Urban: Quiet meetings don't mean A's offseason over

Urban: Quiet meetings don't mean A's offseason over

Dec. 8, 2010URBAN ARCHIVEA'S PAGE A'S VIDEOMychael Urban

LAKE BUENTA VISTA, Fla. -- A's assistant general manager David Forst was in an unenviable spot Tuesday and Wednesday at baseball's annual winter meetings.His boss, Oakland GM Billy Beane, is a master at saying very little in such an entertaining manner that is seems like he's saying quite a bit. Forst, while a fine prospective heir to Beane and a respected baseball man, either hasn't quite developed that particular skill or simply doesn't have the patience andor inclination to try to make something of nothing.So Forst, who's handling Beane's media responsibilities in the wake of the GM's Tuesday-morning departure from the meetings (for personal reasons), on Wednesday told it like it is and didn't bother to dress it up with the cultural references and irreverent humor favored by Beane.The A's haven't really done jack here outside of what baseball folks who haven't done jack like to call information-gathering, and Forst said as much.'We feel like we've learned a lot,' he offered said Wednesday night during an exceptionally short de-briefing with Bay Area writers in the team's hotel suite. 'Just because you're not going to complete or announce anything here doesn't mean it hasn't been productive.'So the to-do list that the A's brought to central Florida doesn't have a single item crossed off. They still need power, and in the wake of their failure to sign Japanese right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma before Monday's midnight deadline, they still need more options for the fifth spot in their starting rotation.
RELATED: A's, Iwakuma fail to reach agreement
Without saying the actual words, though, Forst seemed to send a message to A's fans frustrated by the lack of tangible action. Wednesday was Dec. 8, spring training is more than two months away, and the free-agent market -- Oakland's preferred method of doing business this winter -- figures to settle and set itself within the next several weeks.'I'm confident we will add players,' Forst said. 'We're committed to making upgrades, and I think we will.'With Daric Barton's status as Oakland's starting first baseman having been cemented by Forst's comment on the situation Tuesday, certainly one of the upgrades will come at designated hitter. The top target there is free agent Hideki Matsui, and his options dwindled by one Wednesday when Jack Cust -- Oakland's primary DH for the past four seasons -- signed with the Mariners.NEWS: SOURCE: Mariners reach 1-year deal with Cust
The A's met with Matsui's agent early this week, and he seems open to coming to Oakland because they appear to fit his reported criteria: regular playing time and playing for a legitimate contender.Are the A's really a contender? With Trevor Cahill, Brett Anderson, Gio Gonzalez and Dallas Braden fronting the rotation, a bullpen that might feature two legitimate closer types in Andrew Bailey and Joey Devine, and a punched-up offense, many in baseball think they can be.Adding another top offseason target, free-agent third baseman Adrian Beltre, certainly would help on the latter front. Beltre's agent, Scott Boras, suggested that ia deal remains a possibility Wednesday despite of reports that the A's recently withdrew their reported five-year, 64 million offer.'The door's not closed there,' Boras said while holding court before a pack of 30 or so reporters in a hotel hallway. Forst, sticking to the team's policy of silence regarding free agents, didn't bite when asked if the A's have ever put an offer back on the table after withdrawing it.'You're asking about a specific player and a specific situation,' he said with a knowing smile. 'I'm not going to get drawn into that.'Chavez door shut: Even if former A's third baseman Eric Chavez were to prove he's healthy and ready to contribute to a big-league team this season, he won't be back in Oakland.Reports surfaced Wednesday that Chavez, a free agent whose final four years with the A's were marred by a steady stream of injuries, surgeries and rehab, has drawn interest from the Pirates, among other teams.'I'm sure he'll find a spot if he wants to play,' Forst said. 'But like Eric himself said, he's probably better off going somewhere else to get a change of scenery.'Dribblers: Cust's signing also reduced the options of Vladimir Guerrero, another potential DH, but the Rangers remain the frontrunner to retain his services. '. Nothing significant to report on the quest for a fifth-starter candidate, Forst said. Non-tendered pitchers and six-year free agents are sure to be explored, and a trade hasn't been ruled out. ' The meetings close Thursday morning with the Rule 5 draft, but the A's aren't expecting to lose anyone in the big-league phase of it. ' Forst said the team's search for pop isn't limited to third base and DH. If a corner outfielder makes sense, they'll add him.

Hill to the Cavs? The best and biggest deal for the Kings is...


Hill to the Cavs? The best and biggest deal for the Kings is...

Is the George Hill era in Sacramento coming to and end? According to Shams Charania, the Kings might have an interested party in the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Hill signed a massive three-year, $57 million deal with Sacramento over the summer, but has yet to live up to the contract. Through 37 games, Hill is posting 10.5 points and 2.7 assists per game for Sacramento. Those numbers are down from 16.9 points and 4.2 assists he averaged last season as a member of the Utah Jazz.

If a deal between the two teams is going to happen, it might be more complex than just shipping the 31-year-old to Cleveland on the next flight. Here is a look at a couple of possibilities without going into potential 3-way deals.


