November is coming and things will be heating up for the A’s



by Charlie O. Mallonee

With the World Series almost over, that means the “Hot Stove League” is warming up. Let’s see what might be cooking for the Oakland Athletics.

Arbitration-Eligible Players

Khris Davis swings away
  • Danny Valencia IF/OF is ARB 3 and will get a projected $5.3-million in arbitration if the A’s go there. The question is do they need Valencia at this point? The answer is probably not. They have Healy at third base and Valencia is not a great outfielder. Look for Valencia to be a free agent.
  • Yonder Alonso IF/DH is also at the ARB 3 level and is projected get a contract worth $4.1-million. With Billy Butler gone, the A’s will be using a platoon system at the DH spot. Alonso can supply some power at the plate and plays a decent first base. Look for the A’s to pony up the bucks to keep him around.
  • Khris Davis OF/DH is eligible for arbitration for the first time in his career. Coming off a 42 home run – 102 RBI season Davis is looking forward to the process which will probably get him a $5-million contract.
  • Sonny Gray RHP is also eligible for arbitration for the first time. Unfortunately for Gray, he is coming off an injury-riddled season that will keep his numbers down. The projection is that he will receive a $3.7-million deal.
  • Stephen Vogt C will also experience the arbitration process for the first time in his career. Coming off back-to-back All-Star seasons cannot hurt his negotiations. Look for him to get around $3.7 million.
  • Liam Hendriks RHP – the Aussie reliever – made 53 appearances for the A’s the in 2016. The Athletics have to decide if that production is worth a $1-million contract which is what he’s projected to get in arbitration.

Players file for arbitration in January and the teams then respond with contract offers or inform the player an offer will not be tendered. If a contract cannot be negotiated, an arbitration hearing will take place in early February.

Arbitration salary projections are from that has a track record of being very accurate with their projections

Players for whom Arbitration is only a dream


  • Marcus Semien SS arbitration eligible in 2018
  • Kendall Graveman RHP first arb year in 2018
  • Ryan Dull RHP the young reliever will not see arbitration until 2019
  • Sean Manaea LHP  will join Dull at the arbitration table in ’19
  • Ryon Healy IF/DH the young phenom will not see arbitration until 2020

Given the cost of MLB players in today’s market, you can see why the cost conscious Athletics like find talented young players that they can control through the pre-arbitration process and then trade during the arbitration years for … younger players.

Free Agent Moves

Lambo had his 2016 season cut short when it was discovered that he had testicular cancer. He had to undergo surgery but has recovered and is ready to get back to playing the game. Lambo batted .255 in 56 games a Triple-A Nashville.

Cubs in the World Series nets the A’s a pitcher

The A’s claimed LHP Giovanni Soto off waivers from the Chicago Cubs. He was designated for assignment to make room on the Cubs 40-man roster for Kyle Schwarber who went to the Arizona Fall League and is now on the Chicago World Series roster.

Soto made his Major League debut in September 2015 with the Cleveland Indians. Cleveland traded Soto to the Cubs in April 2016 for cash. He spent the season at Triple-A Iowa where he went 1-3 with 5.14 ERA in 33 relief appearances.


Oakland A’s Wednesday game wrap: The A’s do it again, beat the Royals in shut out fashion 8-0

by Jerry Feitelberg

AP photo: Oakland A’s catcher Bruce Maxwell congratulates A’s pitcher Chris Smith (56) after shutting out the Royals 8-0 at Kaufman Stadium in Kansas City

Kansas City, Mo- The new kids on the A’s roster are opening eyes all around the league as the A’s won their third game in a row as they shutout the Kansas City Royals 8-0. The A’s, coming off a 3-6 homestand against the Red Sox, Angels, and Mariners, are looking like an entirely different team. The Royals, who were fighting for the second Wild Card slot, were licking their chops hoping to either sweep the A’s or take three out four from them. However, they play the games on the field, and the A’s have won the first three games of the four-game series and are delivering a severe blow to the Royals’ chances.

