s not yet known what the course will be from that point, but the club is no doubt pleased that there’s not a more significant underlying issue plaguing the high-priced hurler.

    Let’s run through some other health updates of note …

    • The Brewers are still unsure when they’ll welcome back righty Jimmy Nelson, GM David Stearns tells reporters including MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy (via Twitter). “We still think Jimmy is going to pitch for us this year,” Stearns stressed. But the shoulder surgery that knocked Nelson out has required a “slower process,” says Stearns, with Nelson still “yet to pitch off a mound.” It seems there’s no chance that the Brewers will welcome back their staff ace in advance of the trade deadline, meaning they’ll need to assess their rotation without full knowledge of his ability to contribute down the stretch.
    • Padres outfielder Franchy Cordero appears quite likely to elect season-ending surgery, MLB.com’s AJ Cassavell tweets. It’s still not a certainty, and the lack of urgency in making the final call — it has been under consideration for at least ten days — speaks to the general timeline. Though Cordero would miss the rest of the MLB campaign, he’d likely be ready to participate in winter ball and certainly be at full health for Spring Training next year.
    • Athletics third baseman Matt Chapman has progressed to taking swings, John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle tweets. He has already been out for about two weeks with a hand injury.
    • It seems there’s some cause for optimism for the Indians regarding reliever Tyler Olson. MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian tweets that Olson has been able to throw a bullpen session, which certainly indicates he’s progressing rather well from a lat injury that perhaps could have been worse.
    • Likewise, Nationals starter Stephen Strasburg turned in a surprise bullpen session, as Dan Kolko of MASNsports.com was among those to tweet. That’s the first real indication that Strasburg is ready to begin working back toward a return from shoulder inflammation in earnest.
    • In other NL East news, the Mets increasingly have a confounding situation on their hands with regard to star outfielder Yoenis CespedesKristie Ackert of the New York Daily News writes. Cespedes went on the DL in the middle of May with what seemed to be a minor injury, but still has not resumed running. Skipper Mickey Callaway says the veteran is “feeling a lot better,” but there’s no real sense of a timeline.
    • Righty Wilmer Font left today’s game with a lat injury, with Rays skipper Kevin Cash saying it’s probably a serious one, as Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports on Twitter. The recently claimed righty “in all likelihood will miss significant time,” says Cash, which is quite a disappointment for all involved. Entering play today, the 28-year-old had found his groove with the Rays, turning in 22 innings of 1.64 ERA ball with 7.0 K/9 against 3.7 BB/9.
    • In news of longer-term consequence, the White Sox are still holding their breath with regard to well-regarded pitching prospect Dane Dunning. The team announced that he has been diagnosed with a “moderate elbow sprain that presently will not require surgery.” For the time being, he’ll rest for a while and resume throwing in about two months’ time if he’s deemed ready. That’s hardly good news, but is certainly better than the worst-case that may have been feared.
    Athletics Designate Liam Hendriks For Assignment, Select Edwin Jackson https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/06/athletics-designate-liam-hendriks-for-assignment.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/06/athletics-designate-liam-hendriks-for-assignment.html#comments Mon, 25 Jun 2018 15:35:20 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=125814 10:35am: The A’s have announced Hendriks’ DFA. His roster spot goes to right-hander Edwin Jackson, who has formally been selected from Triple-A Nashville. Oakland also activated lefty reliever Ryan Buchter from the DL and optioned outfielder Nick Martini to Triple-A in his place.

    10:09am: The Athletics will designate right-handed reliever Liam Hendriks for assignment today, reports Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic (via Twitter).

    Hendriks, 29, once rated as one of the better pitching prospects in the Twins’ minor league system but never cemented himself in the big leagues with Minnesota. After unsuccessful stints with the Orioles and Royals, he landed with the Blue Jays, however, and broke out as a quality bullpen piece in 2015. The A’s made a nice trade in sending right-hander Jesse Chavez to the Jays for Hendriks in the 2015-16 offseason, and he delivered two seasons of solid relief in Oakland. In all, from 2015-17, Hendriks notched a 3.63 ERA with 10.2 K/9 against 2.2 BB/9 in 193 1/3 innings in that time.

