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Thursday, December 18, 2014

Padres Acquire Derek Norris – MLB Trade Rumors

The Padres and Athletics have continued their busy offseasons with a multiplayer deal that will send catcher Derek Norris to San Diego, Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News reports (Twitter links).  The full trade is Norris, right-hander Seth Streich and an international signing slot to the Padres with right-handers Jesse Hahn and R.J. Alvarez going to Oakland, Yahoo Sports’ Jeff Passan reports.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 18, 2014 at 10:20 PM | 53 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, derek norris, jesse hahn, padres

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Jed Lowrie signing: Looking back at the Astros trade that sent Lowrie to Oakland

A good analysis of a “win-win” trade. Houston is going to end up with more total value from the Lowrie trade, but the A’s got value concentrated in two years when it helped them reach the playoffs.

SoCalDemon Posted: December 16, 2014 at 02:11 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, athletics, transactions

Friday, December 12, 2014

Q&A: David Forst, Assistant General Manager, Oakland Athletics

It’s very difficult to win by accident more than once.

There’s definitely a plan. We certainly spend the first couple of weeks after the year, when the season ends, talking on a macro level about what direction we should go. The specifics of who to trade and who to target don’t necessarily come into focus until a little bit later in the offseason, but certainly the plan is talked about immediately. And frankly, it was probably something we talked about in September, before the season was over.

I think Billy [Beane, General Manager] has articulated in a couple of places that we knew that just bringing back the current team, assuming the losses of [Jon] Lester, and [Luke] Gregerson, and [Jed] Lowrie and some of those guys that we didn’t have an opportunity to sign — bringing back that team wasn’t going to work. The Angels were obviously 11 games better than us and the Mariners were right on our tail, and poised to get better. Just bringing back our group and just supplementing it with little pieces, wasn’t going to give us a chance to compete, and was also going to leave us further down the path of having an older, more injury-prone club, frankly.

We decided very early on that we needed to take a similar route that we did in 2011, in November in December, and work hard on increasing our depth, getting younger and getting healthier.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 12, 2014 at 08:40 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Semien poised to make quickest Majors impact | athletics.com

Jim Callis breaks down the deal.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 09, 2014 at 03:27 PM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, white sox

White Sox reportedly acquire Samardzija from A’s | MLB.com

According to CBSSports.com, the deal sending the right-hander to the South Side was complete as of Monday night, and included infielder Marcus Semien going to Oakland along with two prospects. The San Francisco Chronicle reported right-hander Chris Bassitt to be part of the deal.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 09, 2014 at 06:14 AM | 59 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, chris bassitt, jeff samardzija, marcus semien, white sox

Monday, December 08, 2014

CBSSports: Mets, Giants, A’s, other clubs eye top Korean shortstop Jung-Ho Kang

Kang has consistently put up huge numbers in Korea and posted an amazing .364/.457/.733 slash line in 2014 for the Nexen Heores, hitting 39 home runs in 116 games. The big question is how those numbers translate, which is why he could be viewed as a bargain by some.

Yes, that is the question.  Any speculation on how this fellow’s skills translate?

Arbitol Dijaler Posted: December 08, 2014 at 02:33 PM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, giants, international, korean baseball, mets

Indians Acquire Brandon Moss

In a widely anticipated swap, the Athletics have officially agreed to ship outfielder/first baseman/DH Brandon Moss to the Indians in exchange for minor league second baseman Joe Wendle.

Moss, 31, is projected by MLBTR/Matt Swartz to earn $7.1MM this year, his second-to-last of arbitration eligibility. He is an accomplished power bat, with a 135 OPS+ and 76 home runs over the last three years…

Wendle, a 24-year-old prospect, did not rate among the Indians’ top ten prospects in the recent estimation of Baseball America but did land at ninth on MLB.com‘s most recent list Wendle’s calling card is his hit tool, with which he combines decent power and solid defense. A broken hamate bone cut the 24-year-old’s season short, but he had put up a .253/.311/.414 line over 370 Double-A plate appearances and owned even an even more robust slash the prior year at High-A.

