A's hold on, defeat Royals 10-8

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A's hold on, defeat Royals 10-8

BOX SCORE
PHOENIX (AP) After a strong debut, Yoenis Cespedes struggled in his second spring game in the majors.A day after the Cuban defector homered in his first game, he went hitless in three at-bats, with a walk, in the Oakland A's 10-8 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Sunday."I thought he had some decent at-bats," Oakland manager Bob Melvin said. "He didn't have the results he had yesterday, but I think we can give him a break. We were probably all expecting him to get three more hits and hit a couple home runs, but he looks good up there. They threw him some good pitches."Cespedes flied out, lined out and struck out. He also drew a walk and was shaken up briefly when he fouled a ball off the top of his left foot, but stayed in the game.He is 2 for 6 in his two games with the A's, who signed him to a four-year, 36-million deal earlier this month. Cespedes, who was the designated hitter on Sunday, is scheduled to play next on Tuesday, when he'll be back in center field.NEWS: A's announce 12 roster movesKansas City's Eric Hosmer drove in four runs, including two on his first homer of the spring."It kind of gets the monkey off your back a little bit," Hosmer said. "It's a good feeling getting that swing and building off it for the rest of spring training."Hosmer, who hadn't homered in his first 17 spring training at-bats, hit it off left-hander Tommy Milone. Last year Hosmer hit .237 with only one of his 19 homers against left-handed pitchers."This was a guy who keeps you off balance and changes speeds a lot, so I was just focusing on taking that ball to left-center," said Hosmer, who lifted his average to .316. "It was a changeup, and I stayed on it."Milone, a leading candidate for one of the three vacant spots in the rotation, gave up just those two runs in 3 2-3 innings. He's allowed three earned runs in 8 2-3 innings this spring."I feel good," he said. "Since the first bullpen session, I've really had the command that I want. I've thrown strikes and kept the ball low. I've felt more in season form now than in previous years. Usually it comes a little later."Royals starter Bruce Chen bounced back for a rough first start to give up one run in three innings.NOTES: Eric Sogard's three-run double in the eighth gave the A's a two-run lead. ... With two outs in the ninth and the potential tying run in scoring position, A's 2B Adam Rosales saved the game with a diving stop of Kevin Kouzmanoff's grounder. ... The A's optioned LHP Sean Doolittle and OF Jermaine Mitchell and reassigned RHP Edgar Gonzalez, RHP Sonny Gray, RHP Jim Miller, RHP Merkin Valdez, LHP Fabio Castro, C Max Stassi, OF Michael Choice, OF Grant Green, OF Cedric Hunter and OF Jason Pridie. ... Oakland 1B Daric Barton is scheduled to make his spring debut as the DH on Monday against the White Sox. Barton has been out because of a biceps problem. He also underwent shoulder surgery last year. Barton is unlikely to be ready to for the opener on March 29 in Japan. ... Oakland's Kila Ka'aihue hit a two-run homer against his former team. ... Royals reliever Jonathan Broxton gave up an unearned run in 2-3 of inning in a B' game against the Rangers. Broxton gave up a hit and two walks and he struck out one. Broxton, who has been coming back from elbow surgery, is scheduled to pitch Wednesday in a regular exhibition game. ... Mike Montgomery, one of the Royals' top prospects, was charged with five runs in 2-3 of an inning against the A's.

Notes: A's likely to leave winter meetings with unfinished business

Notes: A's likely to leave winter meetings with unfinished business

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. — A’s general manager David Forst flies home Thursday afternoon, and unless there’s a drastic change in the final stages of the winter meetings, he’ll still be searching for a center fielder.

Wednesday’s events included some discussion between Oakland and other parties, but no concrete progress toward landing a center fielder. That’s despite the late-breaking news Tuesday that the A’s and Royals were talking trade for fleet-footed Kansas City outfielder Jarrod Dyson.

