7:22 AM EST, Tue January 27, 2015
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Athletics Nation 18 hours ago

Athletics rumors: Oakland in the mix for Hector Olivera signing after showcase

The Athletics sent a large contingent to Hector Olivera's two-day showcase in the Dominican Republic. The Oakland Athletics were one of four teams with the largest presence at the two-day showcase for Cuban defector Hector Olivera held in the Dominican Republic last week, writes Baseball America's Ben Badler. More than 200 scouts attended the showcase held at the San Francisco Giants' Dominican Republic facility, according to MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez. The four largest contingents at the showcase were the Padres, Giants, Braves, and A's, writes Badler. Padres general manager A.J. Preller...
Athletics Nation Jan 25, 2015

Why Pat Venditte Should Actually Make The Opening Day Roster

By and large, the switch-pitching Pat Venditte is a feel-good story. He's the kind of player you adopt as a fan favorite and act like you want him on the team, until you start worrying about the standings and admit that "No, he's probably not one of the best 25 choices -- it's just that he's soooooo cool!" I have never seen Venditte pitch, so all I have to go on at the moment are his pedigree (meh, a 29 year old 20th round pick yet to pitch above AAA) and his minor league stats (pretty darn good, actually), and when I actually watch him throw to hitters I will have a better sense of how...
Athletics Nation Jan 25, 2015

Athletics 2014 season review: Nate Freiman starts to show home run power

In 2013, Nate Freiman wore No. 7. However, that number ultimately went to Alberto Callaspo in 2014, and so Freiman switched to No. 35, which had previously been worn by first-round picks Grant Green and Michael Choice in '13. Player profile Name: Nate Freiman, aka Six Eight NatePosition: 1BStats: .218/.269/.448, 93 PAs, 5 HR, 15 RBI, 5 BB, 23 KsWAR: 0.2 bWAR, 0.2 fWARHow he got here: Selected off waivers from Houston Astros prior to 20132014 Salary: Salary not readily available (likely a portion of MLB minimum)2015 Status: Pre-arbitration, under team control2015 Salary: Salary not readily...
Athletics Nation Jan 24, 2015

Athletics 2014 season review: Fernando Rodriguez returns from injury

We just knocked out a couple big names with Jeff Samardzija and Jon Lester, but now we're on to a much smaller 2014 contributor: No. 33, reliever Fernando Rodriguez. Player profile Name: Fernando Rodriguez, aka Not Fernando AbadPosition: RHP, reliefStats: 7 games, 1.00 ERA, 9 innings, 4 Ks, 2 BB, 4 hitsWAR: 0.3 bWAR, 0.1 fWARHow he got here: Acquired from Houston Astros prior to 20132014 Salary: $600,0002015 Status: 1st-year arbitration, under team control2015 Salary: $635,000 Season summary You may not have heard of Fernando Rodriguez, but he's been with the Oakland Athletics for two years...
Athletics Nation Jan 24, 2015

Fun With "Best Available Comps" Part Deux: Nicodamus Predicts

Earlier this month, I wrote about each of the A's off-season acquisitions and who their likely "90th percentile," "50th percentile," and 10th percentile" comps were. You can read that here, whereas here I will now put on my gutometer, a device that tells me where each player will fall on the continuum of achieving their potential, i.e., who will hit their 60th percentile and who will hit only their 25th, and so on... I'll be interested to see where you agree and where you disagree -- there is room for ample disagreement since the gutometer is not a science. In fact there is even much debate...
Athletics Nation Jan 23, 2015

Athletics injury: Sean Doolittle will miss opening day with rotator cuff tear

The Oakland Athletics announced that left-handed pitcher Sean Doolittle has a slight rotator cuff tear in his left shoulder, as well as inflammation and irritation, according to Melissa Lockhard of OaklandClubhouse.com. Doolittle had a platelet-rich plasma injection in his left shoulder to treat the inflammation and irritation, Lockard writes, but he is not expected to be ready for Opening Day. According to assistant GM David Forst, problem arose when Doolittle began offseason throwing program. He's received a PRP injection. — Joe Stiglich (@JoeStiglichCSN) January 23,...
Athletics Nation Jan 23, 2015

Athletics offseason: Predicting the 2016 A's rotation

Or, how to waste an hour of your day. Of the 40 players on the Oakland Athletics' current roster, only 25 of them were in the organization on the last day of the 2014 season. Looking back just 10 months at the 25 players on the 2014 Opening Day roster, only 12 of them are still with the club. Granted, that number is a bit higher if you factor in the five guys who opened the year on the DL -- Parker, Griffin, Cook, Gentry, and O'Flaherty -- but 17-of-30 still means that nearly half of last year's April squad is gone. My point is that Oakland's roster is a body in constant state of flux,...
Athletics Nation Jan 23, 2015

