A's active with September 1 roster expansion

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A's active with September 1 roster expansion

OAKLAND -- With the Oakland A's in postseason contention and the Sacramento River Cats in the playoffs, fewer players were added as Sept. 1 call ups. With rosters expanding from 25 men to 40, the A's re-instated pitcher A.J. Griffin and third baseman Brandon Inge from the disabled list and added shortstop Brandon Hicks and outfielder Collin Cowgill from Triple-A. All of the moves were first reported by Comcast SportsNet. Second baseman Jemile Weeks will stay in Triple-A for now, but can still be eligible for the A's playoff roster according to Major League Baseball rules. The A's felt Griffin was an obvious choice to return to the team after two rehab starts in Sacramento. The right-handed pitcher was 3-0 with a 2.42 ERA in eight starts with the A's. He has been on the DL since Aug. 5 after leaving a start early with shoulder tightness on Aug. 4. Griffin became the first rookie pitcher to start his career 3-0 since Rich Harden in 2003. He will have missed a total of 24 games for Oakland. Brandon Inge returns to the team after experiencing his own variety of shoulder issues. He sprained his right throwing shoulder making a diving attempt on Aug. 11. His shoulder actually dislocated, but he was able to pop it back into the socket before finishing the game -- even collecting a go-ahead RBI single in the game after sustaining the injury. Inge missed a total of 18 games with his recent injury. He played in six rehab games for the River Cats batting .200 (4 for 20) with two doubles, one RBI and four walks. Inge said the shoulder doesn't bother him at all when hitting, but he feels occasional pain when throwing. He insists he can play through the discomfort. "It doesn't effect anything," Inge said before Friday's game. "That's the bottom line."The A's will make more roster moves down the stretch, but for now reinforcements will come in the form of Hicks and Cowgill. Both players have spent time with Oakland this season. Hicks is batting .183 (11-60) with five home runs and seven RBI in 20 games with the A's. Cowgill hit .271 (26 for 96) with one home run, nine RBI and 11 walks in 32 games in Oakland. The A's also recalled reliever Pedro Figueroa on Friday and optioned Jim Miller to Stockton. With Stockton's season ending Monday, the A's will bring Miller back on Tuesday when he is eligible to return.For the latest A's news follow @CaseyPrattCSN and @KLongworthCSN.

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.

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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.