Athletics

MLB issues statement on A's Bruce Maxwell kneeling during national anthem

MLB issues statement on A's Bruce Maxwell kneeling during national anthem

A's catcher Bruce Maxwell made history Saturday night in Oakland. The 26-year-old became the first player in big-league history to kneel during the national anthem. 

Below is the official statement from Major League Baseball:

Major League Baseball has a longstanding tradition of honoring our nation prior to the start of our games. We also respect that each of our players is an individual with his own background, perspectives and opinions. We believe that our game will continue to bring our fans, their communities and our players together.

MLB media services contributed to this report

What does the Jeurys Familia trade mean for the A's?

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What does the Jeurys Familia trade mean for the A's?

Billy Beane and David Forst insisted the A's would be buyers at the trade deadline, and Saturday they followed through on that promise.

The A's acquired 28-year-old reliever Jeurys Familia from the Mets in exchange for minor leaguers Bobby Wahl and Will Toffey, along with $1 million in international slot money. Familia is owed a little over $3 million for the rest of the season, before he's set to become a free agent.

"Adding a reliever right now was the best option," said A's general manager David Forst. "We thought (Familia) was the best guy out there."

"For already having a good bullpen, to be able to bring in an arm like this, it's pretty significant," added manager Bob Melvin.

Perhaps most importantly, the A's were able to acquire Familia, a former All-Star closer, without losing any of their top prospects.

Wahl, 26, has had a strong season for Triple-A Nashville, going 3-2 with a 2.27 ERA. But, minor-league relief pitchers are typically expendable, especially with Oakland's depth at the position. 

Toffey, 23, was ranked as the 17th-best A's prospect by MLB.com this year. Of course, Oakland appears set at third base for many years to come with Matt Chapman manning the hot corner.

Familia makes the A's bullpen arguably the best in all of baseball. Oakland already had a tremendous 'pen, with Blake Treinen and Lou Trivino helping the team to a perfect 38-0 record when leading after seven innings, and 46-0 when leading after eight. With the addition of Familia, the A's have essentially shortened the game to six innings.

"(This bullpen) is as good as any one I've had," Melvin said. "After the fifth or sixth inning, we can pull the plug and run a bunch of closers out there,"

Added Forst: "We're still talking about (adding) a starter, but it's a tough market for starters," Forst said. "Some of them are expensive, both in acquisition cost and dollars, This is a way to continue to shorten up the game and help our starters that way."

Whether the A's trade for another starting pitcher or not, they have shown with this trade that they are going for it this season. And that has to make fans excited.

A's acquire Mets reliever Jeurys Familia

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A's acquire Mets reliever Jeurys Familia

UPDATE (1:30 p.m. PT): The trade is now official, and the story has been updated to reflect that. 

The Oakland A's bolstered their bullpen on Saturday, acquiring right-handed reliever Jeurys Familia from the New York Mets in exchange for a prospect, a Triple-A reliever, and international slot money, according to multiple reports. 

Familia's posted a 2.88 ERA and 1.23 WHIP across 40 2/3 innings this season. He has 17 saves (tied-for-17th in MLB entering Saturday) in 21 opportunities in 2018.  The 28-year-old is set to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season, and the A's will pay his remaining $3 million salary, according to The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal.

23-year-old third baseman Will Toffey, an A's fourth-round pick in the 2017 draft, and 26-year-old reliever Bobby Wahl will head to the Mets. Toffey's batting .244 with 5 homers and 32 RBI in Single-A this season. Wahl, who pitched 7 2/3 innings in seven appearances with the A's last season, has a 0.86 WHIP in 39 2/3 innings with Triple-A Nashville this year. 

The A's will also send $1,000,000 in international slot money to the mets. 

The San Francisco Chronicle's Susan Slusser first reported on Friday that Oakland was interested in Familia. The A's reportedly emerged as frontrunners for Familia Friday evening.