A's rookie Cotton honored by Pedro Martinez comparison

A's rookie Cotton honored by Pedro Martinez comparison

KANSAS CITY — Jharel Cotton’s reaction was equal parts appreciation and amazement when he saw the tweet from Pedro Martinez, where the Hall of Famer said Cotton reminded him of himself.

After Cotton threw seven scoreless innings against the Royals on Monday, Martinez — an MLB Network analyst — took to social media and tweeted: “Jharel Cotton reminds me a lot of myself. Nasty change up, nice cutter, same arm angle and rotation, and same grip I used to have.”

That was something for Cotton to hear, given that the A’s rookie right-hander says he used to watch Martinez pitch a lot on TV while growing up in the Virgin Islands.

“Growing up, he was like the first guy I watched,” Cotton said. “When I played video games, I’d always pitch with him. It’s pretty cool for him to say that about me.”

A’s manager Bob Melvin kidded with Cotton about the comparison Wednesday afternoon, but said:

“Who am I to argue that? You look at the pitch complement, and there are a lot of similarities there. It’s one heck of a compliment.”

However, the fact that Cotton wears No. 45 — the same number as Martinez wore for most of his career — is completely coincidental.

“Honestly, I didn’t even know that until he said it yesterday,” Cotton said. “And I was like, ‘Wow!’ I wear his number.’”

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.