    The 2018 season, however, has been an ugly one for the Australian-born Hendriks. He missed more than a month due to a right groin strain, and he hasn’t performed well when healthy. In 11 innings this season, Hendriks has allowed nine runs on 17 hits and seven walks with a dozen strikeouts. He’s allowed three home runs en route to that ugly 7.36 ERA.

    Hendriks’ average fastball velocity is down two miles per hour this season (from 94.7 mph in 2017 to 92.7 mph in 2018), though he’s regained some of that missing heat since being activated from the disabled list earlier this month. He’s earning $1.9MM this season and is controllable for another year via arbitration to any club that either claims him off waivers or swings a trade to acquire his services.

    Athletics Injury Notes: Chapman, Buchter https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/06/injury-notes-darvish-shaw-as-brewers-bucs.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/06/injury-notes-darvish-shaw-as-brewers-bucs.html#comments Sun, 24 Jun 2018 18:33:37 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=125714
  • Athletics third baseman Matt Chapman, on the 10-day DL since June 15, won’t come back when first eligible, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Chapman landed on the shelf with a right thumb injury, though team doctors now believe the problem area is just above his wrist, according to Slusser. He may need a cortisone shot as a result, and might not return until the A’s next homestand (June 29 to July 4). Meanwhile, the A’s are set to activate reliever Ryan Buchter from the 10-day DL on Monday, Slusser adds. The offseason trade acquisition has been dealing with a left shoulder strain and hasn’t pitched for the A’s since April 25.
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    Athletics Have Had Trade Talks With Red Sox https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/06/al-notes-as-bosox-canha-royals-heimlich-tigers-jays-rangers.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/06/al-notes-as-bosox-canha-royals-heimlich-tigers-jays-rangers.html#comments Sun, 24 Jun 2018 01:33:10 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=125661 The banged-up Athletics will turn to veteran Edwin Jackson to fill a spot in their rotation, but they’re on the hunt for more starting depth, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The Athletics have had discussions with the Red Sox, who are seeking outfield depth and have “unsuccessfully asked” the A’s about Mark Canha, according to Slusser. The 29-year-old Canha has been effective this season, his last pre-arbitration campaign, with a .250/.322/.452 line and nine home runs in 208 plate appearances. It’s unclear which pitcher(s) the A’s requested in their discussions with Boston, though Slusser adds that the teams could revisit talks in the coming weeks.

    Athletics To Select Edwin Jackson https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/06/athletics-to-select-edwin-jackson.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/06/athletics-to-select-edwin-jackson.html#comments Sat, 23 Jun 2018 22:51:23 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=125656 The Athletics will select right-hander Edwin Jackson from Triple-A Nashville, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports. He’ll make a start Monday in Detroit, Slusser adds.

    Oakland will need to make a corresponding 40-man move to create room for Jackson, as its roster is already at capacity. The club may elect to shift injured righty Andrew Triggs from the 10-day disabled list to the 60-day DL, thus opening up a spot for Jackson, per Slusser.

    The promotion of Jackson is rather notable because it puts him in position to tie a major league record. The A’s will be Jackson’s 13th MLB team, matching former reliever Octavio Dotel’s all-time mark. Jackson joined the A’s on a minor league deal on June 6 and earned his way back to the majors with a 4.02 ERA and 16 strikeouts against eight walks over 15 2/3 innings/three starts with their Triple-A club. Overall, including 55 2/3 frames with the Nationals’ Triple-A affiliate, Jackson has logged a 3.53 ERA with 7.9 K/9 and 3.8 BB/9 this season.

