Twelve days after trade, A's lose Rosario to waiver claim

rosario_sandy_marlins.jpg

Twelve days after trade, A's lose Rosario to waiver claim

OAKLAND -- For the A's and their assiduous general manager Billy Beane, player flipping has become a bit of a sport. On Monday, Oakland's efforts to tweak their roster may have back fired slightly.

The A's have announced that pitcher Sandy Rosario has been claimed off waivers by the Boston Red Sox just four days after the A's sent Graham Godrey to Boston as the player to be named later in the trade to acquire Rosario, and 10 days after Rosario was designated for assignment, and 12 days after he was acquired in the first place.

Round and round it goes, where it stops? We sort of know. For now, the Rosario merry-go-round stops in Boston -- where it began in the first place. The A's lose Godfrey to the Red Sox, and get the $20,000 waiver fee in return.

Rosario, 27, was claimed by the Boston Red Sox from the Miami Marlins on October 17. Last season he put up spectacular numbers in Triple-A, but struggled in four appearances with the Marlins before going on the disabled list with a strained right quadriceps.

The reliever had a 1.04 ERA and was a perfect 16-for-16 in save opportunities in Triple-A. He struck out 24 batters and walked just two in 26 innings. With Miami however, he allowed six runs in four appearances.

-- When the A's designated Rosario for assignment on November 30, I made this joke on Twitter:

Sandy Rosario's run with the #Athletics almost as impressive as Edwin Encarnacion's days with the A's in 2010.

— Casey Pratt (@CaseyPrattCSN) December 1, 2012

That led to a fun conversation with some of my favorite A's followers about players that had very short stints with the A's. You can see the conversation here.

Aside from Encarnacion, the names, Michael Barrett, Ryan Langerhans, and Phil Humber came up.
-- Barrett was acquired December 15, and traded the same day.
-- Langerhans was acquired April 29, 2007 and traded three days later.
-- Encarnacion was claimed off waivers on November 12, 2007 and granted free agency December 2 of the same year.
-- Humber -- who later tossed a perfect game for the White Sox -- was in the A's organization from December 16, 2010 to January 18, 2011.

If you can think of any more A's short-timers feel free to submit them in the comments section.

-- The A's would like me to pass along this note. On December 13, from 5-6 p.m. you can get autographs from relievers Ryan Cook and Sean Doolittle at the Bank of America on 1330 North Main Street in Walnut Creek. You have to bring a donation of five non-perishable food items. It is for a good cause, and Cook and Doolittle are two nice guys, so show up and get some stuff signed. Be sure to show up early because it will be limited to the first 150 people.

A's spring training Day 8: Top pick AJ Puk attracts a crowd

A's spring training Day 8: Top pick AJ Puk attracts a crowd

MESA, Ariz. — The A’s are excited about 2016 top pick A.J. Puk, that much was apparent by the crowd the lefty attracted for his first “live” bullpen session Tuesday.

Among those watching closely were executive vice president of baseball operations Billy Beane, general manager David Forst, manager Bob Melvin and pitching coach Curt Young.

Puk, who shaved about 20 pounds off his 6-foot-7 frame over the winter, looked strong against a group of hitters that included touted infield prospects Franklin Barreto and Yairo Munoz.

Melvin in particular liked the way Puk, the No. 6 overall pick out of the University of Florida, worked his curve ball into the mix. That’s a pitch he hadn’t used since high school, but he dusted it off back in the fall instructional league with some encouragement from minor league pitching coordinator Gil Patterson, and he’s working to sharpen it this spring as a complement to his fastball, slider and changeup.

“It’s just nice to have another pitch that’s slower than my other three pitches,” Puk said before Tuesday’s workout.

“It’s a four-pitch mix,” Melvin said. “He’s really starting to distinguish between this slider and curve ball. It was quite a crowd around his cage too. When you’re a young kid you tend to notice that, but I thought he responded really well.”

