6:59 PM EST, Sun November 23, 2014
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Athletics Nation 1 hour ago

A's Acquire Ike Davis (For Depth)

Susan Slusser has confirmed that Ike Davis is now an Oakland Athletic, acquired in exchange for International  slot #27, valued at just over $500,000. The move is perceived as being one for depth, but it also means that in adding a LH hitting 1Bman the A's might only be more able to move one of their LH hitting DH-1B-OFers -- a group that includes Brandon Moss, Josh Reddick, John Jaso, and Sam Fuld. Davis batted .233 last season with 11 HRs and 51 RBI, posting a slash line of .235/.343/.378 with Pittsburgh. Davis' line of .247/.360/.405 against RHPs last year might appeal to the A's in a...
Athletics Nation 3 hours ago

Minor league signings: LHP Ryan Verdugo and LHP Jim Fuller

The Oakland Athletics signed LHP Ryan Verdugo and LHP Jim Fuller to minor league deals on November 20 to make the lefty reliever competition in Triple-A Nashville interesting. Ryan Verdugo and Jim Fuller are two left-handed pitchers the Oakland Athletics signed on November 20, according to the transactions page at athletics.com. Both are players electing free agency after seven seasons in their teams' minor league systems, and both will turn 28 during the 2015 season. Verdugo and Fuller join the competition to relieve as left-handers in Triple-A Nashville against Jeff Urlaub and the...
Athletics Nation Nov 22, 2014

The Perils Of "Playing At 80%"

It's not easy to put a percentage, or a number, to a player's health when they are not at 100%. Heck, by August who is at 100% anyway? In 2014, for key players Derek Norris, Brandon Moss, Coco Crisp, Stephen Vogt, and Josh Donaldson they were far from 100%, but unlike comrades John Jaso, Jed Lowrie, and Craig Gentry when banged up they were still able to play. The question was, should they? As much as you have to admire players going out there and giving all they have despite pain and severe limitations, in Moss' August and September struggles, in Norris' struggles that were magnified in...
Athletics Nation Nov 21, 2014

Free Pat Venditte!

Alex Hall goes on the Phil Naessens Show and talks about the Billy Butler signing as well as the Athletics signing ambidextrous pitcher Pat Venditte. Hey Athletics Nation! As I’m sure you are aware the Athletics signed former Kansas City 1B/DH Billy Butler to a three year thirty million dollar contract. Alex and I discussed it on my show today. Considering the Athletics had a hard time hitting lefties this is a good early signing. Both Alex and I were more intrigued today by the Pat Venditte signing than the Butler signing. We both think Billy Beane should give him his shot in...
Athletics Nation Nov 20, 2014

Asdrubal Cabrera: Buy low or don't buy at all?

With the A's hole crater at middle infield, it might make sense to sign Asdrubal Cabrera. Now that the Billy Butler hype has died down, we should continue re-re-visiting the question of the A's middle infield, which really has been a question for three years running at this point. Ever since Jemile "untouchable" Weeks and Cliff Pennington both tanked, the A's middle infield has been a major problem that was at times patched but never really solved. We all know that the A's bargain bin free agent targets typically fall into one or more of these categories: Old Coming off an injury Terrible...
Athletics Nation Nov 20, 2014

40-man moves: Athletics select infielder Renato Nunez, Orioles claim outfielder Alex Hassan off waivers

Ahead of today's deadline to add players to the 40-man roster to protect them from Major League Baseball's Rule 5 draft in December, the Oakland Athletics added third baseman Renato Nunez from Class-A Advanced Stockton to the 40-man roster. To make room, the Baltimore Orioles claimed outfielder Alex Hassan, 26, from the Oakland Athletics. The Athletics 40-man roster now stands at 40 players. Renato Nunez is featured in today's story on players to potentially be protected from the Rule 5 draft: The obvious name that the A's should protect is Renato Nunez, a top 6 prospect in the A's...
Athletics Nation Nov 20, 2014

