Athletics

Beane: A's won't add pitching to cover for Gray's injury

Beane: A's won't add pitching to cover for Gray's injury

MESA, Ariz. — As tough as it was for the A’s to lose Sonny Gray for the start of the season, the team has no plans right now to seek rotation help from outside the organization.

Billy Beane made that clear Friday afternoon, as Oakland’s top baseball official said he was confident in the internal depth to cover for Gray, who’s expected to miss the first month of the season with a strained lat muscle.

“We’re not currently looking that way,” Beane said during an informal media lunch. “I don’t think it’s necessarily a fertile market to be diving into right now anyway this time of year. I think we prefer to stay in-house and give maybe somebody an opportunity.

“Hopefully it’s temporary and short term.”

Kendall Graveman, Sean Manaea and Jharel Cotton will be the front three starters in Gray’s absence, with Jesse Hahn, Andrew Triggs and Raul Alcantara the top candidates for the last two spots, and young pitchers such as Daniel Gossett and Paul Blackburn providing insurance. Daniel Mengden, another young starter, broke his foot shortly before camp and is still in a walking boot.

Among other topics Beane touched on:

—He’s been as impressed as anyone with his top prospect, middle infielder Franklin Barreto, who’s having a terrific camp. But Beane reiterated that the A’s want Barreto to get a bit more minor league seasoning.

“He’s had a great camp, and you can see he’s a pretty talented guy,” Beane said. “But he only played a month at Triple-A last year. He probably needs some more drills at second base. he seems to be pretty comfortable over there right now. With Marcus at short, it’s probably his quickest path to the big leagues. … Once we get into the season, assuming he continues to improve and play the way he does, he’ll be putting pressure on us.”

Beane also noted that coaches rave about Barreto’s work ethic.

—Beane says he envisions Ryon Healy being a regular in the daily lineup, regardless of whether it’s at first base, DH or third base, referencing the “energy” that Healy brings to the club.

—The fact that Alcantara is out of minor league options will definitely be a consideration in choosing the final pitchers for the 25-man roster, but that factor won’t outweigh performance if someone is clearly pitching better, Beane said.

Alcantara took the ball for Friday’s start against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

MLB Hot Stove: James Paxton acquired by Yankees for three prospects

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AP

MLB Hot Stove: James Paxton acquired by Yankees for three prospects

The Hot Stove is lighting up.

The Yankees have acquired starting pitcher James Paxton from the Mariners for three prospects: Yankees No. 1 pitching prospect Justus Sheffield, outfielder Don-Thompson Williams and right-handed pitcher and Erik Swanson.

He will join a rotation that includes Luis Severino, CC Sabathia and Masahiro Tanaka. Not bad.

And what does that mean for Bay Area teams? Well -- the A's get a slight confidence boost knowing Seattle has one less threat in the American League West. Which is good considering the lefty was throwing his career-best 11.68 K/9 rating in 2018 . His ERA spiked slightly, but he had an insane amount of power he was throwing to last season. But that didn't stop him from tossing a no-hitter on May 8, becoming the first Canadian pitcher to do so.

Oh, and an eagle landed on him, too:

Pretty sure no other pitcher can say that.

Report: Pursued by A's, Kurt Suzuki agrees to contract with Nationals

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USATSI

Report: Pursued by A's, Kurt Suzuki agrees to contract with Nationals

It appears the original report on former A's catcher Kurt Suzuki possibly making a return to Oakland will not come to fruition.

According to MLB.com executive reporter Mark Feinsand, the 12-year veteran catcher has agreed to a two-year contract with the Nationals.

The details of the deal, according to The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal:

Suzuki spent two seasons with the Nats, where he slashed .239/.297/.344 with eight home runs and 50 RBI in 122 games in 2012 and 2013. He was acquired from the A's by Washington in 2012.

The San Francisco Chronicle's Susan Slusser originally reported the 35-year-old was approached by the A's about a possible one-year deal next season after he recently was granted free agency by the Braves.