Athletics

A's would love to see Japanese star Ohtani land in National League

ohtani_ap_.jpg
AP

A's would love to see Japanese star Ohtani land in National League

Update: Shohei Ohtani agreed to sign with the Los Angeles Angels on Friday morning 

The A’s only made a cameo appearance in the Shohei Ohtani chase, but they’ve got plenty of interest in where the young Japanese star lands.

Three of Oakland’s American League West rivals are among the final seven teams in the running to sign Ohtani — the Los Angeles Angels, Seattle Mariners and Texas Rangers. Ohtani supposedly prefers the West Coast, and the Mariners acquired some extra international bonus pool money Thursday which could help sweeten their offer for him.

A’s general manager David Forst understandably is rooting hard for Ohtani to sign somewhere outside of the AL West.

“We’re watching with curiosity just like you guys are, hoping he ends up (in the National League) as opposed to somebody we face 19 times a year,” Forst said on a media conference call Thursday.

The A’s were among the majority of major league teams that spent time putting together a detailed presentation to pitch their team to Ohtani, as was requested by the player’s representatives. Forst summed up the A’s pursuit succinctly:

“We were involved for a couple days until we were told we weren’t.”

That was the case for all interested clubs outside of the lucky seven. So the A’s now shift their focus to the upcoming winter meetings, which get started Monday and run for four days at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort in Orlando, Fla.

Topping the A’s agenda is acquiring a right-handed hitting corner outfielder. Forst said he’s engaged in trade dialogue regarding outfielders but wasn’t predicting whether a deal gets done in Orlando.

“There are things we’ve been working on and maybe they’ve been somewhat held up by what’s going on,” Forst said. “I can’t tell you we’ll walk out of the Swan and Dolphin with an outfielder, but it’s something we’ve looked into.”

The delays Forst referred to are the unresolved situations regarding Giancarlo Stanton and Ohtani. There’s a sentiment that once those two players land somewhere, it will pave the way for more transactions to start happening in what’s so far been a slow offseason of activity around the majors.

An informed source indicated the A’s are indeed eyeing Cardinals outfielder Stephen Piscotty, who they’ve been linked to in previous reports. But St. Louis is competing with the Giants and perhaps the Dodgers to complete a trade with the Marlins for Stanton. Should the Cardinals get Stanton, it stands to reason they’d be more willing to deal Piscotty, who is under contract for the next five seasons at a very affordable $29.5 million.

The A’s plan to shift Khris Davis from left field to predominantly a DH role, and Forst said Oakland ideally would like someone who can play all three outfield spots. Piscotty happens to fit that bill, though he’s not their only option.

A lefty reliever is the other main item on the A’s wish list, though they’re also monitoring the starting pitching market.

On Thursday, they announced their two-year $10 million deal with one-time Giant reliever Yusmeiro Petit. He’s the second right-hander Oakland has added to the bullpen, joining Emilio Pagan, and Petit’s versatility was a big reason the A’s were interested in the 33-year-old.

“When you have a young starting staff and guys that have developing to do, (helping) them in the bullpen is a priority,” Forst said. “His ability to go multiple innings, go back-to-back days, spot start, all the things he’s done are incredibly valuable to us.”

To make room on the 40-man roster, the A’s designated for assignment second baseman Joey Wendle, who saw his opportunities decrease last season with the emergence of Chad Pinder and the top prospect status of Franklin Barreto.

Forst declined to address Wednesday’s news that the A’s negotiations to build a ballpark near Laney College fell through, other than to say the organization was “surprised.”

“We’re regrouping and figuring out the next step.”

A's trade Trayce Thompson back to the team that drafted him

A's trade Trayce Thompson back to the team that drafted him

Trayce Thompson is going back to where it all started for him.

The A's traded the 27-year-old outfielder to the White Sox on Thursday evening for a player to be named later or cash considerations. Thompson was drafted in the second round of the 2009 MLB Draft by Chicago.

Thompson's time in the same city his brother Klay plays in was short. He was claimed off waivers by the A's on April 5, got seven at-bats in three games and was designated for assignment on Tuesday.