Lefty Sean Manaea made his first start in sixteen days as he was not able to pitch due to a shoulder injury. Manaea pitched well. He went five innings and allowed no runs and gave up just three hits. A’s manager Bob Melvin took him out after the fifth even though Manaea’s pitch count was low. The Royals’ Yordano Ventura took the loss. Ventura went just four and one-third innings and allowed five runs, seven hits and walked four. Ventura had over 100 pitches before Ned Yost removed him from the game.

The A’s drew first blood in the first inning. Joey Wendle singled. Danny Valencia walked. Ventura uncorked a wild pitch, and the runners advanced to second and third with no out. Stephen Vogt was safe on a fielder’s choice. He hit a sharp grounder to Royals’ first baseman Eric Hosmer. Hosmer threw a strike to Salvador Perez who tagged Wendle out on a close play at home. Khris Davis walked to load the bases. Yonder Alonso singled to drive in Valencia and Vogt to put the A’s up 2-0.

The Oaktown boys plated three more runs in the third. With two out, Alonso and Ryon Healy singled. Marcus Semien drove both of them in with a double to deep right field. Catcher Bruce Maxwell singled to drive in Semien and the A’s now own a 5-0.

There was no more scoring until the top of the eighth. Oakland scored three more times to put the game out of reach. The A’s bullpen of John Axford, Liam Hendricks, and Chris Smith kept the Royals scoreless, and they allowed the Royals just one hit in the last four innings of the game. The A’s win 8-0.

Game Notes- Sean Manaea notched his sixth win of the year and the first on the road.The A’s line score was eight runs on thirteen hits and no errors. The line for KC was no runs, four hits, and one error.

Daniel Mengden will pitch for Oakland Thursday night, and Edinson Volquez will hurl for the Royals.Game time will be at 4:10 PM PT.

The A’s travel to Arlington, Texas to face the Rangers over the weekend. They return home on Monday to start the final homestand of the year. The play three with the Astros and then three more with the Rangers.



Oakland A’s Sunday game wrap:White Sox pitching too strong again as A’s lose 4-2


by Charlie O. Mallonee

The Chicago White Sox won the “rubber game” of the three-game series with the Oakland A’s on Sunday 4-2. The loss dropped the A’s record on the six-game road trip to 1-5.

The White Sox struck for three runs in the bottom of the first inning with two of those runs scoring with two out. When a team is having trouble winning games, allowing two runs to score with two men out is a back-breaker. It certainly was for the A’s on Sunday.

The A’s did cut the Chicago lead to one run in the top of the fourth inning when Khris Davis hit a two-run home run (32) to center field but that would be all the scoring for Oakland in game.

Jose Abreu – who has become an Athletics killer – led off the bottom of the fourth inning with his 16th home run of year to give the White Sox a much needed insurance run and a 4-2 lead in the game. That would prove to be the final scoring play of the game.

On the Bump

The White Sox were able to lean on their starting pitching again on Sunday as they sent LHP Jose Quintana to the mound in search of his 10th win of the 2016 season. Quintana had not been able to get that 10th victory in his two previous outings.

Quintana had everything working for him on Sunday. He gave up just two runs (both earned) on eight hits. The two runs did come off a home run. Quintana walked one and struck out eight Oakland batters. He faced 29 hitters and threw 99 pitches (66 strikes) in his 7.0 innings of work. Quintana did pick up the win and his record now stands at 10-9.

The Chicago bullpen was solid in helping Quintana get the win. Nate Jones came on in relief in the eighth inning and gave up no runs on one hit. He struck out two and was credited with holding the lead for the starter for the 25th time this season.

RHP closer David Robertson took over in the top of the ninth inning for the White Sox. Robertson did give up a lead-off single to Yonder Alonso but then settled down to retire the side and pick up his 32nd save of the year.

Zach Neal (2-3) made another emergency start for the A’s. Neal had actually been reassigned to the bullpen when it appeared that Jesse Hahn would be back to start this game for Oakland. When it was determined Hahn could not go, Neal stepped back into the starters role.

