Twelve days after trade, A's lose Rosario to waiver claim

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Twelve days after trade, A's lose Rosario to waiver claim

OAKLAND -- For the A's and their assiduous general manager Billy Beane, player flipping has become a bit of a sport. On Monday, Oakland's efforts to tweak their roster may have back fired slightly.

The A's have announced that pitcher Sandy Rosario has been claimed off waivers by the Boston Red Sox just four days after the A's sent Graham Godrey to Boston as the player to be named later in the trade to acquire Rosario, and 10 days after Rosario was designated for assignment, and 12 days after he was acquired in the first place.

Round and round it goes, where it stops? We sort of know. For now, the Rosario merry-go-round stops in Boston -- where it began in the first place. The A's lose Godfrey to the Red Sox, and get the $20,000 waiver fee in return.

Rosario, 27, was claimed by the Boston Red Sox from the Miami Marlins on October 17. Last season he put up spectacular numbers in Triple-A, but struggled in four appearances with the Marlins before going on the disabled list with a strained right quadriceps.

The reliever had a 1.04 ERA and was a perfect 16-for-16 in save opportunities in Triple-A. He struck out 24 batters and walked just two in 26 innings. With Miami however, he allowed six runs in four appearances.

-- When the A's designated Rosario for assignment on November 30, I made this joke on Twitter:

Sandy Rosario's run with the #Athletics almost as impressive as Edwin Encarnacion's days with the A's in 2010.

— Casey Pratt (@CaseyPrattCSN) December 1, 2012

That led to a fun conversation with some of my favorite A's followers about players that had very short stints with the A's. You can see the conversation here.

Aside from Encarnacion, the names, Michael Barrett, Ryan Langerhans, and Phil Humber came up.
-- Barrett was acquired December 15, and traded the same day.
-- Langerhans was acquired April 29, 2007 and traded three days later.
-- Encarnacion was claimed off waivers on November 12, 2007 and granted free agency December 2 of the same year.
-- Humber -- who later tossed a perfect game for the White Sox -- was in the A's organization from December 16, 2010 to January 18, 2011.

If you can think of any more A's short-timers feel free to submit them in the comments section.

-- The A's would like me to pass along this note. On December 13, from 5-6 p.m. you can get autographs from relievers Ryan Cook and Sean Doolittle at the Bank of America on 1330 North Main Street in Walnut Creek. You have to bring a donation of five non-perishable food items. It is for a good cause, and Cook and Doolittle are two nice guys, so show up and get some stuff signed. Be sure to show up early because it will be limited to the first 150 people.

Decision time for A's: Trade Sonny Gray now or later?

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AP

Decision time for A's: Trade Sonny Gray now or later?

As Sonny Gray prepares to take the mound against Toronto on Tuesday night, there’s not a hotter name in the rumor mill as the major leagues’ non-waiver trade deadline approaches Monday.

Yet there’s a contradiction attached to the A’s right-hander. He is simultaneously the likeliest Athletic to be traded, and the toughest to pry away simply because of what the team will demand in return.

The markets for first baseman Yonder Alonso and second baseman Jed Lowrie haven’t developed as expected, to the point that you wonder how much the A’s could even get in return for them right now.

That focuses the spotlight squarely on Gray, 27, who has posted a 1.62 ERA over his last five starts and comes with two more seasons of team control before he hits free agency. That’s why he’s been linked to no fewer than nine contending teams who are looking for starting pitching.

The A’s sit in a position of strength here. They don’t have to deal Gray right now, and indications from within the organization are that they don’t feel a pressing need to deal him before Monday if they don’t get swept off their feet by an offer. They can retain him, and he’ll still hold great value as an offseason trade chip with those two years of team control.

MLB.com’s Jon Paul Morosi reported Tuesday morning that the Yankees and Nationals — who have already struck a deal with Oakland to get relievers Sean Doolittle and Ryan Madson this month — are two teams in particular to watch in the hunt for Gray.