40-man moves: Orioles claim Alex Hassan off waivers from Athletics

The Athletics appear to be clearing at least one roster space to protect Rule 5 draft-eligible players today. Ahead of today's deadline to add players to the 40-man roster to protect them from Major League Baseball's Rule 5 draft in December, the Baltimore Orioles claimed outfielder Alex Hassan, 26, from the Oakland Athletics. The Athletics 40-man roster now stands at 39 players. The Athletics claimed Hassan from the Boston Red Sox on November 17. From our story on Monday: Hassan, a former 20th round pick, is a Duke alumnus and has been in the Red Sox organization since 2009. He...
Athletics Nation Nov 20, 2014

Rule 5 draft

In December, a flurry of minor transactions will take place. They will be the result of the Rule 5 draft. Any eligible player who has not been added to their parent club's 40 man roster is "exposed" and can be picked away by another team. Teams have until midnight tonight to make their final decision on who to add to their 40 man roster to protect them from being picked in the draft. What makes a player eligible? Players are divided into two groups determined by age on draft day. The first group is any player 18 years or younger on draft day that has spent five years in the minors without...
Athletics Nation Nov 19, 2014

Athletics sign switch-pitcher Pat Venditte

I'm using both hands to applaud this move. Billy Butler was just a smokescreen, y'all. This is the real news right here. The Oakland Athletics have signed switch-pitcher Pat Venditte to a minor league contract and invited him to spring training. When I say "switch-pitcher," I mean that he can pitch with either hand and that he switches between them freely to gain the platoon advantage. On a personal level, I've hoped Venditte would wind up in Oakland for years. He's just so ... interesting. You watch sports because sometimes something cool like Venditte comes around, and now we're one step...
Athletics Nation Nov 19, 2014

Billy Butler speaks: "I'm on to a different chapter"

In a conference call with news media this afternoon, newly-signed Oakland Athletics designated hitter/first baseman Billy Butler talked about the importance of loyalty, his role with the A's, the contract negotiations, and how much he values the 10 years he spent with the Royals organization. Butler on joining the #Athletics, "Maybe take them to the next level and we can go deeper," speaking about what he can bring to the table. — Brandon McClintock (@BMcClintock_BSN) November 19, 2014 Billy Butler on playing 1B: "I've always worked real hard at first. ... I'm very capable of it."...
Athletics Nation Nov 19, 2014

3 reasons to be excited about Billy Butler

The Oakland Athletics have signed Billy Butler, and that was probably not a name you were expecting to discuss this winter. They signed him for three years and $30 million, which might seem a like a lot coming from the A's, and Butler doesn't immediately appear to fit in with the defense-and-versatility theme on Oakland's roster. Therefore, it's possible that you might be underwhelmed by this signing, questioning Billy Beane's decision after watching a year's worth of questionable decisions. Beane used to generally get the benefit of the doubt on things, and if he made an odd move then...
Athletics Nation Nov 19, 2014

Billy Beane conference call: Billy Butler will "definitely do both" DH and first base

Oakland Athletics General Manager held a conference call with reporters this morning discussing the singing of Billy Butler and other topics of interest. Beane first noted that Butler is likely to play a good deal more first base, specifically noting that he would play first base against left-handed pitching. It's a curious thought, but the scenario that immediately jumps to mind is that Sam Fuld might not have a place in the outfield against left-handers. The outfield could be Brandon Moss, Craig Gentry, and Kyle Blanks, with Coco Crisp as the designated hitter against left-handed...
Athletics Nation Nov 19, 2014

Amid free-agent flurry, Donaldson spends Tuesday dishing on Twitter

Among Donaldson's more interesting musings: A collection of tweets indicating that the star third baseman knows exactly what Oakland's ownership is up to with regard to spending money. Or not spending money. Tuesday was a big day for the A's organization as a whole, mainly thanks to the signing of form Royals slugger Billy Butler to a three-year, $30 million contract. But for the rest of the Athletics, Tuesday was just another day in the still-young offseason, and Josh Donaldson spent it sharing some thoughts on Twitter, at least one of which was too interesting to ignore. But first, the...
Athletics Nation Nov 19, 2014

