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Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Articles tagged: Oakland A’s

A’s meeting with Kyler Murray in attempt to get him to stick with baseball

Kyler Murray

Kyler Murray is said to be strongly considering the possibility of entering the NFL Draft and pursuing a career in football, and the Oakland A’s are hoping they can change the star quarterback’s mind.

The A’s drafted Murray with the No. 9 overall pick in the MLB Draft last year, and they agreed to allow him to play one more season at Oklahoma. Murray’s agent, Scott Boras, has said all along that Murray is committed to playing baseball, but that no longer seems like a guarantee. According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, the A’s were scheduled to meet with Murray on Sunday recruit him, in a sense.

Murray’s chances at immediate success in the NFL seem greater than they would be with baseball, and he is reportedly planning to enter the NFL Draft. Unless health is his main reason for choosing baseball over football, he probably has an easier path to making big money in the NFL, especially with what we have heard about how NFL executives feel about him.

If Murray does choose football, he would have to pay back the more than $4 million bonus the A’s gave him. Oakland would not, however, receive a compensatory draft pick.

Rangers trade Jurickson Profar to A’s in three-team deal

Jurickson Profar

The Oakland A’s have reportedly acquired infielder Jurickson Profar from the Texas Rangers in a three-team trade.

Profar is the centerpiece of the trade, with the Tampa Bay Rays also involved and several players changing teams. Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports has the details:

Profar, who has had difficulty staying healthy during his MLB career, had by far his best season last year. He appeared in 146 games and batted .254 with 20 home runs and 77 RBI. Interestingly enough, it was the Rays who expressed interest in trading for him last winter, but they did not end up with him in Friday’s deal.

Profar has two more years of arbitration before he is eligible to become a free agent in 2021. The 25-year-old is a career .240 hitter. He could either play second base full-time for the A’s or be used as a utility infielder.

Report: No momentum in A’s talks about Sonny Gray

Sonny Gray

The rumored reunion between the Oakland Athletics and Sonny Gray does not look to be happening, at least for now.

According to Jon Morosi of MLB.com, the Athletics have spoken with the New York Yankees about Gray, but the talks have no momentum at the moment and nothing is close.

Things could, of course, change at any moment. It’s not really a secret that the A’s would like to bring Gray back at the right price, but there are plenty of considerations that go into this. It’s worth keeping an eye on, but for the moment, there’s nothing going on.

A’s extended heartbreaking playoff streak with loss to Yankees

The Oakland A’s returned to the postseason this year despite having one of the lowest payrolls in baseball, but Wednesday night’s loss was all too familiar for the team and its fans.

As Jane Lee of MLB.com pointed out, Oakland’s loss to the New York Yankees was the eight consecutive winner-take-all game that the A’s ended up on the wrong end of. That disappointing streak is the longest in MLB history.

The A’s won a World Series in 1989, so it’s not as if the franchise has been tormented for more than 40 years. Still, that’s a tough spot to lose in eight consecutive times.

Oakland decided to use only relief pitchers in the AL Wild Card Game, and fans were not kind to them when the strategy backfired. Ultimately, baseball got the matchup it wanted with the Yankees facing the Boston Red Sox in the ALDS. Although, that is no consolation for A’s fans who watched their team come up short yet again.

Each MLB playoff contender’s biggest weakness

Dave Roberts

We’re into the home stretch of baseball season, and the month of September will settle the playoff races. There are plenty of teams still in it, even if the American League picture looks mostly settled, but the races promise to be exciting.

There are, however, no flawless teams. Every contender has a weakness that can be exploited, albeit some more obvious than others. Looking at teams who are presently within three games of a playoff spot — sorry, Philadelphia — here’s the Achilles’ heel that could trip up each team down the stretch or in the postseason.

Arizona Diamondbacks — Run-scoring

In a pivotal weekend series against the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Diamondbacks scored just nine runs across four games, three of which they lost by one run. That sums up where Arizona’s challenge lies. Only six National League teams have scored fewer runs than Arizona has this season. It’s odd to see a lineup with Paul Goldschmidt in it struggling this much, but he, David Peralta, and A.J. Pollock are the only three Diamondbacks hitting above .250.

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A’s pitcher Brett Anderson wonders if Astros were stealing signs

Oakland A’s pitcher Brett Anderson had a streak of impressive starts come to an end on Monday night when he gave up five runs in the third inning against the Houston Astros, and he couldn’t help but wonder if there was some relaying of signs going on.

Following the game, which the A’s lost 11-4 after jumping out to a 4-0 lead, Anderson told reporters he felt the Astros had better at-bats against him with runners on second base.

“I don’t know if I was tipping pitches with guys at second or something but they seemed to be laying off good pitches and on certain pitches,” Anderson said, via Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle. “So I’ve got to look at video, re-evaluate that.”

Houston did much of its damage with a series of doubles in the third, so that’s probably what Anderson was referring to. He did, however, admit that he didn’t have a good feel for his slider after allowing just two runs over his previous four starts.

Anderson was shelled early in the season but seems to have figured some things out lately. He’s lowered his ERA from 6.08 to 4.02 in a span of just over a month, and the A’s are hoping most of his struggles are behind him with the playoffs approaching.

This isn’t the first time this season that the Astros have been accused of funny business, though relaying signs from second base is simply part of the game. If Houston was able to figure out which pitches Anderson was throwing, the A’s will have to adjust going forward.

Ranking the 10 teams most likely to win the World Series

JD Martinez

We’re headed toward what has the potential to be one of the best MLB playoffs in quite some time. A loaded American League features several elite teams that will have to square off in heavyweight battles, while the National League playoff picture looks wide open and could go any number of directions. We do have a clear idea of who’s likely going to make it, though, and thus we can begin to assess how these contenders stack up against each other.

Here are the ten MLB teams most likely to win the World Series, from least to most.

10) St. Louis Cardinals

New manager Mike Shildt has engineered a remarkable turnaround in St. Louis, with the team going 23-11 in his first 34 games and apparently getting hot at the right time. This has been largely predicated on Matt Carpenter’s offensive tear, with his 34 homers pacing the National League. St. Louis has a young rotation that hasn’t yet been tested in a pennant race, but they’ve pitched well on the whole. Getting Carlos Martinez back quickly will be a big bonus. If any team knows how to get hot late and make an October run, it’s the Cardinals, and that bears watching.

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