Neal gave up three runs in the bottom of the first inning with those runs coming after what should have been an inning-ending double play. Neal would give up one additional run on a Abreu home run in fourth inning, and he ultimately became responsible for the loss.

Neal pitched 4.2 innings giving up the four runs (all earned) on eight hits (one home run). He walked none and struck out two batters. His record now stands at 2-3 with a 5.49 ERA.

The A’s bullpen did a great job again on Sunday. The four Oakland relievers – Hendriks, Rzepczynski, Dull and Coulombe – allowed no runs on just three combined hits and one walk. The A’s bullpen is doing everything they can do to give their team a chance to get back into games and pick up wins.

In the Batter’s Box

The White Sox spread the offense over the entire line up again on Sunday. Seven of the nine men in the batting order picked up at least a base hit against the Oakland pitchers. Todd Frazier – who has been having a tough year with the bat – went 3-for-4 on Sunday driving in two of the Sox four runs. Frazier hit his 14th double of the season and picked up RBI 75 and 76 in the game.

Jose Abreu who hit his 16th home run of the season also scored two runs for Chicago.

Chicago Shortstop Tim Anderson had a 3-for-4 day and scored a run.

The White Sox went 4-for-12 with runners in scoring position and left seven men on base.

Khris Davis was the A’s man with the bat on Sunday. He hit his 32nd home run of year and picked up two RBI to make his total 79 for the season.

Marcus Semien was also seeing the ball well on Sunday. He hit two doubles (17) off Quintana in the game and also scored a run.

A’s rookie second baseman Chad Pinder started the second game of his career on Sunday and picked up the first hit of his major league career. Pinder hit a single off Quintana in the top of the seventh inning with one out. The pressure of getting the first hit is off and now Pinder can settle in and just be a hitter.

The A’s went 1-for-6 with runners in scoring position and left eight men on base.


The A’s did not turn a double-play that would have ended the bottom of the first inning and held the White Sox scoreless. Jose Abreu grounded into a force out to shortstop Marcus Semien who tossed the ball to second baseman Chad Pinder who stepped on the bag to erase Melky Cabrera. Pinder then threw to first. The throw was low and to the right of first baseman Yonder Alonso’s glove and he was unable to make the catch. Abreu was safe at first and Tim Anderson advanced from second to third with two out.

The play was one that fans have become used to seeing Alonso dig out of the ground on a regular basis but he was not able to do so on Sunday. The inning continued and Chicago scored three runs. Pinder was charged with an error for his throw.

Up Next

The A’s jumped on their plane after the game and headed home to Oakland where they have a three-game series with the American League Central Division leading Cleveland Indians. The pitching probables are:

Mon. 8/22 7:05 PM  RHP Carlos Carrasco (8-6, 3.34) vs. RHP Andrew Triggs (0-1, 4.98)

Tue. 8/23 7:05 PM RHP Danny Salazar (11-4, 3.57) vs. LHP Sean Manaea (4-8, 4.73)

Wed. 8/24 12:35 PM RHP Trevor Bauer (9-5, 3.88) vs. RHP Kendall Graveman (9-8, 4:09)

Photo: Chicago Tribune

Oakland A’s Wednesday game wrap: The A’s beat the O’s again, Ross Detwiler shines in 1-0 shutout

by Jerry Feitelberg

Oakland- The A’s beat the Baltimore Orioles again behind the strong performance of the veteran lefty Ross Detwiler. The final score was 1-0. Detwiler, traded to Oakland by Cleveland, was recalled from Nashville to start for the Green and Gold, Detwiler was 4-0 in Nashville and with his performance Wednesday probably will make another start shortly. Detwiler pitched eight scoreless innings and allowed just six hits and did not walk a batter. He just mesmerized the Oriole hitters. A’s manager Bob Melvin said Detwiler “mixed it up really good. He kept the ball down in the zone, and it was way more than we expected.” Melvin also said that Detwiler’s performance was phenomenal
The A’s and veteran lefty Ross Detwiler dodged a bullet in the first inning. He gave up two singles and threw two wild pitches, but the Orioles failed to score. With Jones at second, O’s shortstop J.J.Hardy singled just over Danny Valencia’s head in right field. Jones was waiting to tag up as he thought the ball might be caught. When it wasn’t, Jones took off and tried to score. The home plate umpire ruled him safe but the A’s ask for a review. The call was overturned, and Jones was ruled out. Jones never got his front leg down, and A’s catcher Bruce Maxwell tagged him on his back foot for the out.