Kings receive: Jae Crowder (3-years, $22 million), Iman Shumpert (2-year, $21.4 million - year-two a player option at $11 million)

Cavs receive: George Hill (3-year, $57 million), Malachi Richardson (2-year, $3 million with team option for third year)

Why Kings make deal: They land a very serviceable forward that instantly fills the team’s biggest need. At 27-years-old, Crowder is affordable and under contract for another two seasons, although he’s really struggled in his first season in Cleveland. Shumpert is coming off an injury and would likely opt out of his final year.

Why Cavs make deal: Hill instantly improves their backcourt. He can play the one of the two either as a starter or off the bench. Giving up tow wings might not be the best option, but Sacramento is going to want something of value back. Richardson is thrown into the deal to make salaries match.


Kings receive: Channing Frye (1-year, $7.4 million) Iman Shumpert (2-year, $21.4 million - 2018-19 contract a player option at $11 million)

Cavs Receive: George Hill (3-year, $57 million), Malachi Richardson (2-year, $3 million with team option for third year)

Why Kings make deal: Kings give up an asset in Richardson, but they shed Hill’s $19 million owed for 2018-19 season. If Shumpert opts in, the Kings still save $8 million off the books for next season.

Why Cavs make deal: Basically, they land Hill for a couple of spare parts. Richardson is


Kings receive: Jae Crowder (3-years, $22 million), Channing Frye (1-year, $7.4 million) Iman Shumpert (2-year, $21.4 million - 2018-19 contract a player option at $11 million)

Cavs receive: George Hill (3-year, $57 million), Kosta Koufos (2-year, $17 million with player option for second year), Malachi Richardson (2-year, $3 million with team option for third year)

Why Kings make deal: They land Crowder and a get out of jail free card on Hill’s contract. Koufos can opt out of his deal at the end of the season and the Kings get nothing. Throwing in Richardson isn’t ideal, but the Kings are deep at the two and they have to match roster spots.

Why Cavs make deal: They get an upgrade in the backcourt in Hill. They are also rumored to be in the market for a big and Koufos is a much more affordable option than DeAndre Jordan.

Did Quakes pull off 'steal' of MLS SuperDraft in Danny Musovski?

Did Quakes pull off 'steal' of MLS SuperDraft in Danny Musovski?

Not too long ago, former UNLV standout Danny Musovski was the darling of the mock draft. 

And rightfully so -- with 47 career goals in 88 appearances with the Runnin' Rebels, Musovski possesses a knack and nose for the goal that no MLS team can have enough of and thus an early selection in the MLS SuperDraft was expected. 

So when you examine the San Jose Earthquakes' first day of the 2018 SuperDraft, their selection of Musovski can be viewed one of two ways: it's either the steal/ best value of Day 1 at No. 30 or you're skeptical of why the 22-year-old who many experts had going in the top 10 fell all the way down the Quakes in the second round. 

Judging by the way those who know Musovski talk about him, it sounds like Earthquakes fans can lean toward the former. 

"Danny is a striker that we actually saw as one of the biggest prospects considering that over four years he had scored around 50 goals," said San Jose general manager Jesse Fioranelli via press release. "He is a player that we already knew because he was inside of our ecosystem. We are excited to have him at the club."

Fioranelli is talking about Musovski's time with San Jose Premier Developement League affiliate, Burlingame Dragons FC, in 2016 where the forward made a huge impact on a squad that made the PDL postseason fresh off his 12-goal year with UNLV. 

"Quakes got a steal by drafting Danny at No. 30," said his former Dragons FC head coach Eric Bucchere -- who spent last season as an assistant with San Jose affiliate Reno 1868 and founded Path2Pro Soccer thereafter. 

"He's an MLS-ready player with pace, a good soccer brain and knack for scoring goals," Bucchere said, adding that yes, perhaps Musovski's work during the combine wasn't steller, but those two days shouldn't overshadow the striker's upside. "Sometimes it's obvious why a player is good at scoring goals and sometimes you have to watch a player during the course of an entire season to really appreciate what makes him so good." 

There are some experts who point to Chris Wondolowski as a comporable skillset and physical build to Musovski -- a player who no-doubt can find the back of the net but won't blow you away with his athleticism. 

"The last point is that Danny showed more enthusiasm than any other player to join the organization, which was a determining factor for him to join us," Fioranelli said. 

Musovski was a four-year starter and two-time All-America selection for UNLV and the first Rebel to be selected in the Super Draft since Bradley Kamdem in 2016. During his senior season in 2017, he scored 15 goals (good for fourth in the nation) and added six assists in 16 appearances, earning Third Team All-America, First Team All-West Region, First Team All-Western Athletic Conference and Western Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Year honors.

Time, and training camp, will tell if Musovski will make an immediate impact with the main club. But he'll definitely have a spot with Reno 1868, the Quakes United Soccer League affiliate known for scoring goals in (record-setting) bunches.