Thames, reported target of A's, signs deal with Brewers


Thames, reported target of A's, signs deal with Brewers

MILWAUKEE -- The Milwaukee Brewers signed free agent Eric Thames, who spent the last three seasons in Korea, and designated slugging first baseman Chris Carter for assignment on Tuesday.

Carter tied for the National League lead in home runs with 41 in 2016, his one season with the Brewers. He is eligible for arbitration.

Carter will apparently be replaced by Thames, a first baseman-outfielder who signed a three-year contract with a club option for 2020.

The 30 year-old Thames hit .348 with 124 home runs, 379 RBIs and 64 steals in 388 games with NC Dinos of the Korean Baseball Organization.

General manager David Stearns said Thames' left-handed bat and versatility was a good fit in the lineup for the rebuilding club.

Thames spent two seasons in the majors, hitting. 250 with 21 homers with Toronto and Seattle in 2011-12. The Blue Jays drafted Thames in the seventh round of the 2008 draft.

Thames could add a left-handed contact hitter to the middle of Milwaukee's lineup, which is primarily right-handed. He was the most valuable player in the Korean league after becoming the first person in league history to have at least 40 home runs and 40 stolen bases.

The Brewers signed the 29-year-old Carter last season to a one-year, $2.5 million contract after he spent his three seasons with Houston.

He's likely in line for a raise for his 41 homers and 94 RBIs, despite hitting .222 in 160 games last season with the Brewers. Carter also had an NL-high 206 strikeouts.

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.