The District Attorney Posted: December 08, 2014 at 01:27 PM | 60 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, brandon moss, indians, joe wendle, trades, transactions

Friday, December 05, 2014

A’s discusssing minor leaguer for Brandon Moss - Oakland Athletics : The Drumbeat

The A’s are in discussions that could net them a minor-league infielder from the Indians in exchange for outfielder Brandon Moss. Among the A’s targets, according to big league sources, is Double-A second baseman Joe Wendle, a strong prospect whose 2014 season was shortened by a broken hamate bone.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 05, 2014 at 07:37 AM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, brandon moss, indians, trade rumors

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

“Billy Boy”: The Josh Donaldson trade was reportedly sparked by an argument with Billy Beane

Nobody puts Billy Boy in the corner.

Miller said Beane told Donaldson if he couldn’t play he should go on the DL and Donaldson chafed. Then this:

  “Donaldson told the manager he needed a blow, and [Bob] Melvin said, ‘You got it,’ ” the source said. “Then that night’s lineup came out and Billy asked, ‘Where’s Donaldson?’ “

  When told what happened, the source says, an angry Beane demanded that Melvin put Donaldson back into the lineup.
  “They got into it in the coach’s office,” the source says, describing a scene in which Beane lit into Donaldson, with the third baseman reiterating his need for a day off and petulantly calling Beane “Billy Boy.”

  “Nobody talks to Billy that way,” the source said. “It did not surprise me in the least that he got rid of Donaldson.”

Moreover, last night Wendy Thurm linked to a pre-trade series of tweets by Donaldson in which he appeared to be taking issue with the A’s frugal ways too.

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 03, 2014 at 11:45 AM | 61 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, billy beane, josh donaldson

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Sunday Notes: Brewers, Raines, Carpenter, Castro, Cuba, Reds, much more | FanGraphs Baseball

Another interesting David Lauria column. Some good tidbits.

Members of the Red Sox ownership group are reportedly purchasing their Triple-A affiliate from the estate of Ben Mondor. Mondor, who purchased the team in 1977, passed away in 2010. The Pawtucket Red Sox – one of minor league baseball’s most successful franchises – have been run by president Mike Tamburro and vice president/general manager Lou Schwechheimer.

It is unclear if Tamburro and Schwechheimer, who have been with the team since 1977 and 1979, respectively, will retain their positions if the deal is consummated. Many will be disappointed if they depart. Each has worked hard to enhance the fan experience at McCoy Stadium, and you’d be hard-pressed to find a former PawSox player who will complain about how he was treated by management.

Tamburro is a great storyteller. Some of his best yarns involve Win Remmerswaal, who played in Pawtucket from 1977-1980. A native of The Hague, Netherlands, Remmerswaal is legendary in PawSox lore.

According to Tamburro, Remmerswaal was once pulled over for driving his rental car on the wrong side of the road. Another time, he ran out of gas on the Massachusetts Turnpike and had to walk to the nearest town. Instead of purchasing a can of gas, Remmerswaal rented another car and left the first one along side of the road. A week later it was brought to McCoy Stadium. This was at seasons end and Butch Hobson, Pawtucket’s manager at the time, decided to drive it home to Alabama and abandon it in a parking lot.


Peter Gammons: Beane ignites Oakland rebuild with Donaldson trade - GammonsDaily.com

The Donaldson trade from the A’s perspective.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 30, 2014 at 07:18 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, trades

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Beane not afraid to take a chance to make A’s better | MLB.com

I agree. One of the things that separates the best GMs from the mediocre ones is the confidence to trust their talent evaluators and pull the trigger on deals, even risky ones.

Beane doesn’t play scared. He’s unafraid to take a chance, to rework what already seems to be working. There’s a beauty, both in the guts to do it and in the vision to see what others can’t.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 29, 2014 at 09:02 AM | 54 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, blue jays, josh donaldson, trades

Making sense of A’s trade of All-Star Donaldson to Blue Jays | FOX Sports

A GM should have no untouchables. Like with Donaldson, a GM might not want to deal a player but once the return gets high enough you have to pull the trigger. If his scouts and his number crunchers like the players, he makes the deal. After making the deal it’s up to the player development people and the major league coaches to get the most out of the acquired players. Granted the A’s are losing five years of Donaldson but they are potentially getting a lot years from the new guys. With the A’s track record, I’d say the chances the Beane will come out looking good on this deal ten years from now are pretty good.

Gold-Glove caliber defenders who offer power and durability rarely become available with this much service time remaining. And truth be told, Donaldson wasn’t available, at least not the first time the Blue Jays asked in October.

But Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos called Beane again last weekend and essentially said, “What if I really made it worth your while?”

