A's agree to terms with outfielder Matt Joyce

A's agree to terms with outfielder Matt Joyce

The A’s began work on replenishing their outfield Wednesday by agreeing to terms with free agent Matt Joyce to a two-year contract.

The deal is worth a reported $11 million, according to Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal.

Joyce, a 32-year-old left-handed hitter who plays both corner outfield spots, spent last season with the Pittsburgh Pirates. He was used mostly off the bench, appearing in more than half of his games as a pinch hitter and proving very effective in that role. Though he hit just .220 in the pinch, he led the majors in RBI (15) and tied for the lead in homers (4).

Joyce also drew a major league-record 21 pinch walks in 81 plate appearances in that situation. He’ll be an option to perhaps platoon with Mark Canha in right field or handle left when Khris Davis is at DH.

The A’s still are searching for an everyday center fielder. And though Joyce isn’t a big-name signing to help out in the corners, the skill set he brings should prove useful. He had a .403 on-base percentage last season (.341 for his career), and his willingness to take a walk is needed for an A’s team that ranked last in the American League last season with a .304 on-base percentage, fourth lowest in Oakland history.

His experience and success pinch hitting will also come into play as the A’s tend to substitute early and often during games looking for the left-right advantage at the plate.

Joyce’s best season of his nine-year big league career came in 2011 with Tampa Bay, when he was an All-Star and set career highs with a .277 batting average, 19 home runs and 75 RBI.

To make room on the 40-man roster, the A’s designated corner infielder Rangel Ravelo for assignment.

A's announce 2018 Opening Day starter


A's announce 2018 Opening Day starter

For the second straight season, Kendall Graveman will get the ball on Opening Day for the A's. And for the second straight year, he'll face Mike Trout and the Angels.

The team made the news official on Tuesday morning.

Last year, in a win over the Angels, Graveman went six innings, allowed two earned runs and struck out seven.

"It's something I don't take for granted. It's an honor and a privilege and [I just want to] try to get the season off to a good start and hopefully be a leader of this staff," Graveman told reporters Tuesday in Arizona.

In four seasons with the A's and Blue Jays, Graveman has a 4.11 ERA in 76 appearances.

A's agree to deal with familiar veteran pitcher


A's agree to deal with familiar veteran pitcher

UPDATE (Mar. 19, 7:45 p.m. PT): The A's officially announced the Cahill signing on Monday. This story has been updated to reflect that.

On the same day the Oakland A's learned they'd be without Jharel Cotton all season, they signed a familiar face to bolster their pitching depth. 

Oakland agreed to a one-year deal with Trevor Cahill, nearly 12 years after the A's drafted him in the second round. 

Cahill pitched for Oakland from 2009-11. He started 96 games in three seasons with the A's, going 40-35 with a 3.91 ERA and 1.32 WHIP. Since Oakland traded him to the Arizona Diamondbacks in Dec. 2011, Cahill's pitched for six teams. 

The 30-year-old won a World Series ring with the Chicago Cubs in 2016, and pitched for the San Diego Padres and Kansas City Royals last season. In 2017, he went 4-3 in 21 appearances (14 starts) with a 4.93 ERA and 1.62 WHIP.