Giants Using All Options to Search for a Left Fielder; A’s may be out of Kazmir Mix; Leake to Cardinals

Giants GM Bobby Evans told MLB Network Radio (audio) that “I think now is a good time to look at left field and versatility there has value for us.” When asked whether they were looking at a high priced guy or medium priced guy, he indicated they had flexibility but were looking at all options including the trade market. He also didn’t want to dismiss Gregor Blanco but would be happier if he was in a fourth outfield spot.

He also seemed to indicate that for bullpen help they believe the farm system is most ready to help them and that would take them out for a higher-priced free agent reliever.

A’s out on Kazmir?

Sources told Ken Rosenthal that the Alvarez deal does take the A’s out of the Scott Kazmir mix. This comes in contrast to previous reports that the A’s are still in by CSN Bay Area’s Joe Stiglich and others.

Mike Leake to Cardinals

Former SF Giant Mike Leake signed a deal worth 5 years and $80 million with the St. Louis Cardinals per Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports (Twitter). The Giants traded  pitching prospect Keury Mella and minor league slugger Adam Duvall for Mike Leake at the trading deadline. They aggressively targetted other Starting Pitching options including Grienke, Samardzija and Cueto before Leake this offseason, so it wasn’t a surprise to see him go elsewhere.buy cialis pattaya

Oakland still in Kazmir Hunt as Injury Concerns Lead to Need for Bolstering Rotation Depth

CSN’s Joe Stiglich reports the A’s are still in the Scott Kazmir hunt despite signing Henderson AlvarezThe Bay Area News Groups‘ John Hickey takes it further saying Kazmir is amendable to a return.

As previously stated the A’s are one of 4 teams with offers to Scott Kazmir including the Orioles, Dodgers, and Royals. The offers are reportedly for 3 years and in the $12 to $13 million dollar range.  Kazmir is reportedly seeking a 4th year, but could be close to accepting one of the teams’ 3 year offers.

Currently the A’s rotation is led by Sonny Gray and Rich Hill, with Chris Bassitt, Kendall Graveman, Jesse Hahn, Sean Nolin, Aaron Brooks and Jarred Parker all in competition for the remaining 3 spots. Henderson Alvarez will not be ready to start the season but would also factor in to the rotation.  There is a fair amount of injury risk in that list as Bassitt, Graveman, Hahn and Parker all had injury issues of varying degrees. The A’s have no idea what they are getting with Parker who missed all of 2014 and 2015. AthleticsNation has also  speculated that concerns about Hahn’s recovery have made the A’s need for starting pitcher greater.

Parker avoid Arbitration

Jarrod Parker avoided arbitration agreeing to a 1 year/$850K deal, which would be the same as last year.  Half of the contract is guaranteed.cialis buy now

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A’s nearing Deal with Henderson Alvarez; Ryan Vogelsong goes to the Pirates

Jon Heyman of CBS reports that the A’s are nearing an agreement with free agent right hander Henderson Alvarez. Alvarez will earn $4.25 million guaranteed and $1.6 million in incentives resulting in $5.85 million if all incentives are achieved. Alvarez was non-tendered by the Marlins rather then committing to pay him $4 million in arbitration. The iffy factor with Alvarez is the health of his shoulder. He underwent surgery in late July and is likely to miss some of the regular season.

Alvarez, 25, does not have 6 years of service so would be under team control through 2017. He was  good in 2014 with a 2.65 ERA in 187 IP, but had a 6.45 ERA in just 22 1/3 IP while being limited by injury in 2015. Alvarez is a sinker baller who worked in the 92 to 95 mph range, with a slider and change-up. He had a ground ball to fly ball ratio of about 4 to 1.

The news comes on the heels of the fact the A’s are still in on Scott Kazmir. Kazmir,32, is reportedly waiting for a team that will give him a 4th year and has multiple 3 year offers in the $12-13 million per year range.  It is unknown if the A’s are still interested even after the acquisition of Alvarez. The Orioles, Royals, and Dodgers are also interested in Kazmir.

Vogelsong to Pirates

The Pittsburgh Pirates signed former Giants righty Ryan Vogelsong to a 1-year contract.generic cialis work

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A’s Still Looking For Starting Pitching; Made a Run at Bartolo Colon

Susan Slusser (Twitter) believes that the A’s were among those willing to spend more on Bartolo Colon then the $7.25 million he received from the Mets. Bartolo loves the Mets and wanted to stay.

The A’s are known to have some money left to spend and have also been tied to former pitcher Scott Kazmir, whom remains on the market.

AthleticsNation, a few days ago, looked at some potential candidates. Several including Colon are now off the board. The A’s clearly want to add some additional competition to the rotation that is penciled in to include Sonny Gray, Rich Hill, Jesse Hahn, Kendall Graveman, Chris Bassitt, along with Jarrod Parker if healthy.

Some interesting starting pitchers still available include Mat Latos, Colby Lewis, Scott Kazmir, and Doug Fister.

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Cueto Agrees to Deal with Giants

The San Francisco Giants have agreed to terms with right-hander Johnny Cueto, per Buster Olney (via Twitter). The deal is pending a physical but has also been confirmed by CSN’s Alex Pavlovic.

Cueto rejected a $120 million dollar offer from the Diamondbacks earlier in the offseason. He spent most of his career with the Reds before being traded to the Royals in 2015.