Anthopoulos did. And on Friday night, Beane moved Donaldson in what is certain to be one of his most scrutinized deals yet — and yes, that is saying something.

....

I have no idea where Beane is going with all this. I have no idea what kind of team the Athletics will be next season. All I know is that Beane just traded four years of Josh Donaldson. And that at first blush, many will find it difficult to accept this move.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 29, 2014 at 08:51 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, blue jays, brett lawrie, josh donaldson, trades

By trading Josh Donaldson, the A’s were just being themselves - Yahoo Sports

Every trade is a risk.

It’s the sort of risk the A’s always need to take because they’re the A’s. Thriving as a have-not in a sport rife with haves takes not just the gall to make moves like this but the ability to make them work when the future is as certain as the wind. Oakland took a risk by trading Josh Donaldson, the sort of risk they must take, the sort of risk a $150 million team like the Blue Jays needn’t. No one – not even those who run the A’s and love the deal – can say for sure whether it was a good one. The last time Josh Donaldson was traded, remember, it took five years for the deal to even matter.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 29, 2014 at 07:11 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, blue jays, trades

Monday, November 24, 2014

Meet the teenagers who landed a shocking MLB scoop

The latest dose of inside info from the heart of Billy Beane’s Oakland A’s operation this week came from a most unlikely and precocious outlet.

Thirteen-year-old Devan Fink, a middle schooler from Northern Virginia, was the first to report the A’s were close to signing free agent Billy Butler.

Then 18-year-old Robert Murray, a college freshman from Wisconsin and with Fink the co-proprietor of MLBDailyRumors.com, was the first to report the details of Butler’s pact.

“It wasn’t a familial connection,” Fink told MLB Network on Thursday morning, while missing English class. “I just tried to reach out to people who might know things and found someone who did.”

Murray said he received a phone call from a source with the contract details.

The two teenage reporters have never met in person, and say they establish most of their contacts on Twitter. Welcome to 2014.

Win Big Stein's Money Posted: November 24, 2014 at 03:36 PM | 40 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, billy butler, rumors

Josh Willingham to retire

The Ham is no longer Willing. Josh retires with a line of .253/.358/.465 with 988 hits and 195 home runs.

Although he said he received a substantial offer from a contending club this offseason, he ultimately decided against returning in 2015.

“After praying on my decision many times and talking to my wife, my father and ex-players who have gone through the same process toward the end of their careers, I have decided to retire,’’ Willingham said.

“I felt like it wouldn’t be fair to myself, and more importantly to the team that was paying me a lot of money to perform at a high level, if there was a chance my dedication would waver—particularly as the season got longer. I’m honored to have played for as many years as I have, and I feel even luckier to walk away on my own terms instead of having the decision made for me.’‘

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 24, 2014 at 01:01 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, josh willingham, marlins, nationals, retirements, royals, twins

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Why The Billy Butler Deal May Not Be Totally Crazy | FanGraphs Baseball

You know, there has been a lot of crazy talk lately. That’s just crazy!

Jim Furtado Posted: November 19, 2014 at 02:37 PM | 34 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Athletics To Sign Billy Butler

Will fans end up celebrating, or Grieve-ing?

The Athletics have agreed to a three-year, $30MM deal with free agent DH Billy Butler, as first reported via Twitter by Robert Murray. ESPN.com’s Buster Olney reports that the deal is finalized.

The District Attorney Posted: November 18, 2014 at 10:53 PM | 50 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, billy butler, free agents, transactions

Friday, November 14, 2014

NYDN: Former minor league pitcher who slapped a woman aboard F train sad because he can’t wear his favorite 8-Ball jacket anymore

Meet the Man Responsible for the Slap Heard Round the Subway:

He won his freedom - but might lose his favorite jacket.

The Bronx bouncer who slapped a woman after she taunted him about an 8-Ball jacket - sparking an epic subway brawl - said Thursday he’ll have to leave the coat in the closet this winter.

“I can’t wear my jacket anymore,” a choked-up Jorge Pena, 25, said a day after it was revealed Manhattan prosecutors dropped all charges against him, relying on the viral video that reveals he was defending himself.

The former baseball prospect from the Dominican Republic was talking at his lawyers’ office while wearing the infamous 8-ball jacket.