Athletics confirm 3-year deal with Billy Butler, reactions

Baseball was all atwitter (and a-bloggin') on Tuesday night as word leaked out of the deal. The Oakland Athletics officially confirmed that it had reached an agreement with free agent designated hitter/first baseman Billy Butler through 2017. Athletics general manager Billy Beane will hold a conference call later this morning to discuss his role. Baseball was all atwitter (and a-bloggin') on Tuesday night as word leaked out of the deal. Some reactions: Very few things say "We’re not selling jeans here" as effectively as Billy Butler. — David Cameron (@DCameronFG) November 19,...
Athletics Nation Nov 18, 2014

Athletics sign Billy Butler to 3-year deal, according to reports

The Oakland Athletics signed right-handed batting designated hitter/first baseman Billy Butler to a three-year, $30 million deal, according to a report by Robert Murray of MLBDailyRumors.com. The fact of the three-year deal has been confirmed by USA TODAY Sports Major League Baseball columnist Bob Nightengale, but not the amount. Billy Butler's three year $30 million deal not yet official #Athletics say, but confirm it is quite close — Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) November 19, 2014 Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle speculates the hold up on an official announcement could...
Athletics Nation Nov 18, 2014

Athletics free agent rumors: Athletics in "serious talks" with Billy Butler, says Ken Rosenthal

Ken Rosenthal has upgraded the Billy Butler to the Athletics rumors status from "some 13-year-old kid has a source" to "Ken Rosenthal has sources": Sources: #Athletics in serious talks with free agent Billy Butler. First reported: @CoverThoseBases. — Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) November 19, 2014 The first report was this by Devan F. Source: #Athletics showing strong interest on a deal with DH Billy Butler. Source considered them "close" to a deal. — Devan F. (@CoverThoseBases) November 17, 2014 You can read our previous article on Billy Butler from yesterday.
Athletics Nation Nov 18, 2014

SB Nation Awards: And the Athletics Nation winners are ...

For the last week, we've been voting on the 2014 SB Nation MLB awards. The polls have closed and the final precincts have reported, so it's time to announce the winners. Each of these top A's moments will be considered by a special panel for the top moments of the year in all of MLB later this week. (Voting results are as of 7:30 a.m. PT on Tuesday, Nov. 18.) Funniest A's moment: Vogt as NBA referee Voting result: 25%, 148 out of 584 This one might be cheating, because it was intended as a comedy routine. But you can see why Stephen Vogt scored so well in the team's preseason talent contest...
Athletics Nation Nov 17, 2014

So what about Billy Butler?

When the news coming out of 7000 Coliseum Way is all waiver claims this and minor leagues signings that, staff departure these and staff promotion those, the Hot Stove turns into a bit of a lukewarm teapot. But fear not Athletics Nation, we're happy to talk about the slightest of rumors and innuendo just to get us all in a room to talk about baseball. #Athletics close to a deal with Billy Butler, source tells @CoverThoseBases: http://t.co/2WChhrNV1I — MLB Daily Rumors (@MLBDailyRumors) November 18, 2014 Trade rumors from non-mainstream figures citing "sources" have been all the rage...
Athletics Nation Nov 17, 2014

A's claim OF Alex Hassan off waivers

In another of a series of minor moves and waiver claims this offseason, the A's have taken Alex Hassan, 26, off of waivers from the Red Sox. Hassan, a former 20th round pick, is a Duke alumnus and has been in the Red Sox organization since 2009. He hits right-handed and mostly plays right field, and in 114 games in AAA this year he hit .287/.378/.426. Obviously not a ton of power there, but the OBP skills are very promising. He received a September callup for his MLB debut, and went 1-9 with a walk. For all you amateur scouts out there, here's a video of his first MLB hit this...
Athletics Nation Nov 17, 2014

SB Nation Awards: Help us choose the best A's pitching appearance of 2014

We're on to our fifth SB Nation award. Here are the previous four; the polls will stay open until noon Monday. - funniest moment- most regrettable moment- best defensive play- most important hit Next, we'll look for the best A's pitching appearance of 2014. That means an individual game by an individual pitcher. Sonny's shutout vs. Rangers in Game 162 Sonny Gray actually threw two shutouts against the Rangers this year. On April 28 in Arlington, he tossed the first of his career; that start was the best of Oakland's season according to Game Score, with a total of 88. He allowed just...

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