Eric Sogard avoids arbitration with Athletics

Second baseman Eric Sogard reached an agreement to avoid arbitration with the Oakland Athletics Friday, settling on a one-year deal for $1,075,000, according to CBS Sports' Jon Heyman. Sogard, 28, had filed a request of $1,425,000 against the club's offer of $900,000. The settlement is below the midpoint of $1,162,500, and slightly above the $1,000,000 projected by Matt Swartz for MLB Trade Rumors. The Athletics now have three remaining arbitration-eligible players: Fernando Abad, Tyler Clippard, and Jarrod Parker. 2015 Oakland Athletics arbitration...
Athletics Nation Jan 23, 2015

Who's on First? We Know Who's on Second......

Alex Hall makes his weekly appearance on the Phil Naessens Show and the guys discuss what the starting infield might look like. Hey Athletics Nation!! Who's on first for the Oakland Athletics in 2015? We already know Ben Zobrist is on second but what we really don't know is who in the heck is going to be the opening day shortstop for the A's. That's what Alex and I talked about on my daily show today. Let me state right now that as a New York Mets fan I have zero use for Ike Davis. Every time his name comes up I cringe. Sorry. Other than that I'm fairly encouraged at what I see as a...
Athletics Nation Jan 22, 2015

The Curse of the Former Athletics: Astros double down on ex-Oakland players

Will the curse continue? If so, which teams have the biggest contingents of former Athletics players? The Oakland Athletics suffered from a variety of curses and hexes last year, but perhaps none proved more prevalent than the Curse of the Former A's. Throughout the year, from start to finish, players from Oakland's past performed dramatic feats to vanquish the present-day team. Some came from likely sources, while others caught us all by surprise. Here is a quick run-down of the obvious instances of the Curse: - 3/31, Nick Swisher: Opening Night, top 9th. Johnson already allowed a run to...
Athletics Nation Jan 22, 2015

Geovany Soto and Jonny Gomes sign, Athletics free agent book closed

Both Geovany Soto and Jonny Gomes signed elsewhere in baseball on Thursday, closing the book on Oakland's eight major league free agents. Soto signs minor league deal with Chicago White Sox Catcher Geovany Soto signed a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training, says Bruce Levine of 670thescore.com. Soto will have major league spring training invite and challenge for 25 man roster spot . — Bruce Levine (@MLBBruceLevine) January 22, 2015 Around Athletics Nation, Soto was speculated to be a signing option to compete with Josh Phegley for the short-side of the...
Athletics Nation Jan 22, 2015

Athletics trade target: Bring Cliff Pennington home from the Diamondbacks!

There are 28 days until Oakland Athletics pitchers and catchers report to spring training, which means that there's still a whole month left for Billy Beane to keep reshaping his roster. That's enough time for at least three more All-Star trades, possibly for a backup quarterback or a new point guard. In reality, the major moves are probably done, unless Billy has already soured on any of the guys he's gotten in the last two months. However, there is still room for some minor moves to tie up the last loose ends on the roster, like another strong hitter, or depth at catcher or shortstop....
Athletics Nation Jan 21, 2015

Athletics 2014 season review: Jon Lester, the ringer who wasn't enough

The previous player on our list was Jeff Samardzija, one of Billy Beane's big midseason acquisitions. Coincidentally, next is No. 31, Jon Lester, the other blockbuster July addition. Player profile Name: Jon Lester, aka Not CespedesPosition: LHP, startingStats: 11 starts, 2.35 ERA (159 ERA+), 76⅔ innings, 71 Ks, 16 BB, 1 shutoutWAR: 1.9 bWAR, 1.6 fWARHow he got here: Acquired from Boston Red Sox on July 312014 Salary: $13 million2015 Status: Free agent, signed with Chicago Cubs (6yr/$155M)2015 Salary: $20 million Season summary In our review of Samardzija, we detailed the dubiousness of...
Athletics Nation Jan 21, 2015

