Athletics

Down on the Farm: Former A's top power-hitting prospect claimed by Rangers

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USATSI

Down on the Farm: Former A's top power-hitting prospect claimed by Rangers

Renato Nuñez has the power to hit over 30 home runs in the majors. Those long balls won't be in an A's uniform. 

While on rehab assigment in Triple-A Nashville, Nuñez was claimed off waivers by the Texas Rangers. 

“Nuñez easily could hit 30-plus homers one day,” one American League scout said to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle. “He might strike out 150 times doing it, and he’ll never be a good defender, but on a second-division club that can give him 500 at-bats, he will provide offense.”

The 24-year-old showed off his big-time power potential at Triple-A last season. His 32 home runs with the Nashville Sounds were second in all of Minor League Baseball. He then came up with the A's for eight games and hit one more home runs, against his new team, but only batted .200 with eight strikeouts. 

After the 2015 season, where he hit .278 with 18 home runs and an .812 OPS at Double-A, Nuñez ranked as the A's No. 4 prospect by Baseball America. It was his highest prospect ranking since the A's signed him out of Venezuela for $2.2 million in 2010. 

The A's moved Nuñez up to Triple-A in 2016 and it was a big disappointment. His power was still there with 23 deep flies, but he slashed a lowly .228/.278/.412. His prospect ranking fell from No. 4 to No. 18. 

Before being claimed by the Rangers, Nuñez was ranked the A's No. 20 prospect by Baseball America and MLB Pipeline. 

There simply was nowhere to get Nuñez consistent at-bats in the major leagues. The third baseman is not good defensively at the hot corner or as an experimental outfield. He was not going to take time away from Matt Chapman or Matt Olson and his defense hampered his options. 

And still, it's really surprising the A's lost him for absolutely nothing. Over his minor-league career, Nuñez has hit 130 home runs. If he gets his at-bats and stays healthy, this could be a steal for the Rangers. 

The move also placed Tim Lincecum on the Rangers' 60-day DL with a blister on his middle finger. 

A's sign free-agent outfielder Robbie Grossman to one-year contract

A's sign free-agent outfielder Robbie Grossman to one-year contract

Spring training is here and the A's are adding to their depth in the outfield. 

The A's have officially signed outfielder Robbie Grossman, the team announced on Friday. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic was first to report the news on Wednesday.

Grossman, 29, hit .273 with a .751 OPS last season for the Twins. He was also worth 1.5 bWAR. 

[RELATED: Brett Anderson re-signs with A's on one-year contract]

The switch-hitter also brings versatility on defense. Grossman has experience at all three outfield positions. In 2018, he played 52 games in right field, 34 in left field and served as the DH 36 times. 

A's should target a pair of pitchers as Marlins' fire sale continues

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USATSI

A's should target a pair of pitchers as Marlins' fire sale continues

At the rate they're going, the Marlins might not be able to field a team on Opening Day.

Last week, Miami traded talented young catcher J.T. Realmuto to the Phillies, continuing their seemingly never-ending fire sale. As ESPN's Sam Miller pointed out, the Marlins have now traded 23 of their top 25 players in franchise history, based on WAR.

With Miami clearly tanking this year, there might be an opportunity for the A's to add some talent before the season starts. CBS Sports' R.J. Anderson listed nine players who could soon be shipped off by the Marlins. We've selected two the A's should target:

José Ureña - SP

José Ureña would have a chance to be the A's number one or two starter. The 27-year-old right-hander is coming off a solid 2018 season with the Marlins, going 9-12 with a 3.98 ERA and 1.18 WHIP in 174 innings.

Ureña was even better in 2017, finishing 14-7 with a 3.82 ERA. He has always had great stuff but has struggled a bit with his command. Getting out of Miami would probably serve him well, and what better place to pitch than the Oakland Coliseum?

Ureña will earn just $3.2 million this season and is under team arbitration control through 2021, making him even more attractive to a team like the A's. With Oakland's wealth of outfielders and prospects, a trade for Ureña wouldn't be unrealistic.

[RELATED: A's manager Melvin praises Luzardo's wicked breaking ball]

Dan Straily - SP

Dan Straily is another starter who could help solidify the A's rotation. The veteran right-hander began his career in Oakland, spending three seasons with the A's from 2012-14.

Last year, Straily went 5-6 with a 4.12 ERA and 1.30 WHIP in 122 1/3 innings. The 30-year-old has a career ERA of 4.23 in seven Major League seasons.

Straily is scheduled to make $5 million this season and has one more year of arbitration control. He could potentially slot in as the A's number three or four starter and likely wouldn't cost a whole lot to acquire.