“It’s a two-way street with a free agent or a team, a function of the other side’s pace,” Forst said. “It’s unlikely (they complete a deal at the meetings), and not for lack of conversations or lack of ideas. Just things move at different speeds.”

It doesn’t necessarily mean the chance of landing Dyson is done. Forst pointed out talks which transpire at the winter meetings sometimes materialize into a deal down the road. But it’s also worth noting that the Baltimore Orioles are pursuing Dyson too. FanRag’s Jon Heyman reported that Baltimore and Kansas City have discussed him.

Therefore, consider the A’s as players in the free agent as well as trade markets.

“We’ve cast a wide net,” Forst said.

Two free agent center fielders came off the board Wednesday as the Rockies agreed to a five-year $70 million contract with Ian Desmond and the Rangers re-signed Carlos Gomez to a one-year $11.5 million deal. Desmond was assumed to be out of the A’s price range, but Gomez was thought to be a realistic target. He opted to return to Texas, which needed to do some outfield re-stocking after losing Desmond and Carlos Beltran, who like Gomez was an in-season acquisition for the Rangers in 2016.

The three most enticing free agents left now at the position appear to be Dexter Fowler — like Desmond, expected to command a pricey multi-year deal — former Athletic Rajai Davis and Austin Jackson.

As for other needs, the A’s would add a veteran starting pitcher at the right price and could look to upgrade at second base, though neither of those is as high a priority as landing someone to anchor the middle of their outfield.

**

Manager Bob Melvin addressed reporters at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center. Though A’s top baseball official Billy Beane said Tuesday the organizational focus was on the future, aiming for a strong team to be in place by the time the A’s potentially move into a new ballpark, Melvin’s attention is solely on the upcoming season.

“In 2012, we had I don't know how many rookies on that team. It was all rookie starters, and we ended up winning the division,” Melvin said. “Once you start the season, the focus is all about winning.”

**

Should the A’s not bring in a center fielder who can also lead off, the first in-house candidate Melvin mentioned as perhaps hitting atop the order was Joey Wendle. He gave a nice showing of himself in a September call-up and hit leadoff for a stretch, but there’s no guarantee that Wendle even starts at second base next season, especially if veteran Jed Lowrie is healthy after foot surgery.

**

Former Diamondbacks manager Chip Hale has rejoined Oakland’s staff as Melvin’s third-base coach, and Melvin has plenty of confidence that Hale will capably fill Ron Washington’s shoes as the infield instructor. Washington was popular with A’s infielders and had particular success working with shortstop Marcus Semien.

Hale served as Melvin’s bench coach before getting hired by Arizona before the 2015 season.

“Obviously we've talked a lot about Wash and what he's meant to some of these younger guys,” Melvin said. “We feel like if anybody can replace Wash, it's Chip Hale.”

**

Forst said John Axford will pitch for Canada in the World Baseball Classic. Fellow reliever Liam Hendriks has not yet committed to Team Australia.

**

Right-hander Chris Bassitt, who underwent Tommy John surgery in May, was examined by A’s head trainer Nick Paparesta on Wednesday and his recovery is going very well. He’s between throwing programs right now. Forst added that lefty Felix Doubront is also coming back well from the same procedure.

Report: Holliday's no-trade clause with Yankees only covers A's

Report: Holliday's no-trade clause with Yankees only covers A's

Matt Holliday spent the first half of the 2009 season in Oakland.

Apparently, he has no desire to return.

In his one-year, $13 million contract with the Yankees that was finalized on Wednesday, Holliday has a limited no-trade clause that protects him from being traded to only the A's, according to SB Nation.

Holliday was acquired by the A's following the 2008 season for Carlos Gonzalez, Huston Street and Greg Smith.

But he only played in 93 games with the A's before they dealt him to St. Louis for Brett Wallace, Clayton Mortensen and Shane Peterson.

The 37-year-old spent the last seven full seasons with the Cardinals.