Athletics

A's 2019 projections: Lou Trivino looks to build on first-half success

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AP

A's 2019 projections: Lou Trivino looks to build on first-half success

Editor's note: For the past few weeks, NBC Sports California has been analyzing a different A's player each day to project their numbers for next season.

For most of the 2018 season, Lou Trivino was untouchable.

The A's rookie reliever carried an 8-1 record and 1.25 ERA into August, along with four saves and 14 holds. Trivino struggled down the stretch, possibly due to fatigue, but still finished the year 8-3 with a 2.92 ERA and 1.14 WHIP, striking out 82 batters in 74 innings.

Trivino, 27, will look to build on that effort this coming season, as he figures to be the primary setup man for All-Star closer Blake Treinen. The 6-foot-5, 225-pound right-hander features a sinking fastball in the high 90s, as well as a nasty cutter in the low 90s and a low-80s curveball. That combination led eight-time All-Star Robinson Cano to shower him with praise:

Baseball Reference projects Trivino to go 5-3 with a 3.57 ERA and 1.21 WHIP in 2019. They predict 65 strikeouts and 24 walks in 63 innings.

We fully expect Trivino to return to his first-half form from last season. He dominated right-handed hitters and left-handers alike while giving the A's great length out of the bullpen. Now in his second Major League season, Trivino has a chance to be the best setup man in baseball and possibly even an All-Star.

Projection: 8-2, 2.04 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, 89 K, 26 BB, 77 IP

A's gain hope as City of Oakland drops lawsuit against Alameda County

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AP

A's gain hope as City of Oakland drops lawsuit against Alameda County

There's still a long way to go, but the A's are one step closer to getting a new stadium built in Oakland.

On Wednesday, the Oakland City Council directed the City Attorney to immediately drop Oakland's lawsuit against Alameda County, paving the way for the sale of the Coliseum.

"We are pleased that the Oakland City Council has directed the City Attorney to immediately drop this lawsuit," A's President Dave Kaval said in a team statement. "We are committed to the long-term success of East Oakland and the Coliseum site. We look forward to finalizing our agreement with Alameda County, and creating a mutually beneficial partnership with the City of Oakland."

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred previously had warned Oakland officials in October to drop the lawsuit for fear of losing the team to relocation.

With the lawsuit dropped, the City of Oakland and the A's can move forward on the sale of the Coliseum land, on which the A's intend to develop housing, shops, restaurants and a park that will help fund the Howard Terminal site.

A's pitcher Mike Fiers reveals Astros would steal signs electronically

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AP

A's pitcher Mike Fiers reveals Astros would steal signs electronically

The AL powerhouse Houston Astros have long been suspected of stealing signs, but new information came to light Tuesday.

In a feature from The Athletic, Ken Rosenthal and Evan Drellich reported that the Astros used a camera in center field during their 2017 World Series run to help steal signs electronically.

Yankees star Aaron Judge summed up the report succinctly.

A's pitcher Mike Fiers was on that Astros team, and earned a World Series ring of his own. Now with Oakland, he not only confirmed the setup of technology but also commented on how it was affecting the game. 

“I don’t know if we really had any hard proof, but I’m sure there was (some evidence of other teams’ conduct),” Fiers told The Athletic. “Going into the playoffs, we had veterans like Brian McCann -- we went straight to multiple signs (with our pitchers). We weren’t going to mess around. We were sure there were teams out there that were trying certain things to get an edge and win ballgames. I wouldn’t say there was hard evidence. But it’s hard to catch teams at home. There are so many things you can use to win at home.”

Fiers then added how there were some players who didn't like it, as they would prefer not to know what was coming. But clearly, there were guys that benefitted as well.

“I just want the game to be cleaned up a little bit because there are guys who are losing their jobs because they’re going in there not knowing,” Fiers said. 

After the story was released, the Astros released the following statement:

A former player told NBC Sports California on Tuesday most teams participate in stealing signs in some fashion, but the Astros flirt with the line of what is legal and what is not.

"The Astros are super talented," the player said. "But ... they will do whatever they need to do to get an edge."

[RELATED: Daniel Hudson potential trade target for A's]

"In my honest opinion, they got beat by their old bench coach Alex Cora," he continued. "He knew all the Astros secrets, weaknesses, everything. Then, this year it seemed like the Astros only hit well when pitchers were tipping pitches. It happened with [Stephen] Strasburg the first two innings of Game 6. He cleaned it up in between innings and Houston couldn't hit him."

"Teams steal signs, it's been happening for years," the former player added. "Astros take it to another level."

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