During his brief stint with the A's, Thompson made a play that will likely be on the team's year-end highlight reel. Playing against the Dodgers, his former team, Thompson raced back to the center field wall in Dodger Stadium and robbed Yasiel Puig of a home run. Klay was pretty jacked up about the play.

In addition to trading Thompson, the A's also optioned reliever Lou Trivino back to Triple-A Nashville.

A's overcome multiple five-run deficits, walk off on White Sox in 14-inning marathon

A's overcome multiple five-run deficits, walk off on White Sox in 14-inning marathon

BOX SCORE

OAKLAND -- Tired as he was, Matt Olson had enough left to get the ball past the outfielders and end the third-longest game by time in Oakland Athletics history.

Olson singled over left fielder Nicky Delmonico to drive in Marcus Semien with two outs in the 14th and the A's beat the Chicago White Sox 12-11 in a wild game that lasted nearly six hours Wednesday.

"That was awesome to be in that long of a game, kind of back and forth," Olson said. "It was just like a heavyweight fight. We kept trading blows the whole game and then finally at the end we were able to get that one."

The teams combined for 555 pitches, 33 hits and 18 walks -12 by Chicago pitchers - in a game that lasted 5 hours and 48 minutes. The White Sox fell to 4-11, matching their worst start since 1997.

The A's trailed 6-1, 9-4 and 10-8, then gave up a tying run in the ninth before scoring the winning run off James Shields(1-1) five innings later.

"You really want it to end and guys have a tendency to want to be that guy to hit a home run," Oakland manager Bob Melvin said. "Sometimes that's why those games go a little bit longer is you don't have your typical approach. But we did in the last inning."

Semien singled with two outs in the 14th and stole second. After Shields walked Jed Lowrie and Khris Davis, Olson lined an 0-1 pitch deep to left, and Delmonico watched it go over his head.

"The longer the game went on the better I felt at the plate," Olson said of his first career game-ending hit. "It's one of those where you just need to find a way to push one across."

Lou Trivino (1-0) pitched three innings for his first major league win. He made his big league debut in a 10-2 win over Chicago on Tuesday.

Both bullpens got depleted. Shields was scheduled to start against Houston on Friday but instead became the 10th pitcher used by White Sox manager Rick Renteria.

The A's were down to their last reliever and even had outfielder Jake Smolinski warming up to pitch at one point.

"This game was the sign of a true fight," Renteria said. "It's a relentless effort to continually try and win every inning. Ultimately we go with James at the end."

Olson finished with four hits and three RBIs, Lowrie also drove in three and Mark Canha homered to help the A's complete the three-game sweep of the White Sox. Stephen Piscotty added two hits to extend his hitting streak to eight games.

"To keep battling through those extra innings, knowing it's approaching five hours, approaching six hours, shows a lot about the character of the guys on this team," Piscotty said.

Chicago lost its fourth straight despite a big day by leadoff hitter Yoan Moncada. Moncada hit his first career grand slam, scored three times and matched his career high of four RBIs.

BRUTAL START:
Neither starter made it out of the second inning. Oakland's Andrew Triggs retired four batters and allowed six runs on five hits with a hit batter. The right-hander had yielded five runs total in his first three starts. Carson Fulmer of the White Sox allowed a run in the first then gave up Canha's leadoff home run in the second followed by a single and two walks before getting pulled.

"We were both pretty lousy and the results showed it," Triggs said.

TRAINER'S ROOM:
White Sox: Kevan Smith (sprained left ankle) went 2 for 5 with two RBIs as part of his rehab stint with Triple-A Charlotte.

UP NEXT:
White Sox: Shields was scheduled to pitch against Houston on Friday in Chicago but that could change. Renteria said a decision has not been made yet.

Athletics: RHP Kendall Graveman (0-3, 9.87 ERA) pitches the opener of a three-game series against Boston on Friday at the Coliseum. Graveman has allowed four runs or more in each of his four starts this season.