Montas makes happy call to mother after making A's roster

Montas makes happy call to mother after making A's roster

OAKLAND — The range of emotions always vary in a major league clubhouse on the day final cuts are made.

So it was with reliever Frankie Montas, who got the exciting news he made the A’s 25-man roster, and outfielder Jaff Decker, who was the last cut even after a terrific spring camp.

“This is going to be my first Opening Day,” Montas said, beaming. “I’m really excited to be here.”

The right-hander went through trying times last season, throwing just 16 innings in the Dodgers’ farm system while dealing with two separate fractured ribs. He came over in the Rich Hill/Josh Reddick trade (along with pitchers Jharel Cotton and Grant Holmes) and dazzled this spring, piling up 13 strikeouts and a 0.77 ERA in six appearances (11 2/3 IP).

His first phone call went to his mother, Gressel, in the Dominican Republic. She spent much of the spring in Arizona with Montas.

“She was screaming and crying,” Montas said. “I was like, ‘It’s OK, you’re gonna be here soon with me.’”

Decker singled Saturday to lift his spring average to .333, even after he got the bad news that he wasn’t making the roster. He shined all spring, playing all over the outfield. Had the A’s kept five outfielders, he would have been the fifth. Instead, they opted for eight relievers, as Montas and lefty Daniel Coulombe made the cut. This is the first Opening Day roster for Coulombe too.

A’s manager Bob Melvin said the conversation with Decker was his toughest of all the spring cuts, but Decker said the two had a good discussion.

“We had a couple good words with each other,” Decker said. “It’s kind of part of the business of baseball. You’ve got to carry an extra (pitcher) playing 20 games in (21 days to start the season). It kind of stinks, but it’s part of it. It’s nice to hear it from him. I’m gonna go down and do what I’ve gotta do to get back up here.”

The A’s are carrying seven players who are on their first Opening Night roster: Montas, Coulombe, fellow pitchers Raul Alcantara, Cotton, Sean Manaea and Andrew Triggs, and infielder Ryon Healy.


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. 

A's Jharel Cotton to undergo Tommy John surgery, miss 2018 season


A's Jharel Cotton to undergo Tommy John surgery, miss 2018 season

The A's will be without starting pitcher Jharel Cotton for the entire 2018 season as he is set to undergo Tommy John surgery. 

Cotton, 26, went 9-10 with a 5.58 ERA in 2017 after a rookie season in which he went 2-0 with a 2.15 ERA in five starts. Leading up to the injury, he was 0-1 with a 3.75 ERA over four appearances in spring training.

Watch Cotton react to the news: