A's Mailbag: Will Grant Green make the jump?

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A's Mailbag: Will Grant Green make the jump?

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OAKLAND -- Every Friday I will be answering your questions here. Please tweet me @CaseyPrattCSN or email me at cpratt@comcastsportsnet.com throughout the week if you would like to see your questions answered. Twitter@CaseyPrattCSN Last night felt like a playoff win to me. Is that a bad thing? v (@foursixthreeDP) July 20, 2012CP: I can't say that is ever a bad thing. The playoffs have eluded the A's since 2006. Right now they are playing elite caliber baseball. They are 11-2 in the month of July which makes them hottest team in Major League baseball. They have proven they can hang with the American League West-leading Texas Rangers on the field, now they have a chance to prove they should be considered a playoff contender against the New York Yankees. Why shouldn't it feel like a playoff win? They beat the best team in baseball on Friday. A team that had clobbered them nine-straight times in Oakland. The A's are half a game out of the second Wild Card spot and 1.5 games behind the Angels for the first Wild Card spot. @CaseyPrattCSN Will the A's success in 2012 influence the process for a new stadium? Bob Kotur (@RKotur) July 20, 2012CP: At this rate I don't think anything will influence the A's stadium decision. It has been 1,223 days since the MLB started looking into the stadium issue. At this point they better have done every piece of research they can. If anything, strong play from the A's hurts their cause on this front. It proves to MLB that the Oakland franchise can still compete in their current setting. Commissioner Bud Selig surely already knows what he wants to do. I think it is a matter of appeasing the Giants for potentially losing their territorial rights. Why else would it be taking this long? If Selig wanted the A's to stay in Oakland he could have just make that ruling already and been done with it. @CaseyPrattCSN Who is the next player in the farm system you think could be a big help for the A's down the stretch! Will MacNeil (@RFWill149) July 20, 2012CP: Dan Straily comes to mind immediately. He leads all of professional baseball with 162 strikeouts and has a minuscule 1.10 ERA with Sacramento in his six games there. I think Straily could be the biggest farm player to influence the A's down the stretch even if he doesn't get called up. Say he gets traded for a quality hitter for example, then he would be helping the A's down the stretch that way. If the A's feel they can trade one of their starting pitchers, then he could get the call. The A's have a great problem right now -- too much pitching. They say you can never have enough good pitching, well the A's are putting that theory to the test. Brett Anderson is on the mend as is Brandon McCarthy. It is also starting to look like Dallas Braden is getting closer to a rehab starts as well. As far as offensive players in Triple-A, look for Michael Taylor, Collin Cowgill, Grant Green, and Eric Sogard to come into play if anyone gets injured. You'll also see them when rosters expand.@CaseyPrattCSN Do you see either Michael Choice or Grant Green getting called up at any point this season? Jamal Mohsin (@JamalM_510) July 20, 2012CP: I don't see any chance Michael Choice gets called up to Oakland. He hit his 10th homer last night for Midland though. Choice is batting .285 and has 87 strikeouts in 89 games. Last season in Stockton he struck out 134 times in 118 games. He has to continue to cut down his strikeout numbers. By the end of the year he might get bumped up to Triple-A. Grant Green will be on the A's by the end of this season. It will probably come as a September call up though. A's manager Bob Melvin told me that there are a couple guys ahead of Green at this point. He is doing a fine job offensively but he is still a man without a true position. Green took the time to explain his development process with me and you can hear from him what he thinks of his chances to find a permanent positionhere. @CaseyPrattCSN Is trading Coco ONLY way to get Smith AND Gomes into lineup every day? If so, do you support it? What can we get in return? Christopher Ady (@MrChris80) July 20, 2012CP: Trading Coco Crisp will be the only way to get Seth Smith and Jonny Gomes in the lineup. It will also be the only way to get Chris Carter and Brandon Moss in the same lineup as well. I'd rather see Carter and Moss get the priority over a SmithGomes tandem. Could trading Crisp make sense? Yes. Because I think it gives the A's more flexibility. Yoenis Cespedes can then play center field again, left field can go to SmithGomes. Carter and Moss can alternate at 1BDH. Seems like the A's don't lose too much offense or defense in that scenario. As far as what Crisp would fetch at the deadline, I don't think it's too much. He is a solid player but he is owed 7M next year and has a 1M buyout option for 2014. I'd expect some Single-A or Double-A level prospects if the A's aren't eating that salary as part of the trade. This is all just one man's opinion however.@CaseyPrattCSN why does Josh Reddick where a mouth piece? Steve Bettencourt (@babranch05) July 20, 2012CP: Josh Reddick started wearing the mouth piece to protect a loose filling. I can't imagine he hasn't had a chance to see a dentist yet but it is possible he hasn't. Baseball players are superstitious types. Maybe he found success with it in and has since decided to keep it going. I'll try and remember to ask him next time I talk to him and give you an update. EMAIL:We've heard a lot about the high temperatures and humidity hitting parts of the country this summer. Other than staying hydrated, how else do A's players modify their routines before, during and after the games to withstand the heat since they're not as used to it as teams from Texas, for example? --JeanneCP: Remember that a lot of A's players weren't born and raised in our comfortable East Bay climate. I am sure many of them dealt with the humidity and heat their whole lives and thus know how to handle it. As far as combating the elements go, the team provides them with everything imaginable and they have trainers to make sure they are on the right track.

