Athletics

A's Blake Treinen out 4-6 weeks with back injury; Chris Bassitt to bullpen

A's Blake Treinen out 4-6 weeks with back injury; Chris Bassitt to bullpen

OAKLAND -- The A's will be without reliever Blake Treinen for the rest of the regular season, and likely the postseason as well.

An MRI revealed a stress reaction in Treinen's back, an injury he expects to sideline him for at least four weeks.

"They told me it's typically a 4-6 week type recovery process just to make sure it's all gone," Treinen told NBC Sports California. "So if I'm symptom-free for two weeks with my activities and then we try to push it a little bit and nothing happens, then I could be good for a (playoff) series. I don't really know. My biggest thing is just trying to keep my head down and focus on strengthening myself in the weight room in the right areas without aggravating it."

Treinen, 31, says his back issues intensified a few weeks ago. The right-hander initially thought he could pitch through the discomfort, but the MRI made it clear he couldn't.

"It's one thing to have aches and pains and then be able to get some type of soft-tissue work," Treinen said. "That's what we were doing, but nothing was relieved."

After an All-Star season in 2018, Treinen has struggled this year, going 6-5 with a 4.91 ERA, the worst of his career. Still, his injury leaves the A's bullpen a man down, which is why starting pitcher Chris Bassitt volunteered to help out in relief.

"I just said, 'Listen, if you guys need me out of the bullpen in between starts or whatever it is, I'll do it,'" Bassitt said. "I've done it before, so it's not a big deal for me."

On Wednesday, Bassitt began to warm up in the 11th inning of the A's 1-0 win over the Royals, preparing to pitch the 12th. That didn't end up being necessary, but the right-hander's presence in the pen should certainly help Oakland moving forward.

Said A's manager Bob Melvin: "The way guys are pitching -- (Sean) Manaea back in the rotation -- we need some more depth in the bullpen and Bassitt was the first one that volunteered to do it and was all for it. So he's going to do whatever he can to help the team."

Oakland has been employing a six-man starting rotation, with Manaea, Bassitt, Homer Bailey, Tanner Roark, Brett Anderson, and Mike Fiers all getting regular starts. That depth is what allowed this move to the pen.

Bassitt, 30, is 10-5 with a 3.95 ERA in 25 games this season, all starts. But he has spent time in the bullpen earlier in his career, including last season when he made four relief appearances.

[RELATED: A's continue to be incredible second-half team]

"You look at my career, most of my career is out of the bullpen, so it's a very easy transition for me," Bassitt said. "I feel really good and I can give them a break if they need it."

Added Melvin: "He's a competitor and he's done both. ... That's one thing about Chris -- he's real versatile. He's pitched out of the bullpen, he's pitched length, he's pitched a couple of innings, so he's added depth for us."

Source: Free agent second baseman Eric Sogard interested in A's return

Source: Free agent second baseman Eric Sogard interested in A's return

Having a lefty bat at the second base position continues to be one of the A's main focuses this offseason

That could mean reuniting with Eric Sogard. A source tells NBC Sports California the 34-year-old is open to returning to Oakland.

Sogard, currently a free agent, had an exceptional campaign in 2019 slashing .290/.353/.457 with 13 homers across 110 games with the Blue Jays and the Rays. He was part of the Tampa Bay squad that came to the AL Wild-Card Game in Oakland and celebrated in the visitors' clubhouse.

A's fans remember the outcome of that. 

The second baseman spent six seasons with the A's from 2010-15 where he accumulated a .239 average with eight home runs and 105 RBI. 

The A's traded second baseman Jurickson Profar to the Padres on Dec. 2, so they have a need at the position.

Despite picking up a talented second baseman during Thursday's Rule 5 Draft, the team will still seek a more prominent starter at the position. 

[RELATED: A's are focused on keeping young stars]

The A's reportedly are interested in bringing current Mets second baseman Jed Lowrie back for the third time -- but there are 10 million reasons as to why the Mets wouldn't make a trade.

Did we mention Sogard bats left-handed yet?

2019 MLB Rule 5 Draft: A's lose Mark Payton, acquire minor leaguers

2019 MLB Rule 5 Draft: A's lose Mark Payton, acquire minor leaguers

As teams headed down south to the Winter Meetings in San Diego, the two main goals for the A's appeared to be finding a left-handed bat at second base, as well as continuing conversations with relief pitchers.

While the A's didn't make any huge acquisitions during the meetings, the 2019 Rule 5 Draft came and went as it does every year. With that, Oakland selected three players in the minor-league phase of the draft and had a couple more transactions as well.

Second baseman Vimael Machin was acquired from the Phillies for cash considerations. He will be competing for a roster spot.

The 26-year-old slashed .295/.390/.412 with seven home runs and 65 RBI across the Double and Triple-A teams in the Chicago Cubs organization last season. 

Jason Krizan was selected from the Mets during the Triple-A phase. The 30-year-old outfielder hit .275 across two teams last season. 

The Athletic's prospect writer Emily Waldon says he's going to be a solid addition to the A's organization.

"His walk rate has always been impressive," Waldon told NBC Sports California. "He doesn't have a ton of swing and misses, with some raw power, with eight to ten home run seasons. He's also a dependable defender with a good veteran presence." Waldon also joked Krizan has "80-grade sarcasm."

The A's also selected catcher Jose Colina, who put up some massive numbers with the Arizona League Indians Blue after signing with Cleveland as a minor-league free agent in June. The 21-year-old slashed .372/.443/.744 with eight homers and 20 RBI.

Right-handed pitcher Deivy Mendez rounds the group out. In 25 appearances across Single-A and Short-A last season with the Padres organization, he went 2-1 with six saves and a 4.20 ERA, striking out 33. 

[RELATED: A's interested in acquiring Lowrie for third time]

The Cincinnati Reds selected outfielder Mark Payton, who was claimed off waivers by the A's in December of 2018. Payton was selected during the major league phase of the draft which, according to Waldon, has the A's losing some muscle at the plate.

However, scouts reportedly didn't see the 28-year-old "doing a great deal outside of filling some needs." That power is what has gotten the most talk around Payton. 

Payton took advantage of the PCL last season with Triple-A Las Vegas and slashed .334/.400/.653 with 30 home runs and 97 RBI in 118 games.