Source: Sonny Gray to pitch for Team USA in WBC

Source: Sonny Gray to pitch for Team USA in WBC

Sonny Gray will pitch for Team USA in this spring’s World Baseball Classic, a source confirmed to CSN California on Monday morning.

It will be the first time playing in the WBC for the A’s right-hander, who is looking to rebound from a tough 2016 season with Oakland. Gray said over the weekend he is feeling 100 percent after he spent two stints on the disabled list last season, one for a strained trapezius muscle and another for a strained forearm.

Team USA was in need of another starting pitcher after 2016 National League Cy Young winner Max Scherzer bowed out of the tournament with a fractured finger.

Gray becomes the fourth Athletic confirmed to play in the WBC, joining reliever John Axford (Canada), left fielder Khris Davis (Mexico) and reliever Liam Hendriks (Australia). They will report to spring training with Oakland before heading off to join their respective national teams in early March.

Though the A’s would not confirm Gray’s participation Monday morning, a spokesperson said the team would support Gray if he chose to play for Team USA. That falls in line with comments over the offseason from general manager David Forst that he wouldn’t stand in the way of any players who wanted to play in the WBC.

Major league teams have input in the decision-making if there’s an injury concern, so Gray’s participation shows the A’s don’t have reservations about his physical condition coming off his injuries. Gray said Friday he had thrown off the mound twice so far this offseason in advance of spring camp.

Pitchers are held to strict pitch counts for the WBC.

Should Gray show strong form in the first half of the upcoming season and the A’s not be in contention, it stands to reason he will be one of the hottest names in the rumor mill leading up to the Aug. 1 trade deadline.

The San Francisco Chronicle was first to report Gray would play in the WBC.

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.