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Saturday, July 20, 2019

Articles tagged: Oakland A’s

Homer Bailey traded from Royals to A’s

The Oakland A’s are squarely in the playoff hunt after quietly putting together an impressive first half of the season, and they added a nice value piece to their starting rotation on Sunday.

ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports that the A’s have acquired starting pitcher Homer Bailey in a trade with the Kansas City Chiefs.

Bailey is 7-6 with a 4.80 ERA on the season, but the 33-year-old has a 3.49 ERA in his last seven starts. The A’s are six games back of the Houston Astros in the AL West and currently hold the second wild card spot, so they’re hoping Bailey will help solidify the back of their rotation down the stretch.

8 MLB teams potentially poised to break out in the second half

Kris Bryant

The All-Star break is a good time to step back and assess where the 30 teams across Major League Baseball stand. Some teams comfortably occupy first place, some are facing a second half of playing out a string of meaningless games, and then there is the group caught in the middle.

In the past, second half runs have been a big part of baseball. Teams that hadn’t really made an impression by mid-July can catch fire and change the scope of the division and playoff picture in a hurry in the second half. After all, there’s a long way to go, and there’s no guarantee that the first place teams now will win the division.

Here are eight teams that had decent first halves, but have the capability to make some real noise in the second half of the MLB season.

8. Arizona Diamondbacks

There’s a lot to like about the Diamondbacks, which rank in the top six in the NL in both OPS and ERA. In other words, they’re a well-balanced team that can both hit and pitch rather effectively. Despite their 46-45 record, they’ve scored 64 more runs than they’ve allowed, indicating a team that should be performing significantly better. They have two good power hitters in Ketel Marte and Eduardo Escobar, an ace in Zack Grienke, and solid pieces in the bullpen. Don’t be surprised to see them play to a higher level after the All-Star break.

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Oakland A’s reportedly run into travel complications with team plane

The Oakland A’s dealt with some complications relating to their team plane after Sunday’s win over the Texas Rangers, according to a report.

The SF Chronicle’s Susan Slusser reported Sunday evening that the Athletics’ team plane was damaged after the mobile stairs were blown into the wing during a thunderstorm.

As a result, the A’s had to stick around at Globe Life Park in Arlington for several hours until a backup plane arrived to take them to their next road stop, which was Tampa for a series with the Rays.

Oakland beat Texas 9-8 on Sunday to split the four-game series. They begin a 3-game series with the Rays on Monday.

Athletics’ batting practice was cancelled because of bees

Now we know why the Oakland Athletics are known as the A’s for short and not the B’s.

Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reported that the A’s scheduled batting practice before Thursday’s game against the Los Angeles Angels was cancelled due to a swarm of bees at Angel Stadium. Oakland manager Bob Melvin noted that he’d never had a batting practice scrapped by bees before.

The A’s did not appear to be affected by the cancelled BP. They plated six runs in the early going of Thursday’s contest and chased Angels starter Tyler Skaggs from the game by the fifth inning.

Interestingly enough though, Oakland is not the only MLB team that has been affected by an unwelcome swarm of bees in the last month.

10 MLB teams off to surprising starts in 2019

Alex Cora

Preseason predictions were meant to be defied. That’s true in every sport, but baseball can particularly throw you off, given the length of the seasons and how teams can be prone to lengthy hot or cold streaks. A bad month may be masked over a full season, and a bad team may have a good month that goes unnoticed, but both are harder to miss — and potentially more impactful — when they happen early on in the regular season.

Here are ten teams that have surprised onlookers so far in 2019 — either in a good or bad way.

10. Atlanta Braves

The Braves were expected to take a step forward this season after breaking into the playoffs last year, but they’ve instead loitered around .500 through the first month or so of the season. A big part of this is down to an unreliable bullpen and a pitching staff that, in general, has really struggled to settle into a groove. They have plenty of time to turn it around, especially with no one seizing the initiative in the NL East.

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Athletics troll Warriors with ad touting Khris Davis extension

The Oakland Athletics took the opportunity to troll their neighbors after locking down a key player.

The Athletics locked down outfielder Khris Davis on a two-year contract extension this week. It’s big news for an organization that has, at times, struggled to retain their key players.

It also gave them the opportunity to troll the Golden State Warriors, which they did in a full-page ad in Friday’s San Francisco Chronicle.

The joke, of course, is that Warriors star Kevin Durant’s future is very much not settled. It’s not often that the Athletics can claim a move like this, especially with the joke being at Golden State’s expense. They might as well take the opportunity to engage in some friendly prodding.

Report: A’s offered Kyler Murray $14 million in addition to signing bonus

Kyler Murray

The Oakland A’s made a valiant effort to convince Kyler Murray to report to spring training and forget about football, but ultimately the Heisman Trophy winner chose to pursue a career in the sport that has made him a household name. Murray left a lot of money on the table with that decision, and the signing bonus he had to return is apparently only a fraction of it.

Robert Klemko of Sports Illustrated took a closer look at what went on behind the scenes before Murray chose to enter the NFL Draft, and he was told by a source that the A’s offered Murray a guaranteed contract worth $14 million in addition to his signing bonus, which was $4.66 million. The offer was reportedly presented to Murray when a group of A’s executives flew to Dallas to meet with him in January amid increasing talk that the former Oklahoma star was leaning toward football.

As Klemko notes, offering Murray that kind of contract would have meant the A’s would have to add him to their 40-man roster. The more than $18 million guaranteed would have been comparable to what a top-10 NFL Draft pick makes, so Oakland was essentially taking money out of the equation. Still, Murray’s father Kevin says Kyler had already decided he was going to pursue a career in the NFL before the January meeting and took it out of respect for the A’s.

Assuming the $14 million offer actually happened, that says a lot about Murray’s commitment to football. His path to become a star in the NFL may be a lot more realistic than it would be in Major League Baseball, but turning down more than $18 million guaranteed when you’re unsure of when you might be drafted can’t be easy to do. If you didn’t believe what Murray said about his career choice two months ago, you probably should now.