A's sign, McCarthy, Devine to 1-year deals


A's sign, McCarthy, Devine to 1-year deals

The A's pitching rotation got a little deeper Tuesday with the announcement that right-handers Brandon McCarthy and Joey Devine signed one-year contracts, thus avoiding arbitration.

McCarthy will make 4.275 in 2012 and Devine 737,500, according to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle.

Both pitchers are hoping to prove they can avoid injury. McCarthy has been hampered by shoulder problems, missing significant parts of 2007, 2009 and 2010 with stress fractures in his shoulder. Devine is coming off Tommy John surgery and missed the 2010 and 2009 seasons.

Official press release:
The Oakland As agreed to terms with right-handed pitchers Brandon McCarthy and Joey Devine on one-year contracts for the 2012 season, the club announced today. McCarthy and Devine were the final two arbitration-eligible players on the As roster.

McCarthy had the best season of his six-year Major League career with the As last year as he was 9-9 with a 3.32 ERA in 25 starts. He posted career highs in wins, starts, complete games (5), innings pitched (170.2) and strikeouts (123) and career lows in ERA, opponents on-base percentage (.281) and opponents slugging percentage (.377). With 123 strikeouts and just 25 walks, he set an Athletics record for strikeout-to-walk ratio with a mark of 4.92. McCarthys average of 1.32 walks per nine innings was second-lowest in As history. The 28-year-old right-hander went 8-4 with a 3.15 ERA in 14 starts after the All-Star Break, tying for third in the American League in post-break wins and ranking eighth in ERA.

Devine returned to the majors for the first time in three seasons last year after missing the 2009 and 2010 seasons following Tommy John surgery. He began the season at Triple-A Sacramento but was recalled by Oakland May 20. Devine posted a 1-1 record and a 3.52 ERA in 26 relief appearances with the As before he was sent back to Sacramento July 27. The 28-year-old right-hander finished the season with the River Cats and was 4-0 with three saves and a 4.24 ERA in 23 appearances overall with Sacramento.

A's hire Matt Williams as third base coach


A's hire Matt Williams as third base coach

OAKLANDThe Oakland A’s named Matt Williams as third base coach on Bob Melvin’s coaching staff for the 2018 season, the club announced today.

Williams spent five seasons on the Arizona Diamondbacks coaching staff as first base coach (2010) and third base coach (2011-13, 16) and also managed the Washington Nationals for two seasons.  He was named National League Manager of the Year by the BBWAA in his first season as manager in 2014, guiding the Nationals to a 96-66 record and an NL East title.  He went 83-79 in 2015 for a 179-145 (.552) record in two seasons as manager.

Williams played 17 seasons in the majors with San Francisco (1987-96), Cleveland (1997) and Arizona (1998-2003).  He was a .268 career hitter with 378 home runs and 1218 RBI in 1866 games.  Williams was a five-time All-Star and won four Gold Gloves as a third baseman.

A's Media Services 

Ryon Healy trade has domino effect


Ryon Healy trade has domino effect

The A’s wasted no time making their first major move of the offseason, and it has a domino effect on how their 2018 lineup will take shape.

The trade of young slugger Ryon Healy to the Seattle Mariners on Wednesday paves the way for left fielder Khris Davis to start getting heavy at-bats as the designated hitter, the spot left vacant by Healy.

It also points to another move the A’s want to pull off — acquiring a right-handed hitting corner outfielder who presumably can eat up those defensive innings that Davis spends as the DH.

It’s a series of moves that isn’t all that surprising given the A’s roster makeup right now. Healy, who hit .282 with 38 homers in 221 games over his first two big league seasons, is capable of playing either first or third base. But Matt Olson and Matt Chapman secured those spots, respectively, with their solid showings as rookies last season.

“We’ve obviously talked a lot since the end of the season about adding to the bullpen,” A’s general manager David Forst said on a conference call Wednesday night. “At the same time, with the emergence of Matt and Matt, on the corners, maybe Ryon needed to be somebody we might have to move ...”

It makes sense for Oakland to find a way to shift Davis from being the everyday left fielder while still keeping his 40-homer bat in the lineup. Opponents have routinely taken extra bases the past two seasons on Davis’ throwing arm, and whether they add a newcomer to play left or shift Joyce or someone else there, chances are they can benefit from better defense in left.

The A’s also feel they got an important chip back from Seattle to help bolster a bullpen that ranked 13th in the American League last season with a 4.57 ERA. They received right-hander Emilio Pagan (along with minor league shortstop Alexander Campos), and figure that the 26-year-old Pagan is someone the A’s have pegged to be an immediate contributor in their ‘pen.

A 10th round draft pick in 2013, Pagan made his big league debut in 2017 and posted a 3.22 ERA over 34 games spread over four stints with Seattle. He endured a rocky first couple of outings but, after being called up for good in the second half, eventually worked his way into a late-inning setup role. Pagan struck out 56 and walked just eight in 50 1/3 innings, numbers that surely popped out to Oakland’s front office.

He’ll likely be called upon in middle relief to help set the table for Chris Hatcher and closer Blake Treinen, as the bullpen currently looks.

Campos, just 17, spent this past season in the Dominican Summer League, and Forst said the A’s were eyeing Campos last summer when they eventually traded Yonder Alonso to the Mariners. Oakland wound up getting center fielder Boog Powell back in that deal.

Did the A’s rake in enough for Healy? As with all trades, it will take time to judge. But it’s fair to say that Healy’s departure will be felt in a clubhouse that is characterized by the emergence of many young position players, and he was a part of that group. In fact, when Healy was called up in July 2016 — knocking Danny Valencia out as the regular third baseman — he became the first of several promising position-player prospects to establish himself in Oakland’s lineup.

He rented a house in the East Bay and eventually took in Chapman, Olson and Chad Pinder as roommates. There’s a fiery side to Healy’s on-field personality that was a positive for the A’s, and watching him play Oakland as a member of an AL West rival will make for entertaining theatre.

Another storyline is how Davis takes to being a regular DH. Forst praised Davis’ approach to his game and doesn’t anticipate any problems, adding that the A’s still want to get Davis some time in the outfield.