Athletics

Brandon Moss explains why he's apprehensive about re-joining A's

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Brandon Moss explains why he's apprehensive about re-joining A's

The A's added 22 home runs and 50 RBI to their lineup when they brought back veteran Brandon Moss on Monday.

But while Moss had three productive seasons with the A's from 2012 through 2014, his role with the 2018 A's ballclub is unclear.

Moss spent most of the 2017 season serving as Kansas City's designated hitter, but Khris Davis, coming off back-to-back 40+ homer seasons, is entrenched as the A's DH.

As for first base, Matt Olson has that on lockdown after he broke out with 24 home runs last season. And the A's have a plethora of outfield options.

So where does the 34-year-old Moss fit? He was wondering the same thing when he appeared on MLB Network on Wednesday morning.

"Obviously, I'm excited about it. I'm a little apprehensive. I don't know how it's going to play out. I'm just going to go to spring training and hope that it works out and hope that there is a spot. That's all you can really do as a player," Moss said on Hot Stove.

Moss wasn't buying it when host and former major leaguer Harold Reynolds suggested that Moss is already penciled into the middle of the A's lineup.

"I don't see how that's possible. They got a lot of guys that do exactly what I do over there. I hope it works out because I absolutely love Oakland. All my best memories are in Oakland. Obviously, I love Kansas City, it was a beautiful ballpark, I love my teammates, made some really good friends there, but Oakland is definitely a place that suits me well," Moss said. "I can only control what I can control. I'm gonna go out and try to have a good spring training and at least make their decision difficult."

Moss is slated to make $7.25 million in 2018 with the Royals picking up $3.25 million. He has a $10 million mutual option for the 2019 season with a $1 million buyout.

A's top prospect ranking: Why Nick Allen comes in at No. 10 overall

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A's top prospect ranking: Why Nick Allen comes in at No. 10 overall

Editor's note: Over the next two weeks, we will examine the top 10 prospects in the A's organization. For each player, we will provide a scouting report and a realistic timetable for reaching the major leagues, as well as what he needs to do to stay there.

No. 10 - Nick Allen, SS/2B

The A's selected Allen out of high school in the third round of the 2017 MLB Draft and he is beginning to develop into the shortstop they hoped he would be. At just 5-foot-9, the 21-year-old is far from imposing physically, but he is a defensive wizard.

Allen has tremendous range and a cannon for an arm, with MLB Pipeline assigning him a 65 fielding rating on the 20-80 scale and an arm grade of 60. There has never been any question about his defensive ability, which is already MLB quality. Now he's beginning to show improvement at the plate as well.

Allen struggled in 2018 at Class-A Beloit, slashing just .239/.301/.302 in 121 games. But this past season at High-A Stockton, that slash line shot up to .292/.363/.434, with improved power numbers across the board.

Allen also has above-average speed, with a 60 rating from MLB Pipeline. He stole 37 bases in 193 games over the past two seasons.

Allen can play shortstop and second base, both potential positions of need for the A's in the near future. Marcus Semien is set to become a free agent after the 2020 season and Jurickson Profar is far from a sure thing to return. Youngsters Jorge Mateo, Franklin Barreto, and Sheldon Neuse could also be options at the middle infield positions, but Allen has a great chance to earn a spot down the road.

Realistically, Allen doesn't figure to join the A's until at least 2021, with 2022 seeming more realistic. He just turned 21 earlier this month and has yet to play a single game above High-A.

Allen will likely start the 2020 season at Double-A Midland, with an opportunity to move up to Triple-A Las Vegas, based on his performance. If he continues to progress offensively, he could certainly earn a major league call-up at some point in 2021.

[RELATED: Why A's should move on from Grossman]

Allen has already added some strength, which has been reflected in his increased productivity at the plate. He will need to continue his work in the weight room, without losing his speed, which should be his biggest weapon offensively.

While Allen will never be a power-hitter, he can use his speed to wreak havoc on the basepaths. If he maintains his magical defensive prowess, he has an opportunity to develop into a solid major leaguer for Oakland.

A's closer Liam Hendriks a finalist for AL Reliever of the Year award

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A's closer Liam Hendriks a finalist for AL Reliever of the Year award

A's closer Liam Hendriks is one of three finalists for the Mariano Rivera American League Reliever of the Year Award.

Hendriks is joined by Astros closer Roberto Osuna and Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman. The NL finalists are Josh Hader, Will Smith, and Kirby Yates.

Hendriks, 30, enjoyed a breakout season in 2019, recording a 1.80 ERA and 0.96 WHIP. The right-hander notched 124 strikeouts in 85 innings, an A's franchise record for relievers, compared to just 21 walks.

Hendriks took over closing duties from Blake Treinen in the middle of the season and finished with 25 saves, along with eight holds. His 124 punchouts led AL relief pitchers and his 1.80 ERA ranked second among AL relievers with at least 40 innings.

Osuna posted a 2.63 ERA and 0.88 WHIP, with 73 strikeouts in 65 innings. Chapman finished with a 2.21 ERA and 1.11 WHIP, striking out 85 in 57 innings.

[RELATED: Hendriks' energy a big part of A's success]

The voting will be conducted by a panel of eight all-time great relief pitchers: Mariano Rivera, Trevor Hoffman, Dennis Eckersley, Rollie Fingers, Bruce Sutter, Lee Smith, John Franco, and Billy Wagner. Both the AL and NL awards will be presented on October 26, before Game 4 of the World Series.