A's trade Cahill, Breslow to Diamondbacks


A's trade Cahill, Breslow to Diamondbacks

The A's announced they would entertain offers for anyone but Jemile Weeks this offseason, and they weren't joking.

Oakland pulled the trigger Friday afternoon on a trade that sent their young starting pitcher Trevor Cahill, relief pitcher Craig Breslow and cash considerations to the Arizona Diamondbacks, the team announced in a press release.

In return, the A's receive right-handed pitcher Jarrod Parker, outfielder Collin Cowgill, and right-handed pitcher Ryan Cook.

"Cowgill is a scrappy player with gap power," said Comcast SportsNet MLB analyst Shooty Babitt. "Parker has a chance to be middle of the rotation guy."

The trade picked up momentum all day as pieces fell into place.

The A's receive three players with minimal MLB service as they retool for the future.

Parker, 23, underwent Tommy John surgery late in 2009. He started one game for the Diamondbacks last season, throwing 5.2 innings of four-hit ball against the Brewers. Some reports indicate that the D'backs planned on Parker filling the fifth spot in the rotation in 2012.

Cowgill, 25, played in 36 games with the Diamondbacks in his first MLB season last year. He hit .239 with one home run. Billy Beane and the A's have targeted Cowgill for years now; he was originally drafted by the A's in the 29th round of the 2007 MLB Amateur Draft, but did sign. He was then drafted by Arizona in the fifth round in 2008.

Cook, 24, appeared in 12 games for the Diamondbacks last year. He allowed six runs in seven and two thirds innings. He is a power pitcher, his fastball flirting with triple digits.

The A's part ways with two pitchers who have been key cogs to both the starting rotation and bullpen.

Cahill, 23, is 40-35 with a 3.91 ERA in his first three MLB seasons with Oakland. He was an All-Star in 2010, and the A's opening day starter last year.

Breslow, 31, is 11-11 with a 3.14 ERA over his three seasons with Oakland. He appeared in 67 games last year, posting a 3.79 ERA, his highest by far as an Athletic.

Arizona Fall League roundup: Seven A's in action

Arizona Fall League roundup: Seven A's in action

The Arizona Fall League hosts six teams featuring many of baseball's top prospects beginning in early October. This year seven players from the A's farm system are representing Oakland on the Mesa Solar Sox, which also consists of prospects from the Blue Jays, Cubs, Indians and Marlins. 

Below are the seven A's prospects on the Solar Sox, managed by former A's 10th-round draft pick Ryan Christenson, and their stats through a maximum possible total of 11 games. 

[STIGLICH: A's coach plays part in Schwarber's World Series comeback]

A's Prospects

RHP Sam Bragg
4 G, 0-0, 1.29 ERA, 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 0 BB, 7 SO

RHP Trey Cochran-Gill
5 G, 0-0, 2.25 ERA, 8.0 IP, 2 ER, 1 BB, 7 SO

RHP Dylan Covey
3 G, 3 GS, 2-0, 3.75 ERA, 12.0 IP, 5 ER, 4 BB, 10 SO

RHP Frankie Montas
3 G, 0-0, 0.00 ERA, 8.1 IP, 0 ER, 1 BB, 7 SO

IF Franklin Barreto
10 G, .244/.262/.268, 10 H, 1 2B, 7 R, 4 RBI, 1 BB, 11 SO, 2 SB

IF Yairo Munoz
11 GP, .216/.268/.216, 8 H, 3 R, 2 RBI, 3 BB, 10 SO, 1 SB

IF Max Shrock
8 G, .303/.343/.455, 10 H, 3 2B, 1 3B, 2 R, 6 RBI, 1 BB, 2 SO


-- The A's drafted Solar Sox manager Ryan Christenson in the 10th round in 1995 out of Pepperdine University. The center fielder played six years in the bigs, four with the A's, where he hit .237/.319/.348 with 13 home runs. 

-- Infielder Franklin Barreto is tied for the team lead in at-bats with 41. He is also tied for the lead in strikeouts with 11.

-- Infielder Yairo Munez leads the team in games played. 

-- RHP Frankie Montas is one of four pitchers on the team yet to allow an earned run. 

-- RHP Sam Bragg is right behind Montas in the team lead with his 1.29 ERA. 

-- RHP Dylan Covey leads the staff with games started and innings pitched. He is also tied at the top with wins and second in strikeouts on the hill.

-- Cubs slugger Kyle Schwarber spent two games with the Solar Sox before flying to Cleveland for the World Series.

A's coach plays part in Schwarber's World Series comeback

A's coach plays part in Schwarber's World Series comeback

Ryan Christenson has a reason to follow the World Series even more so than most years.

Christenson, who manages the A’s Double-A Midland squad, is also skippering the Mesa Solar Sox of the Arizona Fall League. One of his players happened to be Cubs outfielder Kyle Schwarber, if only for the briefest of periods.

Schwarber, as is well-documented, played in two AFL games as a quick tune-up before joining the Cubs’ active roster for the Fall Classic. It’s an unprecedented path, as Schwarber hadn’t appeared in a game for Chicago since April 7, when he tore the anterior cruciate and lateral collateral ligaments in his left knee.

When he crushed a double off the right field wall in Game 1 against the Indians’ Corey Kluber, Schwarber became the first position player in major league history to get a hit in the World Series after recording zero hits during the regular season.

His preparations for the grand stage took place in the relative anonymity of the Arizona Fall League, and it presented some unique conditions for Christenson to manage under.

“It’s such a unique situation to see someone thrust into that after missing so much season,” Christenson said in a phone interview before Game 1. “To have a chance to be activated this time of year, it’s something special if he can pull this off. If he (sparks the Cubs), literally the guy can be a legend.”

Schwarber appeared in just two games for the Solar Sox, going 1-for-6 as a designated hitter. Christenson didn’t have much hands-on interaction with Schwarber — the Cubs had their own staff members on site helping him with treatment — but Christenson saw Schwarber’s swing rounding into form even in his brief time in the batter’s box.

“The bat speed is there,” said Christenson, who hadn’t met Schwarber previously. “I love watching him work in the cage. He’s got a great swing. I don’t think it would take someone of his caliber long to get his timing and pick up where he left off. It’s a simple swing.”

The Cubs asked Christenson to work Schwarber into the top of the batting order with the Solar Sox so as to maximize his number of plate appearances. They also asked one other favor.

“The only request they had was that I took it easy with him on the bases … not trying to score him from first base on a gapper.”

Schwarber’s mere presence in the Arizona Fall League created a delicate dynamic. The league is geared toward up-and-coming prospects who have yet to break into the majors, and Christenson said AFL officials were concerned about Schwarber dropping in and taking playing time away from those players.

Each major league organization sends at least six players to the AFL. Of those six, one is designated a “priority player,” meaning they must play at least four days a week, so innings can be tricky to spread around.

Adding to the sensitivity of the situation, the Solar Sox’s roster includes not only Cubs prospects but also those of the Cleveland Indians. Christenson needed to avoid a situation where Schwarber was stealing at-bats away from prospects of the American League champs — the team that Schwarber was training to try to help the Cubs beat.

But things unfolded smoothly, and Schwarber showed appreciation for getting the chance to drop in for a couple games.

“I’ll definitely be pulling for him,” Christenson said.