A's notes: All quiet on Peavy front; Smith, Blevins snap funks

A's notes: All quiet on Peavy front; Smith, Blevins snap funks
July 30, 2013, 6:15 pm
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OAKLAND -- Less than 19 hours before Wednesday's 1 p.m. PT non-waiver trade deadline and all was quiet on the A's front, even as the Jake Peavy rumors would not fully go away.

Adding Peavy, a bona fide ace and former Cy Young Award winner but who has been injury-prone of late, would make the A's biggest strength -- starting pitching -- even greater, but at what cost? It has been reported the Chicago White Sox want a massive haul in terms of prospects in return for Peavy and the A's have a handful of purported untouchables in the minor leagues from right-hander Sonny Gray to center fielder Michael Choice to shortstop Addison Russell.

Plus, there's the financial aspect as Peavy is still due more than $5 million this season, $14.5 million in 2014 and a $15-million player option for 2015 if he reaches certain incentives in 2014. Oh, and it's been reported the White Sox are not interested in picking up any of the salary, either.

Other names make potentially more sense, like second baseman Chase Utley, infielder Michael Young and Giants left-handed reliever Javier Lopez, though all of them will be free agents at the end of this season.

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Yes, the 0-for-30 slump was weighing on Seth Smith Monday night after he grounded out to end the first inning. Then he had a run-scoring double and later singled before walking.

"Obviously, I was feeling it and I felt like every game I was a little bit closer (to snapping out of it) and then the game would end and so I'd have to wait another day," Smith said Tuesday. "Baseball's crazy and stupid at times. You don't get one (hit) in 30 at-bats and then you get two in a row? That's how this game works sometimes. I'll just try to build off it.

"The neat thing about the stretch I had was we were winning baseball games."

Smith said his swing was fine during the slump, so to speak, but that his pitch recognition and timing were off.

***

Speaking of slumping players seemingly breaking out on Monday night, did you catch Jerry Blevins' act?

He struck out Adam Lind and Colby Rasmus before fielding Mark DeRosa's comebacker to end the A's 9-4 victory.

"Huge," Blevins said when asked how big the finish was for him in light of recent struggles. "Hopefully it's the start of a roll for the rest of the season of me being back on form. It felt great. It's nice to be a positive part of the team."

Before closing it out, Blevins had allowed nine runs in his previous 10 appearances with opponents batting .409 in that span. And in his previous nine games, the first batters he faced were five-for-six against him with two walks and a hit-by-pitch.

"I think a nice, clean inning like that goes a long way, confidence-wise," Melvin said. "Because he's a guy that we really do need in our bullpen and we're going through stretches where we're using our key three guys in the bullpen a lot and certain days, guys aren't available…you're going to need a guy like Jerry Blevins."

Indeed, Blevins said it is tough to not let the struggles overwhelm him.

"But that's the difference between being a professional and being able to fight off that mental side…and the aspect of being able to do it, and the team not wanting you to try it."

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