    Now that he’s heading to the A’s, who have several starting options on the DL, Jackson will be in position to earn at a $1.5MM rate. The 34-year-old will also bring significant experience to the team’s rotation, having amassed 377 appearances and 288 starts since debuting with the Dodgers in 2003. Jackson has registered a 4.67 ERA with 6.94 K/9, 3.55 BB/9 and a 43.7 percent groundball rate over 1,800 1/3 MLB innings. He racked up 76 of those frames in Washington last year, when he struggled to a 5.21 ERA despite playable strikeout and walk rates (7.11 K/9, 3.43 BB/9). Jackson also averaged 93.5 mph on his fastball and recorded a 10.1 percent swinging-strike rate, as MLBTR’s Steve Adams noted last month.

    Slusser: Increasing Future Uncertainty In Athletics' Front Office https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/06/al-west-notes-athletics-ohtani-luhnow-rangers-infield.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/06/al-west-notes-athletics-ohtani-luhnow-rangers-infield.html#comments Tue, 19 Jun 2018 16:25:42 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=125352 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.

    Cafardo: A's "Likely" To Make Blake Treinen Available https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/06/cafardos-latest-machado-cubs-astros-britton-as-treinen-hanley-a-gon.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/06/cafardos-latest-machado-cubs-astros-britton-as-treinen-hanley-a-gon.html#comments Sun, 17 Jun 2018 01:13:46 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=125154
  • 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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    A’s Place Matt Chapman On 10-Day DL, Recall Franklin Barreto https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/06/as-place-matt-chapman-on-10-day-dl-recall-franklin-barreto.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/06/as-place-matt-chapman-on-10-day-dl-recall-franklin-barreto.html#comments Sat, 16 Jun 2018 17:07:06 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=125107 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.

    Amateur Draft Signings: 6/14/18 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/06/amateur-draft-signings-61418.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/06/amateur-draft-signings-61418.html#comments Fri, 15 Jun 2018 03:45:03 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=125006 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.
    Trevor Cahill Likely Headed To DL https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/06/injury-notes-buehler-maeda-cashner-cabrera-archer-cahill.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/06/injury-notes-buehler-maeda-cashner-cabrera-archer-cahill.html#comments Wed, 13 Jun 2018 00:39:51 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=124867
  • 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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    Athletics, Second-Rounder Jameson Hannah Agree To Terms https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/06/amateur-draft-signings-61118.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/06/amateur-draft-signings-61118.html#comments Tue, 12 Jun 2018 03:42:59 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=124763
  • 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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    A's Agree To Sign Second-Rounder Jameson Hannah, 25 Other Picks https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/06/amateur-draft-signings-61018.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/06/amateur-draft-signings-61018.html#comments Mon, 11 Jun 2018 03:30:36 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=124690
  • 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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    Athletics, Kyler Murray Agree To Terms https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/06/athletics-sign-kyler-murray-draft-oklahoma-quarterback.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/06/athletics-sign-kyler-murray-draft-oklahoma-quarterback.html#comments Fri, 08 Jun 2018 18:55:07 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=124319 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.

    Athletics, Edwin Jackson Agree To Minor League Deal https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/06/athletics-sign-edwin-jackson.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/06/athletics-sign-edwin-jackson.html#comments Thu, 07 Jun 2018 23:34:25 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=124295 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.

    A’s Option Maxwell, Activate Blackburn, Move Powell To 60-Day DL https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/06/as-option-maxwell-activate-blackburn-move-powell-to-60-day-dl.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/06/as-option-maxwell-activate-blackburn-move-powell-to-60-day-dl.html#comments Thu, 07 Jun 2018 22:16:29 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=124402 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.

    Athletics Select Contract Of Nick Martini, Place Matt Joyce On 10-Day DL https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/06/athletics-select-contract-of-nick-martini-place-matt-joyce-on-10-day-dl.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/06/athletics-select-contract-of-nick-martini-place-matt-joyce-on-10-day-dl.html#comments Wed, 06 Jun 2018 19:50:23 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=124288 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.

