Mexico City, Japan could be in A's travel plans for 2019


Mexico City, Japan could be in A's travel plans for 2019

The A’s could be headed to Mexico City in spring 2019 to play multiple exhibitions as part of Major League Baseball’s efforts to expand its international audience.

Oakland was in discussions to play in Mexico City this upcoming spring, according to A’s traveling secretary Mickey Morabito, but that idea was scratched because a new ballpark being built there is not quite ready yet. The A’s remain in play for two exhibitions in Mexico City in 2019 against a yet-to-be-determined opponent if the plans come to fruition.

The A’s most likely would send a split squad south of the border and leave another group in Arizona to continue Cactus League play, which is what they did in 2015 when they played exhibitions in Las Vegas.

Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred mentioned Mexico City, Charlotte and Montreal as strong contenders for an expansion franchise while addressing the issue during last season’s All-Star Game festivities. Mexico City, the largest city in North America based on population, currently is home to the Diablos Rojos of the Mexican League.

The A’s always ask to be considered for international play, and their 2019 schedule may include quite the globe-trotting itinerary. In addition to potential exhibitions in Mexico, NBC Sports California confirmed that Oakland also is being considered for a return trip to Japan to open the ’19 regular season, as reported recently by the San Francisco Chronicle.

Oakland began the 2008 season with two games against the Boston Red Sox at the Tokyo Dome and returned there in 2012 for an opening series against the Seattle Mariners. A’s officials gave positive reviews on both experiences, and the team’s payout for games in Japan surely would be more than the gate for two games at the Coliseum.

The Los Angeles Angels, who signed Japanese star Shohei Ohtani this winter, would be a natural choice as one of the teams to play in Japan. The Red Sox and New York Yankees are considered leading candidates for a planned series in London later in the 2019 season.

The Cleveland Indians and Minnesota Twins will play a two-game series in April of this upcoming season in San Juan, Puerto Rico.


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.