A's acquire SS Drew from Arizona

670088.jpg

A's acquire SS Drew from Arizona

The A's traded for Stephen Drew Monday night. The following is their press release announcing the trade:

The Oakland Athletics have acquired veteran shortstop Stephen Drew from the Arizona Diamondbacks in exchange for minor league infielder Sean Jamieson, the club announced this evening.Drew, who missed 137 games with Arizona from July 21, 2011 through June 26 due to a fractured right ankle, was batting .193 with eight doubles, one triple, two home runs and 12 RBI in 40 games since returning to the Diamondbacks. He will report to Oakland tomorrow, at which time corresponding 40-man and 25-man roster moves will be made.The 29-year-old Drew was Arizonas first selection in the 2004 First-Year Player Draft (15th overall) out of Florida State and has played parts of the past seven seasons with the Diamondbacks. He is a .266 career hitter with 176 doubles, 52 triples, 72 home runs and 333 RBI in 773 games. The Valdosta, Ga. native enjoyed his best major league seasons under the tutelage of As Manager Bob Melvin, who piloted the Diamondbacks from 2005-09.Drew produced his best season in 2008, when he batted .291 with 44 doubles, 11 triples, 21 home runs and 67 RBI in 152 games, thus becoming only the third shortstop in baseball history to post 40 doubles, 10 triples and 20 homers in a season (Milwaukees Robin Yount in 1980 and 1982; Bostons Nomar Garciaparra in 1997). He was named the 2008 BBWAA Diamondbacks Player of the Year after the season.A season earlier, while batting only .238 with 12 homers and 60 RBI on Melvins 2007 NL West Championship team, Drew enjoyed a brilliant post-season run in hitting .387 with two home runs and four RBI in seven playoff games. He hit .500 (7-for-14) with two homers and four RBI against the Chicago Cubs in the NLDS and batted .294 (5-for-17) vs. the Colorado Rockies in the NLCS that year.With Arizona this season, he has gone hitless in his last 15 at-bats and is batting .069 (2-for-29) in his last nine games. However, he hit homers in consecutive games Aug. 5-7.Jamieson, 23, was Oaklands 17th round choice out of Canisius College in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft. The 6-0, 193-pound Simcoe, Ontario, Canada product is hitting .234 (105-for-449) with 25 doubles, five triples, 10 home runs, 49 RBI and 25 stolen bases in 118 games at Single-A Burlington. He hit .235 with three homers, 21 RBI and 27 stolen bases in 69 games with Short-A Vermont in his first professional season in 2011.

-- Courtesy Oakland A's media services

A’s agree to terms with Gray, Hendriks and Vogt to avoid arbitration

A’s agree to terms with Gray, Hendriks and Vogt to avoid arbitration

The Oakland A’s avoided arbitration with right-handed pitchers Sonny Gray and Liam Hendriks and catcher Stephen Vogt when they agreed to terms on one-year contracts for the 2017 season, the club announced today.

Gray went 5-11 with a 5.69 ERA in 22 starts last year in a season shortened by two stints on the disabled list.  His ERA was more than 2½ runs higher than his previous career high and his five wins follow back-to-back 14-win seasons.  Gray went 33-20 with a 2.88 ERA 76 games over his first three seasons with the A’s and now has a 3.42 ERA in his career, which ranks ninth in Oakland history.

Hendriks compiled a 3.76 ERA and .270 opponents batting average in 53 relief appearances in his first season with the A’s.  He had an 8.27 ERA and .394 opponents batting average in 11 games before going on the disabled list in early May with a strained right triceps.  Hendriks then logged a 2.23 ERA and .222 opponents batting average in 42 games following his return from the DL.

Vogt played in a career-high 137 games last year and hit .251 with 14 home runs and 56 RBI.  He also had career bests with 123 hits, 30 doubles and 46 extra base hits.  Vogt was named to his second consecutive American League All-Star team.

The only remaining arbitration eligible player on the A’s roster is Khris Davis.

A's media services

Mariners swing pair of trades, bolster rotation with addition of Smyly

Mariners swing pair of trades, bolster rotation with addition of Smyly

SEATTLE -- Jerry Dipoto's 11th trade this offseason rounded out the Seattle Mariners roster with his top target.

"I've probably spent more time through the course of our offseason trying to acquire Drew Smyly than any other thing that we've done," the general manager said Wednesday.

Seattle made pair of deals on Wednesday that ultimately landed Smyly, a pitcher Dipoto thinks will fill out the Mariners starting rotation. Seattle also landed a potential key reliever, getting right-hander Shae Simmons from the Atlanta Braves.

The Mariners acquired outfielder Mallex Smith from Atlanta, then sent him to Tampa Bay along with infielder Carlos Vargas and left-hander Ryan Yarbrough for Smyly. Smith was also an offseason target for the Mariners but when Seattle acquired Jarrod Dyson from Kansas City last week, Smith instead became the conduit in helping to obtain Smyly.

"It became apparent to us over the last two or three days that we were able to access Drew Smyly by making the deal with Atlanta that tapped into Mallex Smith," Dipoto said. "So effectively these were two deals that were interlinked."

Smyly is the centerpiece of what Seattle was trying to accomplish as the Mariners seem to have rounded out a starting rotation that appeared to be a major question at the start of the year. The acquisitions of Smyly and Yovani Gallardo from Baltimore last week appear to have filled out a rotation where Felix HernandezHisashi Iwakuma and James Paxton were the only certainties.

Smyly, 27, made 30 starts last season for Tampa Bay, throwing a career-high 175 1/3 innings and striking out 167. He was 7-12 with a 4.88 ERA, but starting pitching is one of Tampa Bay's strongest assets, and Rays senior vice president of baseball operations and general manager Erik Neander felt comfortable making the deal because of the depth the Rays have in that area.

Smyly was 15-15 with a 3.95 ERA in 49 starts for Tampa Bay after being acquired from Detroit in the 2014 trade deadline deal that sent David Price to the Tigers. He is arbitration eligible after winning $3.75 million in an arbitration hearing last season.

"He fits our ballpark particularly well. He's a pretty extreme fly-ball pitcher with the low walks, high strikeouts, who in our ballpark, with what we think is a greatly improved outfield defense fits us like a glove really," Dipoto said. "If as we expect he shows up and does his thing it should fit very well for us in this ballpark."

What Smith may be able to add was attractive to Neander, who said the trade was made to help position the Rays to be competitive in 2017. He stopped short of saying he expects Smith to make the team coming out of spring training.

"We need to get better," Neander said. "To do that, we need more competition" for jobs.

Simmons is also a key acquisition for Seattle, providing another power arm in the bullpen. Simmons, 26, made seven appearances last season while recovering from Tommy John surgery and threw just 6 2/3 big league innings. Before elbow issues, Simmons was 1-2 with a 2.91 ERA in 26 appearances during the 2014 season.

"He's had a strong history with striking (batters) out and (we're) really excited to plug him in," Dipoto said.

The cost for Seattle to complete to two deals meant giving up two of its top pitching prospects in Yarbrough and Luiz Gohara. Yarbrough, 25, was named the Southern League pitcher of the year after going 12-4 with a 2.95 ERA at Double-A Jackson last season. Gohara, 20, was 7-2 with a 1.81 ERA and 81 strikeouts in 13 starts at two Class A stops.

Seattle also sent lefty Thomas Burrows to Atlanta and designated right-hander Cody Martin for assignment to make room on its 40-man roster.