    Daniel Gossett Leaves Game With Elbow Tightness https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/06/al-west-notes-astros-gossett-kiner-falefa.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/06/al-west-notes-astros-gossett-kiner-falefa.html#comments Sun, 03 Jun 2018 23:32:58 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=124036
  • 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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    Kendall Graveman Goes To DL With Forearm Strain https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/06/injury-notes-murphy-archer-t-frazier-graveman.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/06/injury-notes-murphy-archer-t-frazier-graveman.html#comments Sun, 03 Jun 2018 16:53:01 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=123991
  • 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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    Poll: Which Surprise Team Has Best Shot At Playoff Berth? https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/05/poll-which-surprise-team-has-best-shot-at-playoff-berth.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/05/poll-which-surprise-team-has-best-shot-at-playoff-berth.html#comments Mon, 28 May 2018 15:55:54 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=123461 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)

    A's Place Santiago Casilla On DL https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/05/west-notes-pence-ohtani-d-backs-hill-as.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/05/west-notes-pence-ohtani-d-backs-hill-as.html#comments Sun, 27 May 2018 02:42:53 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=123331
  • 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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    Injury Notes: Prado, Murphy/Goodwin, DeJong, Casilla, Trumbo, More https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/05/injury-notes-prado-murphygoodwin-casilla-trumbo-more.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/05/injury-notes-prado-murphygoodwin-casilla-trumbo-more.html#comments Sat, 26 May 2018 05:08:48 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=123270 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.
    Rays Acquire Wilmer Font https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/05/rays-acquire-wilmer-font.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/05/rays-acquire-wilmer-font.html#comments Fri, 25 May 2018 22:13:46 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=123248 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.

    White Sox Claim Dustin Garneau https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/05/white-sox-claim-dustin-garneau.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/05/white-sox-claim-dustin-garneau.html#comments Thu, 24 May 2018 17:35:02 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=123150 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.

    How The A's Drafted Matt Chapman https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/05/al-west-notes-hamels-wood-ohtani-mccann-chapman.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/05/al-west-notes-hamels-wood-ohtani-mccann-chapman.html#comments Wed, 23 May 2018 00:56:19 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=123008
  • 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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    Blake Treinen Sustaining Success https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/05/west-notes-treinen-melancon-lincecum.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/05/west-notes-treinen-melancon-lincecum.html#comments Tue, 22 May 2018 16:47:13 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=122967 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.

    Athletics Designate Dustin Garneau For Assignment https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/05/athletics-designate-dustin-garneau-for-assignment.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/05/athletics-designate-dustin-garneau-for-assignment.html#comments Mon, 21 May 2018 18:50:58 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=122920 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.

    Khris Davis Rejects A's Extension Offer https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/05/heymans-latest-arrieta-cain-davis-rays-reds-morales.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/05/heymans-latest-arrieta-cain-davis-rays-reds-morales.html#comments Mon, 21 May 2018 01:25:11 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=122872
  • 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.

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    Khris Davis Suffers Right Groin Strain https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/05/al-injury-notes-a-garcia-k-davis-bird-astros.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/05/al-injury-notes-a-garcia-k-davis-bird-astros.html#comments Sun, 20 May 2018 19:54:18 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=122837
  • 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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    Athletics Claim Carlos Ramirez From Blue Jays https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/05/athletics-claim-carlos-ramirez-from-blue-jays.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/05/athletics-claim-carlos-ramirez-from-blue-jays.html#comments Sun, 20 May 2018 19:12:28 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=122839 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).

    Triggs Exits With Nerve Discomfort In Forearm https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/05/adam-wainwright-cardinals-60-day-dl-elbow-injury.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/05/adam-wainwright-cardinals-60-day-dl-elbow-injury.html#comments Fri, 18 May 2018 02:12:42 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=122597
  • 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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    A's Release Slade Heathcott https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/05/minor-mlb-transactions-51618.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/05/minor-mlb-transactions-51618.html#comments Wed, 16 May 2018 22:23:29 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=122538
  • 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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    Cahlill Set To Return; Graveman Back To Triple-A https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/05/al-west-notes-athletics-heaney-moore.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/05/al-west-notes-athletics-heaney-moore.html#comments Wed, 16 May 2018 02:33:57 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=122455 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.