Puk, 21, is rooming with shortstop Richie Martin, a teammate at Florida whom the A’s made their top pick in 2015. They also lived near each other in Tampa this offseason and worked out together.

Puk comes off very quiet upon meeting him, but Martin warns against being fooled.

“It takes him a while, but once he feels comfortable he’ll break out. You’ll see.”

Melvin was impressed with Puk’s physical shape, saying he’s fielded his position well in pitchers’ fielding drills.

CAMP BATTLE Jesse Hahn will start the A’s Cactus League opener Saturday against the defending World Series champion Chicago Cubs. It’ll be a chance for Hahn to make an early impression in his bid for the fifth starter spot.

“After the year he had (in 2016), it’s important for him this year. We have to show some faith in him,” Melvin said. “He performed well for us the year before. Last year wasn’t really consistent. We’ll try to get him out there and get him off to a good start.”

Kendall Graveman will take the ball in Sunday’s spring home opener against the Angels. Sonny Gray and Sean Manaea both will pitch Monday against the Giants and Jharel Cotton and Andrew Triggs will be among the group throwing Tuesday against the Indians.

PROSPECT WATCH: Sean Murphy, the A’s third-round pick in June, has shown a very strong throwing arm early in camp. Is it any wonder Melvin, an ex-catcher, was impressed?

“The kid can throw, it’s special,” Melvin said. “We really like him.”

NOTEWORTHY: Still no word on when reliever Santiago Casilla will arrive at camp from the Dominican Republic. Melvin said he isn’t concerned at this stage, and noted that Casilla has been working out at the team’s complex in the Dominican Republic and gave a motivational talk to the younger players there.

Kaval: A's must 'swing for the fences' in choosing ballpark site

Kaval: A's must 'swing for the fences' in choosing ballpark site

MESA, Ariz. — After spending a few days at spring training, A’s president Dave Kaval heads back to the Bay Area on Tuesday to continue work on the team’s search for a ballpark site.

There are so many factors to consider — location, public transportation access, parking, government obligations to be fulfilled, etc. — it’s easy to understand why it’s such an all-encompassing process.

Kaval shared some detailed thoughts on all of the potential sites the A’s are considering during a visit on the A’s Insider Podcast. Here’s some highlights:

The A’s have narrowed down to four locations in Oakland to build a privately financed ballpark: Brooklyn Basin, Howard Terminal, Laney College and the current Coliseum site on which they play.

Are these four all uniquely different from each other or do they share some common traits?

“I think all of them can fulfill our long-term vision of this urban area around the ballpark,” Kaval said. “Think of Fenway, Wrigley … all of them can achieve that vision. We want to make sure with such a big decision that we swing for the fences. … I think the Coliseum is probably the hardest to create kind of an urban village, but I think it’s possible, and we’re not ruling it out.

"But all the other locations can have neighborhoods around the ballpark where people can live and you can just have a really intimate experience around the ballpark.”

There hasn’t been the same buzz about Brooklyn Basin as Howard Terminal. Located close to the water, does it offer similar attributes as Howard Terminal?

“It’s very close. There’s a couple different places the ballpark could go down there,” he said. “You’re closer to the water, which is exciting, and I think being on the water provides the ability to have water taxis, ferries, other transit options that kind of lower the requirement for parking, lower the requirement for walking or biking. And that actually can be a really great thing for the fan experience.”

Howard Terminal offers a big potential payoff with the terrific views available. But there are some substantial hurdles, not the least of which are the government regulations and approvals required to build right along the water.

“If you want to actually develop something in there, you need to have legislation from the state of California. That’s just something that has to happen,” Kaval said. “So when we think about the steps to get the individual sites (approved) and break ground, it’s just another one you have to do at that site. So you have to weigh, is it worth the time, effort, political opposition that might come up to pursue that type of effort? The site is so iconic that we’ve been keeping it in the mix because, wow, it could just be something that is a game changer.”

That’s just a sample of the many topics Kaval touched on over the course of the podcast.