The A’s scored the only run of the game in the bottom of the third. Doubles by Marcus Semien and Yonder Alonso produced the only run the A’s would need to win their third straight one-run game.

Game Notes. The A’s now have a three-game winning streak and are in fourth place in the AL West. With the loss, the Orioles are now in second-place in the AL East, a game behind the Toronto Blue Jays.

The A’s and O’s conclude the four-game series Thursday afternoon at the Oakland Coliseum. Game time will be at 12:35 pm. Andrew Triggs will pitch for Oakland, and the A’s will face the Oriole ace, Chris Tillman.

Time of game was two hours and twenty-four minutes and 13,481 happy fans watched the A’s win.

The A’s Rich Hill outduels the Astros’ Doug Fister, A’s win 3-1

by Jerry Feitelberg

AP photo: Oakland A’s second baseman Jed Lowrie misses a Houston Astros Luis Valbuena smash for a hit at Minute Maid Field in the second inning of Thursday night’s game

HOUSTON–The Oakland A’s beat the Houston Astros 3-1 Thursday night in Houston. The A’s new  ace Rich Hill outshined the Astros Doug Fister in an old-fashioned pitching duel. The Astros scored their only run of the game in the first inning. Leadoff hitter, George Springer, tripled to get things going for Houston. The next hitter, Marwin Gonzalez, grounded out driving in Springer with the ‘Stros first and only run of the game. From that point on, Hill was lights out. Hill pitched six innings, allowed just the one run and three hits. He walked two batters but struck out ten. He threw 103 pitches and since it was just his second start since coming off the DL, A’s manager Bob Melvin turned the game over to the bullpen and did they ever do the job. John Axford set the Astros down in order in the seventh. Ryan Dull pitched a 1-2-3 inning in the eighth and Ryan Madson did the same in the ninth to close out the game for Oakland.

The Astros, as mentioned above, scored first in the very first inning. The A’s came back and scored two runs in the top of the second. Singles by Danny Valencia and Khris Davis was followed by a walk to Steven Vogt to load the bases with no out. Marcus Semien grounded into a 6-4-3 double play. Valencia scored to tie the game, and Davis went to third. Yonder Alonso doubled to left-centerfield to drive in the A’s second run. The score remained at 2-1 until the top of the ninth. Fister went eight innings allowed just two runs and three hits. The Astros brought in lefty Tony Sipp to face the left-handed hitter, Josh Reddick. With the shift on, Reddick hit a rocket up the middle that was fielded by Carlos Correa. Correa straightened up to throw to first but his throw drew the first baseman off the bag, and Reddick was safe. Correa was charged with an error.With two right-handed hitters coming up, Houston brought in former Athletic, Pat Neshek to pitch. Neshek retired Valencia and Davis but walked Vogt and Semien to load the bases. The Astros employed the shift when Alonso came to the plate. The Second baseman, Jose Altuve was stationed in short right, and Correa was near the second base bag. Alonzo hit a blooper that could not be fielded by Neshek and Altuve was too far away to make the play. Reddick scored the insurance run, and Madson closed out the game. A’s win, the A’s win 3-1.

Game Notes- With the win, the A’s are now 2-6 in their last eight games. They play three more games with the Astros before stopping play for the All-Star game. Kendall Graveman, Daniel Mengden, and Sean Manaea will handle the pitching chores for Oakland. Lance McCullers, Collin McHugh and reigning Cy Young winner Dallas Keuchel will pitch for Houston.