But out on the streets, sporting the coat triggers negative reactions, like: “This is the man who slapped a girl,” Pena said, adding he’s also apprehensive about taking the subway.

The 6-foot-6 father slapped Danay Howard, 21, with a right hand that once tossed 98 mph fastballs when he pitched for the Oakland Athletics’ minor league squad, before his dream ended with a knee injury in 2011.

JE (Jason) Posted: November 14, 2014 at 02:05 PM | 47 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, bullying, crime, minors

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Sources: A’s adamant about keeping Donaldson, will listen on pitchers | FOX Sports

Here’s another team “not shopping” but “willing to listen”. (Wink, wink.)

First things first: The Oakland Athletics do not plan to trade third baseman Josh Donaldson, according to major-league sources.
The A’s would listen if teams inquired on pitchers such as right-hander Jeff Samardzija and lefty Scott Kazmir. However, they will not shop either and are adamant about keeping Donaldson, who is under club control for four more years, sources say.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 06, 2014 at 06:51 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, jeff samardzija, josh donaldson, scott kazmir

Monday, October 06, 2014

Deadline duds: Big-ticket trades yield October sorrow

Sometimes making the right move doesn’t matter in the playoff dice game.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 06, 2014 at 09:06 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, tigers, trades

Thursday, October 02, 2014

Robothal: Don’t expect Beane to stand pat in wake of A’s collapse

Rich Harden is available.

So now what does Billy Beane do?

One rival executive raised an interesting possibility in the aftermath of the Athletics’ stunning 9-8 loss to the Royals in the American League wild-card game:

Trade right-hander Jeff Samardzija.

Another rival exec, knowing how Beane never likes to get caught in between, speculated that the Athletics’ GM might trade third baseman Josh Donaldson, too.

Wishful thinking? Perhaps. But Beane acquired Samardzija with the idea that the A’s would be strong again next year. Now that prospect looks iffy, and Beane might at least consider going in reverse…

The A’s will not receive draft-pick compensation for left-hander Jon Lester and righty Jason Hammel, who are exempt from qualifying offers after getting traded at midseason.

They have a clear hole at shortstop… They also need a catcher…

Trading Donaldson might be unnecessary, considering that he will be arbitration-eligible for the first time and could remain with the club through 2018. Beane also could wait until the next non-waiver deadline to move Samardzija and/or lefty Scott Kazmir, who also is a free agent after next season… One thing about Beane, though: He rarely sits still.


Wednesday, October 01, 2014

How Jarrod Dyson stole the biggest base of his life

Aggressiveness was part of the Royals’ game plan, as they tied a playoff record with seven steals. There’s blame going the way of Derek Norris, who replaced an injured Geovany Soto, and to be sure, Norris could’ve had a better game. But something we’ve really come to understand in the past few years is that steals are more off of pitchers than catchers, and this wasn’t so much the Royals taking advantage of Norris as it was the Royals taking advantage of the batteries. The Royals read and the Royals ran, and there was no bigger stolen base than Jarrod Dyson‘s arrival at third in the bottom of the ninth.

Zach Posted: October 01, 2014 at 07:41 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, baserunning, detectives believe speed was involved, royals, wpa

Posnanski: The Beauty of Belief [Royals win Wild Card, headed to ALDS]

The Royals really are the closest baseball thing to a Coen Brothers movie. With two outs, the Royals tried some sort of double-steal with Billy Butler at first and Eric Hosmer at third. If I got the play right, and can write this without breaking down in convulsions, Butler was supposed to get hung up between first and second, distracting the A’s long enough to allow Hosmer to steal home. This, of course, ended in humiliation, with Hosmer being thrown out at the plate by 800 million steps, but as is often the case the spectacular ineptitude of the play was doubled or trebled by the Ned Yost explanation, where he explained that Butler left early and Hosmer left late and, otherwise, the Royals would have score a run.

Any comedian will tell you that you can’t explain comedy, and every effort to do so will just dig you deeper into anti-comedy, and maybe that’s why the straight-laced Yost always comes across so absurdly in these situations. Eric Hosmer is a generally lumbering first baseman, and Billy Butler might be the slowest player in baseball, and any complicated running play with these two is destined to become a Will Ferrell movie. It would have made me feel so much better if Yost had not given a considered answer on how that madcap scheme might have worked but instead said, “Yeah, that was crazy, right? Woo hop! Brain cramp! Hey, it’s the first postseason for me too!”


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