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A’s pitcher Jharel Cotton aided disaster relief in native Virgin Islands

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 03:45:54 UT

Several weeks before his wedding, A’s starter Jharel Cotton and his fiancee went on a trip to the Caribbean, but it was not a luxury pre-honeymoon cruise. Cotton returned to his childhood home, the Virgin Islands, to assist with disaster-relief efforts in the wake of Hurricanes Maria and Irma. Cotton and Emma Supanich traveled to St. Thomas on Oct. 10, and spent their time on the island helping to distribute food through My Brother’s Workshop, a charitable organization that provided disaster relief in the wake of Hurricanes Maria and Irma. “It was crazy driving around,” Cotton said by phone from his offseason home in Michigan.

Khris Davis gets $10.5 million; A’s avoid arbitration

Thu, 11 Jan 2018 03:15:28 UT

A big-time hitter cashed in on a big-time contract Wednesday. The A’s and Khris Davis settled on a $10.5 million salary for next season, which more than doubles his 2017 contract. Davis, who has collected more than 40 homers and 100 RBIs in each of his two seasons with Oakland, was eligible for salary arbitration a year after beating the A’s in an arbitration hearing. In February, three arbitrators awarded $5 million to Davis; the A’s had offered $4.65 million. Davis became the first to beat the A’s in a hearing since Billy Beane took over baseball operations in 1997. The A’s weren’t risking another day in court with their cleanup hitter.

A’s fans begin snagging free tickets

Thu, 11 Jan 2018 00:59:40 UT

Fans began signing up Wednesday for free A’s tickets for the 50th anniversary game, and the team expects to accommodate everyone who’s interested in attending. The game is April 17, exactly 50 years after the A’s played their first game in Oakland. The A’s plan to take more reservations for freebies than the Coliseum can seat, to account for the expected no-show rate. “We’re confident that everyone who wants to attend this game will get into the ballpark,” vice president of communications Catherine Aker said. The average number of tickets per request has been six, though the team will communicate with fans in the coming weeks to confirm the numbers.

Dallas Braden takes over as A’s part-time color man

Wed, 10 Jan 2018 19:26:53 UT

Dallas Braden, who threw the 19th perfect game in big-league history, will be supplanting fellow former A’s left-hander Mark Mulder in the broadcast booth this season. Braden told The Chronicle on Wednesday that he will be the color analyst for 35 of the A’s telecasts in 2018. “My passion and love for the game has only grown since leaving the playing field,” said Braden, who is from Stockton and played for Oakland from 2007-11. “I can’t wait to be back where I’m from and share that with the fans and help bring in that younger generation.

Mark Mulder says he’s been let go as an A’s broadcaster

Wed, 10 Jan 2018 06:48:13 UT

Former A’s All-Star Mark Mulder told The Chronicle via text Tuesday night that he will no longer be on the team’s telecasts in 2018. Mulder served as an occasional color analyst for CSN California, working 20 games in 2016 and 35 in 2017, and the A’s at one point had spoken to him about increasing his workload next season, he said. Mulder said Tuesday night he had “no clue” what had happened. “They told me a little over a month ago that they were going in a different direction,” he said. “The only thing I can really think of is that they are looking for someone who will maybe want the job full-time, not just part of the season like me.

A’s unveil offices but back to 3 potential stadium sites

Wed, 10 Jan 2018 06:35:13 UT

As least the Oakland A’s have some nice new digs in which to operate while they go back to the drawing board with their stadium search. After providing a media tour of the A’s day-old offices in Jack London Square on Tuesday, team President Dave Kaval addressed stadium issues for the first time since their plans went haywire, saying that all three sites initially considered — Howard Terminal, the Coliseum and the recently squelched Laney College site — are back on the table. “We’re 100 percent focused on Oakland and the best location that marries the community as well the A’s needs, and we’ve identified three final locations,” Kaval said.

A’s invite former big-time Yankees prospect to spring training

Mon, 8 Jan 2018 20:05:55 UT

Slade Heathcott, once a big outfield prospect for the Yankees, and Sheldon Neuse, an infielder acquired in a big trade last summer, highlight a list of 17 nonroster players whom the A's have invited to spring training. Also on the list is utilityman Steve Lombardozzi, Jr., who has played in 291 big-league games scattered over six seasons, and Logan Shore, the A's second-round pick in 2016, who will be in his first major-league camp. Heathcott, 27, was the Yankees' first-round pick in 2009 draft whose career has been derailed by injuries. In his lone big-league stint, in 2015, he hit .400 in 25 at-bats for the Yankees. Heathcott spent the 2017 season in the Giants' system.

