OAKLAND -- Anytime a living legend is present there is a tendency to try and elevate your game. Such is the case in Oakland on Monday with Rickey Henderson roaming the clubhouse and dugout in full uniform. "It means we have to run a lot today just to impress him," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "We love to have Rickey around as much as we can have him." Melvin says that Henderson has done a great job with the players in the organization, especially with their base running. He likes the influence the Hall of Famer has on the team. While no one on the team will have a chance to touch the speedster's single-season record of 130 stolen bases, the current players have had some chances to show off their wheels. Oakland ranks fourth in the American League with 108 stolen bases. Coco Crisp is tied for third in the league with 31 steals, and ranks sixth in stolen base percentage at 88.8 percent. Four players on the roster have double-digit stolen bases (Crisp - 31, Yoenis Cespedes - 15, Cliff Pennington - 15, Josh Reddick - 10.)The A's have won nine games in a row and are a season-high 19 games over .500. They have scored 254 runs since the All-Star Break, the second most in the American League. Mix in a couple "Rickey runs" and the team could be running on all cylinders.
The Seattle Mariners have signed free agent lefty reliever Marc Rzepczynski to a two-year contract.
Rzepczynski's deal is fo $11 million over two years. Jerry Crasnick of ESPN first reported details of the contract.
The Mariners also signed right-handed reliever Casey Fien on Saturday. Left-hander Dean Kiekhefer and righty Zach Lee were designated for assignment.
The 31-year-old Rzepczynski was a combined 1-0 with a 2.64 ERA in 70 games for Oakland and Washington this season. He then pitched three times in the NL playoffs for the Nationals.
Rzepczynski has made at least 70 appearances in each of the last three years. He's also pitched for Toronto, St. Louis, Cleveland and San Diego in an eight-season career.
The 33-year-old Fien was 1-1 with a 5.49 ERA in 39 games for Minnesota and the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The 27-year-old Kiekhefer made his major league debut last season and pitched 26 times in relief for the Cardinals. Seattle claimed him off waivers from St. Louis last month.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Houston's offseason shopping spree got a little richer on Saturday.
More than 12 years after going to the Astros in a trade deadline deal, nine-time All-Star Carlos Beltran has reportedly agreed to return to Houston.
According to multiple national reports, the pact is a one-year, $16 million deal.
News of an agreement was first reported by ESPN. Terms were first reported by Fox Sports.
Beltran, who will be 40 years old in April, joins outfielder Josh Reddick and catcher Brian McCann as new Astros this offseason.
In 151 games between the Yankees and Rangers in 2016, Beltran hit .295/.337/.513 with 33 doubles, 29 home runs and 93 RBI.
During the 2004 season, the Royals traded a then-27-year-old Beltran to the Astros in a three-team deal that involved the A's. Oakland sent third baseman Mark Teahan and pitcher Mike Wood to Kansas City, while the A's received reliever Octavio Dotel from Houston. Kansas City also received catcher John Buck from the Astros.
Beltran's brief run with the Astros in 2004 was highlighted by one of the greatest postseason performances in MLB history. In 12 games, Beltran collected 20 hits and hit eight home runs.
Carlos Beltran has agreed to terms with the Astros.— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) December 3, 2016