Cust Move Nothing Short of Shocking

Cust Move Nothing Short of Shocking

URBAN ARCHIVEA'S PAGE
This is my 10th year covering the As, and very few things have shocked me as did Saturdays Jack Cust move.Trading Tim Hudson? Knew it was coming.
Trading Mark Mulder? Knew it was coming.Jack Cust? Didnt see that coming at all. Understand, this move doesnt mean Cust wont be in Oakland this year. Designating a guy for assignment isnt out-and-out cutting someone.
It aint an unconditional release. What it means is that the As have 10 days to trade him, an unlikely scenario given his 2.65 million contract, or get him to accept a minor-league assignment, which is likely for the very same reason.For a minor-league assignment to be possible, Cust has to clear waivers, and at a time during the baseball calendar in which teams are trying to get down to 25 men, the chances of a team putting in a 2.65 million claim for -- lets face it -- a one-dimensional player are slim and none.Regardless, its a surprising and ugly move. Surprising in that on the eve of Easter the As seemed to put all of their designated-hitter eggs in the Eric Chavez basket -- although I did predict such a move on a lesser scale just last week -- and ugly in that it alienated in a huge way a very popular and productive member of the team. If he clears waivers, Cust will accept the minor-league assignment. Again, theres 2.65 million at issue here, and Jack has a growing, young family. That fact trumps ego.
But the ego is absolutely bruised, and the message received in the As clubhouse -- nobody isnt expendable -- is unmistakable.Hate to start Opening Day with a negative, but theres nothing positive about this development. Chavez himself was shocked, and he knows a heck of a lot more about the As than all of us.-- Mychael Urban

Mailbag: Will A's find Healy regular playing time?

Mailbag: Will A's find Healy regular playing time?

MESA, Ariz. — The start of Cactus League games will provide some tangible results and statistics, and that will eventually give us some clarity on how the A’s 25-man roster will shake out.

Until then, it’s all speculation. And there’s no shortage of questions to ponder. With that in mind, I’ll periodically open it up to whatever is on your mind regarding this team and try to shed as much insight as I can.

And we’re off …

From @Mr_Peach33: Is Yonder Alonso going to be taking at-bats away from Ryon Healy?

Maybe it’s more accurate to say the signing of third baseman Trevor Plouffe is what threatens to eat into Healy’s playing time. By inking Plouffe to a one-year deal off the free agency market, the A’s took away a position that was solely Healy’s over the second half of 2016. This is going to be interesting to watch play out, because GM David Forst says there can still be 500 at-bats for Healy between first base, DH and occasional starts at third.

It’s hard to fathom the A’s not making it a priority to find Healy regular playing time somewhere on the diamond. I don’t buy into any thoughts that taking Healy off third somehow stunts his growth. The guy’s biggest contribution to this team will be with his bat, not his defense. And he’s played more first base over the years than third anyway, going back to his college days at Oregon. But, he absolutely needs to be in the lineup somewhere on a regular basis, based on his impressive showing in his major league debut in 2016. Maybe it’s Healy that will be taking at-bats away from Alonso.

From @mikemendonca22: Is Andrew Triggs a lock for the rotation? Where do you see Mark Canha fitting in?

Slick effort from Mike to squeeze two questions into one. I’ll try to quickly address both …

Triggs is by no means a lock for the rotation. He’s got to pitch well in exhibitions to nail down the No. 5 starter spot. But Jesse Hahn has a say in this too. He’s also got a legitimate shot to win this job, beginning with Saturday’s start against the Cubs. Triggs’ advantage is that the front office is a big believer that he can get the job done in a starting role. Hahn’s advantage is that the A’s have seen a body of work from him as a successful big league starter, when he posted a 3.35 ERA over 16 starts in 2015. That included a shutout of the Detroit Tigers.

Right now, Canha fits in as a platoon partner in right field with the left-handed hitting Matt Joyce. He could also play some left field when Khris Davis is serving as DH. Canha is an option at first base too against left-handed pitchers.

From @KennyPaul68: What are they doing bringing old guys back? Let the kids play and learn. Second base and third base should be the kids!!

I generally agree with your stance, Kenny, about going young and letting the prospects get experience and learn from their mistakes. If it’s going to be another long year in the bottom half of the AL West, and the objective viewpoint says it will be, you might as well let these talented kids play and develop. But in the A’s defense, switching Healy off third and putting him at first is OK in my book because Healy would eventually be moving to first anyway when Matt Chapman is ready. Thing is, the A’s simply don’t think Chapman is ready to take over at third base yet. His 173 strikeouts at Double-A last year would suggest perhaps they are right. So that’s why they signed veteran Trevor Plouffe to play third as a place holder until Chapman is ready.

As for second base, let’s allow this scenario to play out. Jed Lowrie is in the final year of his contract, and if he’s healthy and turns in a productive first half, you have to think he’s a legitimate trade candidate at the Aug. 1 deadline. The A’s could go with a combo of Joey Wendle/Chad Pinder at second base if Lowrie is dealt. Or, if top prospect Franklin Barreto tears it up at Triple-A, he could force the A’s hand by making them clear a spot for him to get promoted and take over at second base.

Source: Warriors contact Turner Sports about Shaq's abuse of McGee

Source: Warriors contact Turner Sports about Shaq's abuse of McGee

OAKLAND -- Mess with one Warrior, you mess with the entire organization.

That’s the message the Warriors sent out Friday in the wake of a Twitter beef between center JaVale McGee and TNT analyst Shaquille ONeal that began late Thursday night and carried into the wee hours Friday morning.

Coach Steve Kerr fired back at O’Neal, as did Warriors forward Kevin Durant. The Warriors, as a franchise, contacted O’Neal’s bosses.

Kerr spent a portion of his post-practice news conference Friday afternoon defending McGee from O’Neal’s relentless ridicule on the video segment “Shaqtin’ A Fool.” Durant said O’Neal’s ongoing critiques are “childish,” adding that O’Neal was a great player with his own imperfections.

Prior to the comments by Durant and Kerr, though, it was confirmed by CSNBayArea.com that the Warriors contacted Turner Sports in hopes of getting TNT’s parent company to persuade O’Neal to curb the constant derision directed toward McGee because of its impact on his image and reputation.

The outreach was a direct response to a roughly two-minute segment Thursday night that was strictly limited to castigating McGee.

Upon getting wind of Durant’s comments, O’Neal turned to Twitter to tell Durant that McGee is a “bum” and to “mind yo business.”