He had a 3.44 ERA in 2015, and a 2.25 ERA in 2014 while throwing 212 and 243 2/3 IP respectively. He has a career K per 9 innings of 7.42, and BB/9 of 2.60, while only allowing 0.92 homers per 9 innings.

Cueto did have some late season struggles last year as he logged a 6.49 ERA over his final 51 1/3 regular-season innings in Kansas City. Alex Pavolvic pointed on Twitter that he has been extremely effective against the NL West. Cueto in 38 career starts vs the NL West is 19-12 with a 2.87 ERA.

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Outfielder and Another Starting Pitcher Still On The Giants Wish List

The Giants continue to scour the Free Agent Market with an Outfielder and a Starting Pitcher on top of their wish list. The team doesn’t want to heavily rely on the trio of Jake Peavy, Matt Cain, and Chris Heston.

Sabean and Bochy have hinted they prefer a starting pitcher to an outfielder and the market seems to be much more condusive to that. Additionally playing into that is a weak free agent market for pitchers next offseason and the high asking price for outfielders at this time. The team reportedly wishes to remain below the luxury tax level of $189 million as it would be their second year above it which would enact a 30 percent penalty. Mike Leake reportedly remains a primary target but the Giants have balked at giving him Samardzija like money.

Some of the better Starting Pitcher names remaining on the market include Johnny Cueto, Mike Leake, Wei-Yin Chen, Cliff Lee, Scott Kazmir and Ian Kennedy. There was some buzz that the Giants had talked Jared Fernandez with the Marlins but Giants GM Bobby Evans compared the situation to Shelby Miller (who wasn’t really on the market but the Diamondbacks blew away the Braves) and said that the Marlins would want “McCovey Cove”.

Giants / A’s Notes: Ben Zobrist indicated he rejected a higher offer from the Giants of 4 years 60 million before signing his 4 years 56 million dollar contract with the Cubs. He cited proximity to his home in Nashville as a primary reason. The Rule 5 draft is currently going on. The A’s selected Jabari Blash but are expected to flip him to the Padres. The Giants lost Pitcher Joe Biagini to the Blue Jays and the A’s have lost Colin Walsh to the Brewers so far.cheap viagra cialis uk

Lawrie Deal With White Sox Completed

The Oakland Athletics A’s announced they have traded infielder Brett Lawrie to the Chicago White Sox for minor league pitchers Jeffrey Wendelken and Zack Erwin.

Wendelken will turn 23 next season and is a reliever who finished the year in Triple-A. He was added to the 40-man roster as he is Rule 5 Draft Eligible. He started the year in Double-A before being promoted to Triple-A. He had a 4.50 ERA in Triple-A in 16 innings with 13 strikeouts and 5 walks. In Double A, he struck out 56 and walked 11 in 43 innings, with a 2.72 ERA.

Zack Erwin, whom turns 22 in January, was selected in the 4th round of the 2015 draft and had a promising pro debut. Between 15 games in the Rookie-level Pioneer League and the Low-A South Atlantic League, Erwin struck out 30 and walked 7 in 40 1/3 innings. He had a 1.34 ERA.

The trade comes as no surprise as it was initially reported that Lawrie was likely to go after the trade for Jed Lowrie. There were some whispers that Lawrie’s high energy ways clashed at times in Oakland. It has been noted that after a year of particularly bad chemistry, upgrading the feel in Oakland’s locker room was a priority.buy cialis with dapoxetine online

A’s continue to bolster Bullpen; Lawrie Trade Reportedly Near

The remake of the Oakland bullpen continues as now the Oakland Athletics are “close to signing free-agent reliever John Axford,” reports the San Francisco Chronicle‘s Susan Slusser.

The right handed Axford had 60 appearances for the Rockies and a 4.20 ERA at altitude in 2015. He struck out 62, and walked 32.  Axford nicknamed “the ax man” has a career ERA+ of 116, and had a ERA+ of 111 in 2015, signifying he is another solidly above average arm. (For those not familiar with ERA+ 100 is exactly a league average pitcher and 116 would mean 16% above average adjusting for league and park effects)

The move comes on the heels of trading reliver Evan Scribner to the Mariners for Relief Pitching Prospect, Trey Cochran-Gill. Scribner was out of options and was much maligned in 2015 for a propensity to give up the long ball.

Lawrie to White Sox?

The Chronicle’s Susan Slusser reports that the A’s are nearing a deal to trade Lawrie to the White Sox for a pair of minor leaguers. The move comes as no surprise as the A’s have a logjam at 2B/3B, with Danny Valencia, the acqusition of Jed Lowrie, and Brett Lawrie.

 

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A’s Sign Ryan Madson to 3 years 22 million

The Oakland Athletics have signed Reliever Ryan Madson to a three-year, $22MM deal, ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports (Twitter links). Madson can also receive up to $1.25 million per year in incentives. The move should help bolster the Oakland bullpen. The A’s were 19-35 in 1-run games in 2015. Additionally the team was 28th in MLB with a 4.63 Bullpen ERA. They also had 25 blown saves which was tied for the 3rd worst in baseball.

Madson had a very effective 2015 with the Royals as he had a 2.13 ERA in 68 games, throwing 63.1 IP with only 14 BB and 58 strikeouts.

The signing comes with some risk as Madson missed the 2012-2014 seasons after undergoing Tommy John Surgery. In 2015, Madson picked up where he left off with the Phillies in 2011.buy cialis cheap us pharmacy