A's agree to terms with Yonder Alonso on one-year contract

A's agree to terms with Yonder Alonso on one-year contract

The Oakland A’s avoided arbitration with first baseman Yonder Alonso when they agreed to terms with him on a one-year contract for the 2017 season, the club announced on Friday. 

The deal is worth a guaranteed $4 million, according to The San Francisco Chronicle.

The A’s also announced that they have tendered contracts to all remaining players on their roster.  In addition, infielder Rangel Ravelo was outrighted to Triple-A Nashville and will be a non-roster invitee with the A’s this spring.

Alonso batted .253 with 34 doubles, seven home runs and 56 RBI in 156 games in his first season with Oakland last year.  He ranked second among American League first baseman with a .9967 fielding percentage, which was the second best mark by a first baseman in Oakland history to Mark McGwire’s .9969 in 1991.  The 29-year-old left-handed hitter batted .302 with six of his seven home runs with runners on base and went 7-for-11 (.636) with 13 RBI with the bases loaded.  Alonso made 118 of his 133 starts against right-handed pitchers and batted .257 against righties compared to .227 against lefties.

Ravelo was designated for assignment Wednesday when the A’s signed Matt Joyce.  He spent the entire 2016 season at Triple-A Nashville, where he batted .262 with eight home runs and 54 RBI in 106 games.

The A’s have four remaining arbitration eligible players on their roster: Khris Davis, Sonny Gray, Liam Hendriks and Stephen Vogt.

Oakland A's media services contributed to this story
 

Wendle's active winter takes him from Mexico to CBA meetings

Wendle's active winter takes him from Mexico to CBA meetings

As if Joey Wendle’s offseason wasn’t busy enough, he flew to Dallas this week to attend the Collective Bargaining Agreement meetings between the players’ association and Major League Baseball owners.

Wendle was one of five Athletics who were at the meetings, along with Yonder Alonso, John Axford, Daniel Coulombe and Andrew Triggs. That quintet didn’t play an active part in negotiations. But Wendle, a second baseman who received his first big league call-up in September, said it was time well spent as he made the effort to educate himself about baseball’s labor issues.

“It peaked my interest and I decided to come on out for a couple of days,” Wendle said while waiting to catch a flight back home to Pennsylvania. “I’m aware that we have probably the best sports union of any in the world. I just wanted to come see what it was all about.”

Wendle declined to discuss any of the major details in the CBA, saying he didn’t feel it was his position to comment as a player with so little service time. But he was proud that five A’s showed up, estimating it was among the largest contingent of players from any team.

Wendle, who used an impressive September to play his way into the second base picture, has been on the go since the regular season wrapped. He quickly went to Mexico to play winter ball with Yaquis de Obregon of the Mexican League. Wendle played mostly second base, but, to his surprise, he also made a string of starts at shortstop early in the season. A shortstop who was originally in the team’s plans didn’t pan out, so Wendle found himself logging innings at a position he hadn’t played since high school.

That was OK with Wendle, who volunteered to play winter ball because he wanted to gain experience at another position besides second.

“When I went initially, I thought I’d play some third base,” Wendle said. “I showed up and they told me I’d be playing some shortstop. It’s something I got more familiar with as the games went on. I’m still most comfortable at second base. But anytime you can add a position and play the left side of the infield, it can help you as a player.”

A’s officials are happy with Wendle’s improvement defensively. His offensive numbers in his September call-up don’t jump off the page — .260, one homer, 11 RBI in 28 games — but he provided a spark for a stretch as the A’s leadoff hitter.

Wendle swung a hot bat during winter ball, hitting .307 with three homers and 25 RBI in 34 games. His 18 extra-base hits stand out for a player who had just two in his 28 games with Oakland.

“In that environment, I was able to focus on some areas I wanted to work on. I was able to take it on as a learning experience,” Wendle said.

Now, after an extended season that began back in February — plus a quick lesson in baseball labor relations — he’ll enjoy a well-deserved break.