Morosi also reported that the A’s are targeting young outfielders as the anchor of any deal. That makes all the sense in the world given their organizational needs, particularly in center. It’s also in line with what I’ve heard that the A’s would prioritize getting position players in return since they worked so hard over the past couple of years to acquire and draft young starting pitching (though it stands to reason a deal for Gray would be a multi-player package that could also include pitching prospects as well).

Morosi specifically mentions Yankees Single-A center fielder Estevan Florial as a player the A’s like. He’s just 19 and at least a couple years away from the majors. But Billy Beane, the head of Oakland’s baseball operations, said after making the Doolittle/Madson trade that the emphasis moving forward would be on acquiring high-end talent, not necessarily prospects close to being major league-ready.

Other potential Gray suitors have elite outfield prospects in their system: The Astros boast Kyle Tucker, the Nats have Victor Robles and the Mariners have Kyle Lewis, though it’s doubtful whether Seattle has enough elsewhere in its farm system to assemble a package to land Gray.

Just a hunch, but keep an eye on the Dodgers as a team that could enter the Sonny Sweepstakes in light of Clayton Kershaw’s lower back injury. There’s strong ties between the Oakland and Los Angeles front offices, and the teams struck a deadline deal last summer that sent Rich Hill and Josh Reddick to the Dodgers. They have one of the majors’ top outfield prospects in Alex Verdugo, who’s currently at Triple-A.

Though much mystery remains, an eventual trade of Gray is inevitable. The A’s have a solid base of young pitching depth, both in the majors and coming up through the system. And Gray’s rebound from a poor 2016, combined with his favorable contract status, makes him too tantalizing a trade chip for the A’s not to make the move.

The key question is not “if” but “when.”

 

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from A's 4-2 loss to Blue Jays

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USATSI

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from A's 4-2 loss to Blue Jays

BOX SCORE

The A’s collected hits in bunches over the weekend in New York.

They should have saved some of them for north of the border.

They managed just two hits total in a 4-2 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays on Monday that began a four-game series at the Rogers Center. And while the offense wasn’t the only area that contributed to this defeat, it’s tough to cover up for such a lack of offense.

Oakland has dropped three of the first four on this seven-game road trip, and Bob Melvin remains one victory away from reaching 1,000 for his managerial career.

The A's racked up 33 hits in a three-game series against the Mets, their most in any three-game series this weekend.

Still searching for that ‘W’: Chris Smith made his third start for the A’s and turned in his third consecutive quality start, going six innings and giving up three runs. You could argue he’s pitched well enough to win all three games, but the 36-year-old journeyman still is searching for his first major league win since 2008. Russell Martin homered in the first after the A’s gave Smith an early lead. Then Toronto added two more in the fourth, helped along by a Josh Donaldson double and two walks issued by Smith.

Chapman on a roll: Rookie third baseman Matt Chapman blasted a 435-foot homer for his third long ball in as many days, and that wasn’t his most impressive moment of Monday’s game. Chapman made a terrific stop in the seventh to start an inning-ending double play with the bases loaded to keep Oakland in the game at 4-2. He also showed some athleticism with a leaping catch with the A’s in the shift. Chapman basically was playing shortstop in that alignment, and the catch was persuasive evidence of why the A’s briefly experimented with him at shortstop in the minors. Overall, the A’s played strong defensively, with Khris Davis making a couple of nice plays in left field.

Axford struggles again: A tough season for reliever John Axford continues, as the veteran entered to begin the seventh and promptly loaded the bases with no outs before being pulled. He walked two and allowed a single before Melvin called on Josh Smith, called up just Monday from the minors. Axford has issued 17 walks in 21 innings this season.

Rotation thoughts: With Kendall Graveman seemingly nearing a return from a shoulder injury, Smith is basically auditioning to stay in the rotation each time he takes the mound, though a trade of Sonny Gray wouldn’t make things such a tight squeeze. From that standpoint, Smith helped himself again with a strong outing, and he also turned in a couple bare-hand plays defensively to aid his cause.

No Montas: With Frankie Montas stuck in New York because of a visa issue, the A’s recalled Josh Smith from Triple-A Nashville to fortify the bullpen. First baseman/outfielder Matt Olson was sent down to clear a roster spot.