A's lineup: Crisp out, Barton in


A's lineup: Crisp out, Barton in

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DETROIT -- The A's are 0-1 on their crucial 10-game road trip through Detroit, New York and Texas. They will have a tough task trying to get back in the win column on Wednesday against one of the best pitchers in baseball. Here's A's manager Bob Melvin's lineup card.Oakland Athletics (84-63) lineupStephen Drew, SS
Seth Smith, DH
Josh Reddick, RF
Yoenis Cespedes, CF
Brandon Moss, LF
Josh Donaldson, 3B
Daric Barton, 1B
Derek Norris, C
Cliff Pennington, 2B
Instant AnalysisWith the Tigers starting ace Justin Verlander, the reigning American League MVP and Cy Young-award winner, the A's are stacking their lineup with lefties again to try and knock the righty off his game.Coco Crisp continues to recover from allergic conjunctivitis in both of his eyes. He was removed from Tuesday's game in the fourth inning and his eyes looked very red and puffy after the game.Note that Yoenis Cespedes is in center field. He rolled his ankle on Tuesday night in the seventh inning and had it heavily wrapped up after the game. When asked if he would be able to play on Wednesday he responded in perfect English, "every day."Brandon Moss will be starting in left field and Daric Barton will be manning first base. It is his first start since May 30. It is an interesting decision not to go with Chris Carter, but he is 4 for 31 in his last 10 games with 19 strikeouts. Barton is a left-handed hitter and Melvin was likely looking to get another southpaw in the order against Verlander. Top of the OrderSmith is 1 for 5 with a home run against Verlander. He is the only hitter on the A's to have taken the Detroit ace deep. It's unfortunate for the A's that Crisp cannot play. He's had a lot of success against Verlander hitting .364 (8 for 22) in his career against him. Heart of the OrderJosh Reddick is heating up at the plate. He is on a six-game hitting streak and has three consecutive multi-hit games. He is batting .375 (9 for 24) over his last six games. Reddick is 2 for 7 in his career against Verlander. Cespedes is hitting .400 with three homers and a .900 slugging percentage since September 11. It is going to take a lot to get him out of the lineup. Bottom of the OrderCliff Pennington is hitting .341 (15 for 44) over his last 14 games. After coming off the DL on August 7 he has started to turn his season around. Melvin has made it pretty clear that he is the starter at second base. Starting PitchersIf you are a fan of pitching you'll probably enjoy Wednesday's matchup. Cy YoungMVP Justin Verlander (14-8, 2.82 ERA) takes on Brett Anderson (4-1, 1.93 ERA). Anderson became the first starting pitcher since Dave Stewart in 1990 to start the season by earning a win in each of his first four starts.Verlander is making his 14th start at home and is 7-2 with a 1.70 ERA at Comerica Park.

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.