Lifting the Curse of Tantalus

Bowie Kuhn put the Milo on the Oakland Athletics in 1976 when he ruled that Charlie Finley couldn’t do what Billy Beane does every year. We need to lift the curse and get on with our lives. The 2014 season began with the splendor of Josh Reddick's catch against the Giants' Michael Morse on the first day of spring training. I wrote an essay about the play. Here it is, if you can bear the agony of my optimism. The star of the article was not Reddick, but my Italian mother-in-law, a woman who is generally oblivious to all sports except Raiders football. To bring everything full circle, I'll...
Athletics Nation Jan 20, 2015

AL West news: Astros land Colby Rasmus, still talking with Ryan Vogelsong

The Astros and Rangers are at it again today. The Athletics will have to look out as the Astros and Rangers made moves that could steal a win or two from Oakland's efforts to return to the postseason for the fourth consecutive year. Plus, another old friend alert. Astros sign Colby Rasumus The Houston Astros signed free agent outfield Colby Rasmus to a one-year, $8 million deal with no options, according to Jon Morosi of FOX Sports. Rasmus, 28, is coming off a disappointing 2014 for the Toronto Blue Jays where he batted .225/.289/.448 with 18 home runs, 29 walks, and 124 strikeouts. Rasmus...
Athletics Nation Jan 20, 2015

World Series odds released, Vegas is a big jerk to the Athletics

Paging Trainman, please report to the courtesy phone at the front desk. When it comes to baseball analysis, Vegas betting odds aren't exactly scientific.  The odds aren't even necessarily based entirely on how good the teams are, but rather how much people will bet on them; a club that made splashy-but-unhelpful moves could get a big boost just based on name recognition. But still, it's interesting to see how your team ranks by just about any measure. Bovada Sportsbook just released its World Series odds, and, well, let's just say that despite three straight playoff berths the A's are...
Athletics Nation Jan 19, 2015

Athletics opponents Rangers and Astros add pitching: Yovani Gallardo, Dan Straily, Ryan Vogelsong

The Texas Rangers completed a trade for Yovani Gallardo, and the Houston Astros shipped Dexter Fowler to the Chicago Cubs for an old friend. Additionally, the Astros are deep in talks with Ryan Vogelsong. Also, notes on Max Scherzer and another old friend headed to the Washington Nationals. Some news and notes around the AL West and the American League: Yovani Gallardo traded to Texas The Athletics will face Yovani Gallardo this year after the Texas Rangers traded youngsters Luis Sardinas, Corey Knebel, and Marcos Diplan to the Milwaukee Brewers. The Rangers will also get $4 million from...
Athletics Nation Jan 19, 2015

Athletics trade analysis: Ben Zobrist Q&A with Daniel Russell of DraysBay

He can do everything on the field, but can he cook? After the Oakland Athletics completed their recent trade with the Tampa Bay Rays, I asked Daniel Russell of DRaysBay a few questions about Yunel Escobar and Ben Zobrist. Then Escobar got flipped away to the Washington Nationals for reliever Tyler Clippard, so now we don't really need to know anything about him. Here is the remaining half of the Q&A, for your enjoyment, with a bit of extra commentary to beef things up after the departure of Yunel! 1. Ben Zobrist is known for playing many positions. At which position do you think he plays...
Athletics Nation Jan 18, 2015

Athletics 2014 season review: Jeff Samardzija and the trade that had to be made

Three players wore No. 29 for the Oakland Athletics in 2014, and we already covered two of them. Next up is Jeff Samardzija, whose time in Oakland was brief but whose impact could be felt for many years. Player profile Name: Jeff Samardzija, aka SharkPosition: RHP, startingStats: 16 starts, 3.14 ERA (118 ERA+), 111⅔ innings, 99 Ks, 12 BB*, 2 CGWAR: 1.7 bWAR, 2.1 fWARHow he got here: Acquired from Chicago Cubs on July 52014 Salary: $5.345 million (full season)2015 Status: Traded to Chicago White Sox on Dec. 92015 Salary: $9.8 million * 8.25 strikeout-to-walk ratio Season summary On July 1,...
Athletics Nation Jan 18, 2015

Is "Drafting Trade Chips" A Strategy Or An Accident?

Amongst A's first round draft picks of late, Sonny Gray is an aberration. You see he actually came up to contribute to the Oakland A's. A noticeable trend has emerged, in which Oakland has traded its highest picks -- the A's have dealt no fewer than 6 former first round picks in just the past 2.5 years. In looking for a pattern, or a "rhyme and reason," as to why the A's top picks have become trade chips rather than Athletics, does a pedagogy emerge? Or just a somewhat unremarkable coincidence borne out of circumstance? On the face of it, I'm surprised because for a small payroll team like...

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