Yonder Alonso was the hitting star for Oakland as he had two of the four hits and he drove in two runs. Center fielder, Coco, Crisp was tossed out of the game in the fourth inning. Crisp took a low pitch that was below his knees. The ump called it a strike. Coco was a little miffed. The next pitch was also low. Coco swung and missed as he thought he would be called out on strikes if he took the pitch. As he was heading back to the dugout, Coco tossed the bat, and it nearly hit the umpire. He also threw his helmet to the ground. He was thumbed out immediately. Bob Melvin never got a chance to intercept Coco. Billy Burns replace Coco in center.

Rich Hill is now 9-3 for the year, and the A’s improve to 37-49. The Astros’ Doug Fister falls tp 8-6 and they are now 46-40 for 2016. Ryan Madson picked up his seventeenth save. Game Two of the Series will be Friday night at Minute Maid Park in Houston at 5:10 pm PT.

Time of game was two hours and thirty-two minutes and 20,933 Houstonian were on hnd to watch the A’s win.

Jays beat the A’s 6-3 to take the series

MLB: Oakland Athletics at Toronto Blue Jays
Oakland Athletics starting pitcher Eric Surkamp Photo Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

by Charlie O. Mallonee

There is nothing harder to do in Major League Baseball than to try to establish a winning streak on the road. After winning six games in a row, the A’s lost on Saturday to the Toronto Blue Jays.

On Sunday, the A’s wanted to get back into the win column and take the series from the Jays. The A’s were unable to accomplish either of those goals.

The A’s starting pitching left much to be desired on Sunday allowing Toronto to score six runs in 4.2 innings.

The A’s hitters showed some power hitting three home runs. The only problem with those round-trippers were that all three were solo shots.

The Jays starting pitching was not overwhelming but was just good enough to get the win.

Toronto used a combination of power and productive two-out hitting to score six runs which was more than enough to win the game.

On the hill

LHP Eric Surkamp (0-2, 5.59) started the game for the Athletics. Surkamp came into the game looking for his first win of the season. Instead, he was charged with his second loss of the year.

Surkamp gave up all six Toronto runs in his 4.2 innings of work. He gave up two home runs and two doubles. Surkamp threw 97 pitches (54 strikes), walked three and struck out just two Blue Jays. He face 26 batters in his time on the hill.

The Oakland relief corps did its job. Marc Rzepczynski, Ryan Dull and Fernando Rodriguez held the Jays scoreless in their 3.1 innings of work. The relievers allowed only three base runners in closing out the game for Oakland.

Drew Hutchison (1-0, 3.18) started the game for Toronto and picked up his first victory of the season. Hutchison was not over powering on the mound as he gave up two runs (both earned) on four hits in his 5.2 innings of work. Two of those hits were home runs. Hutchison struck out five and walked three A’s hitters.

Former Oakland Athletic Jesse Chavez relieved Hutchison in the top of the sixth inning inning. Chavez returned to the mound in the seventh and issued a home run to the A’s lead off hitter Chris Coghlan.

Brett Cecil, Drew Storen and Roberto Osuna finished off the game for the Jays holding the A’s without a hit. Osuna picked up his sixth save of the season.

In the batter’s box

The A’s were had only five hits in the game. Josh Reddick had the only multi-hit game going 2-for-4 including a home run. Khris Davis and Chris Coghland hit the other home runs for Oakland. Yonder Alonso recorded a base hit for the A’s.

Oakland was 0-for-2 with runners in scoring position and left just three men on base.

Three Blue Jays had multi-hit games. Ezequiel Carrera went 2-for-4 including hitting his first home run of the season. Kevin Pillar hit a double and scored a run in going 2-for-4. Darwin Barney also had a two-hit game for the Jays.

The Jays went 3-for-15 with runners in scoring position and left nine runners on base.

Up next

The Athletics head to Detroit for a four-game series that begins at 4:10 PM on Monday in Northern California. It could be an opportunity for the A’s to get back on the winning track.

The Tigers have lost four games in a row and have record of just 2-5 at home this season. They were just swept by the Cleveland Indians.

The A’s must achieve at least a 2-2 split in the four-game series. To come home 1-3 or heaven forbid 0-4 in the final series of this road trip would be devastating for the psyche of this team.