A’s moving offices downtown

Sat, 6 Jan 2018 04:36:02 UT

The A’s are moving to downtown Oakland. At least the offices are. The club said Friday that its previously announced plan to consolidate its offices at the Coliseum and Oracle Arena into a 40,000-square-foot space in Jack London Square will happen Monday. None of this brings the A’s any closer to the new ballpark they desire, but the office move away from the Coliseum to downtown is symbolic. The A’s announced the move around the time it proposed building a stadium at Laney College on land owned by the Peralta Community College District, but the district nixed the plan.

Cost of an April 17 A’s ticket: $0

Wed, 3 Jan 2018 17:48:05 UT

Not many bargains better than this one. The A’s will give away free tickets for their April 17 game, which is the 50-year anniversary of their first game in Oakland. It’s A’s versus White Sox, and it’ll cost nothing. Here’s how it works: Fans can sign up for free tickets beginning Jan. 10 at 8 a.m. at Season-ticket holders won’t need to sign up for the freebies; the tickets automatically will be loaded into their accounts. “We are extremely excited to offer this gift to the city as we celebrate 50 years in Oakland,” team President Dave Kaval said in a statement.

With his mother ailing, Stephen Piscotty comes home in A’s deal with St. Louis

Sat, 16 Dec 2017 17:05:34 UT

Stephen Piscotty, the newest member of the A’s, loved his time in St. Louis and gets choked up thinking about his memories there. Ultimately, though, he’d rather be near his mother, Gretchen, who was diagnosed with ALS in May. Thursday’s trade brought the outfielder home. “Sometimes there are things more important than baseball,” Piscotty said on a conference call Friday. “This opportunity here is a great combination of family and baseball. I think it’s really the best thing for myself and my family. A lot of good is going to come out of it.” Piscotty, who lives at his parents’ home in Pleasanton during the offseason, said things have become more challenging with his mother’s condition.

A’s back in the mix for another Japan trip

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 05:32:57 UT

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — With Shohei Ohtani joining the Angels and baseball back in the Olympics in Tokyo in 2020, Major League Baseball is planning a season-opening series at the Tokyo Dome in 2019 and the A’s, as usual, are on the short list of teams under consideration for the trip. The other team assuredly would be the Angels. The A’s played season-opening series in Tokyo in 2008 and 2012. The A’s typically request to be considered for international trips because the front office and coaching staff believe the experience to be a good one for young players. The fact that Oakland wasn’t expected to contend in 2012 and won the AL West that season doesn’t hurt, either.

A’s acquire Stanford alum Stephen Piscotty from Cardinals

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 05:05:01 UT

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — As the winter meetings drew to a close, the A’s finally got the right-handed-hitting outfielder they had targeted. Oakland landed Stanford alum Stephen Piscotty from St. Louis in exchange for minor-leaguers Yairo Muñoz (an infielder/outfielder) and Max Schrock (a second baseman), a deal first reported by The Chronicle on Wednesday. Piscotty is from Pleasanton and went to Amador Valley High. His mother, Gretchen, who was diagnosed with ALS this year, still lives there. “The thought of playing at home is a dream and to be close to my mom and family is priceless,” Piscotty told The Chronicle via text Thursday evening.

A’s nearing trade for Cardinals’ Stephen Piscotty

Thu, 14 Dec 2017 06:51:32 UT

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — The A’s and Cardinals, who had conversations about outfielder Stephen Piscotty throughout the winter meetings, appeared close to reaching an agreement Wednesday night. The Chronicle reported early Wednesday that the teams could strike a deal before the end of the winter meetings Thursday. Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports had reported Wednesday night that terms had been reached that would send two minor-leaguers to St. Louis, but multiple sources indicated that though the deal was close to completion, it had not been finalized. St.

Former A’s manager Billy Martin subject of documentary

Thu, 14 Dec 2017 03:23:39 UT

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — One of the most fun eras in Oakland history was the “Billy Ball” team managed by combative Berkeley-born Billy Martin, who is the subject of a new documentary “Billy,” which screened at the winter meetings and is scheduled to air on MLB Network at 5 p.m. Thursday. Martin, best known as a bar-room brawler who managed the Yankees five times, found a brief measure of calm in Oakland in the early 1980s, as detailed by his son, Billy Martin Jr., Oakland Hall of FamerRickey Henderson, and A’s employees Mickey Morabito and Steve Vucinich in the MLB Network-produced show. “My dad was really happy being back in the Bay Area,” Martin Jr.

Could A’s turn to free-agent market for lefty reliever or outfielder?

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 04:12:31 UT

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Trades are the real lifeblood when it comes to A’s player acquisitions, but that doesn’t mean that the team will rule out the free-agent market when it comes to adding to their roster. The team already did so in acquiring Yusmiero Petit for the bullpen, and there are a few left-handed relievers who might pique Oakland’s interest, particularly Tony Watson. Agent Scott Boras, who represents Watson, has been in touch with the A’s during the winter meetings this week. The list of right-handed-hitting corner outfielders is not deep, mostly older players, and the A’s are ideally looking for a young outfielder with good cost control, which is why St.