Athletics

A's can wait to learn Beane's veteran lesson

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A's can wait to learn Beane's veteran lesson

OAKLAND -- Billy Beane grabbed his third baseman, Josh Donaldson, on the far fringe of the Oakland Athletics daily party, made him turn around, cigar between his teeth and bottle of Domaine Chandon in his hand, and said with the seriousness of a thoracic surgeon, Make sure you enjoy this, because they dont come around that often.I will, Donaldson said, and then went back to thinking that this is what major league baseball is. A champagne-and-dry-ice rave-up every day, with nothing but happy endings and Jonny Gomes turning the infield hose on them and love from a nation full of total strangers.At that moment, with the As celebrating a division title, the crushing of history and the unfettered triumph of momentum over conventional logic, Beane would have had better luck trying to help Donaldson study for his law exam. There would be no lessons absorbed this day, except one:How much of a hoot it is to be young, eager and slap the world upside the earhole.The As finished the job that wasnt theirs to dream of Wednesday, throttling the Texas Rangers 12-5 to win the AL West, and to essentially lap the entire American League field in 100 games.INSTANT REPLAY: A's complete epic comeback
They caught everything in their way by winning two out of every three games for 3 months. They cheated so many baseball precedents in that time that they are the latest version of Americas Team. Remade on the fly twice, with only one position player in the place he started the season, a rotation made entirely of middle scholars, a bullpen assembled and reassembled they were in their way an expansion team that expanded beyond life size.And there was Beane, trying to remind Donaldson that this isnt how baseball actually is most of the time. Yeah, good luck winning that debating point.When I first got here, we won all the time, and I got used to it, Beane said while trying to coax his young son Braden that he couldnt take him back into the champagne shower just yet because he had to talk to the mean people with the notebooks. We all got used to it. It was just the way it worked. And then when we started winning again, it felt familiar again, like this was how it was supposed to be.But then you hit bottom, and you realize how much fun this is. Truthfully, Im happier about this team than any of the others because . . . well, all the other celebrations like this I can barely remember. This one Im going to remember because I appreciate it so much more.The game itself was a metaphor for the season. Down 5-1 almost immediately because starter A.J. Griffin couldnt make the baseball obey his commands, the As looked disappointment in the face . . . for exactly one inning.Brandon Moss walked, and Josh Reddick drove him home with a double to center, and the sellout crowd started to think this might not be such a buzzkill after all. Then Donaldson singled, then Seth Smith singled, and the belief came back. Then it dissipated again when Derek Holland replaced Texas starter Ryan Dempster and retired Derek Norris and Cliff Pennington.Then Coco Crisp doubled home Donaldson and Smith. Then Stephen Drew walked. Then Texas center fielder Josh Hamilton whiffed an inning-ending fly ball from Yoenis Cespedes to score Crisp and Drew, and despair turned to hope to jubilation to fait accompli.One-hundred-and-one games from doomed to triumphant, collapsed like a dying star into 10 plate appearances that explained it all.While of course explaining none of it, because this cannot truly be explained. Not well, anyway. You can trace where the roster was at the beginning of the season, you can recap every game, you can turn it into a historical exercise, for this was, and still is, a historic achievement, even if you dont factor in the As more typical role as the new St. Louis Browns.But today was not the day to think about San Jose, or owners selling, or a stadium that has served its tenants far better than its tenants have served it. Today was watching young men playing with the casinos money, partying like the sun never comes up. Today was baseball re-explained for people who dont get it, or want to get it. Today was about expectations and orthodoxy and punditry and mathematical projections taking it right in the nethers, once, twice, 94 times. One for every win.And it was definitely not the time for Billy Beane to explain to Josh Donaldson that this is a feeling like no other, and that it must be savored. This was not a day for savoring. It was for chugging, bottleneck down, the joy running down your shirtfront. Donaldson may learn the backhand of this lesson some day, but today?Not a chance in hell.

A's trade outfielder Jaycob Brugman to Orioles

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USATSI

A's trade outfielder Jaycob Brugman to Orioles

OAKLAND – The Oakland A’s traded outfielder Jaycob Brugman to the Baltimore Orioles for a player to be named later or cash, the club announced Wednesday. Brugman was designated for assignment on Monday.

Brugman made his major league debut with the A’s last year and batted .266 with three home runs and 12 RBI in 48 games. He also hit .275 with a home run and nine RBI with Nashville and then batted .182 in nine games with Mesa in the Arizona Fall League.  

Brugman was originally selected by Oakland in the 17th round of the 2013 First-Year Player Draft.

Oakland A's media services

A's make roster moves, DFA outfielder who played in 48 games in 2017

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USATSI

A's make roster moves, DFA outfielder who played in 48 games in 2017

In order to get their 40-man roster set for the Rule 5 Draft, the A's did a little roster reshuffling on Monday.

Among the casualties from the roster crunch was outfielder Jaycob Brugman, who played in 48 games for the A's in 2017.

Brugman and left-handed pitcher Sam Moll were designated for assignment in order to clear spots for the A's to add right-handed pitchers Heath Fillmyer and Lou Trivino to the 40-man roster.

During his stint with the A's last season, Brugman hit .266/.346/.343 with two doubles, three home runs and 12 RBI. Brugman participated in the recently-concluded Arizona Fall League, but didn't put up great numbers. He his just 1.82 in nine games.

The 23-year-old Fillmyer started 29 games for Double-A Midland and posted a 3.49 ERA in 149.2 innings. He was a fifth-round by the A's in 2014.

Trivino spent time with Midland and Triple-A Nashville during the 2017 season. In 48 relief appearances between the two levels, he posted a 3.03 ERA and struck out 65 batters in 68.1 innings.

Earlier on Monday, the A's acquired outfielder Ramon Laureano from the Astros for right-handed pitcher Brandon Bailey. Laureano was added to the 40-man roster and right-handed pitcher Bobby Wahl was outrighted to Triple-A Nashville.

The Rule 5 Draft will be held on Thursday, Dec. 14 at the Winter Meetings in Orlando.