The A's are desperate for help in their starting rotation headed into MLB free agency, and they reportedly tried to turn to a hometown kid to get some.
Oakland called Vallejo native CC Sabathia before he re-signed with the New York Yankees on a one-year, $8 million contract, according to FanCred's Jon Heyman. With Sabathia off the market, Heyman wrote that the A's are prepared to turn to another Yankee with Oakland ties: Sonny Gray.
Last month, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said the team entered the offseason "open-minded to a relocation" of Gray. The Yankees acquired Gray from the A's ahead of the trade deadline in 2017, in exchange for a package centered around outfielder Dustin Fowler and infielder Jorge Mateo.
Gray, 29, said playing for the Yankees was his dream, but the past year-and-a-half has been anything but that. In 41 appearances with New York, Gray is 15-16 with a 4.51 ERA and 1.50 WHIP. Gray particularly struggled at Yankee Stadium after the trade, posting a 6.55 ERA in 88 innings. In 107.2 innings away from Yankee Stadium, Gray posted a 2.84 ERA with the Bronx Bombers.
Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum is much friendlier to pitchers than Yankee Stadium is, as Gray can attest from his successful A's stint from 2013 to 2017. Considering that success (44-36 with a 3.42 ERA in 114 games) and how thin Oakland's rotation was down the stretch after a litany of injuries, it's easy to see why the A's might want to turn to a familiar face.
[ROSS: What A's can learn from previous MLB free agency bargains]
[SOURCE: A's hope to re-sign starting pitcher Edwin Jackson; four MLB teams also interested]
Dear dog people,
If you're not already a Daniel Mengden fan, you're about to become one.
The A's starting pitcher is currently with Oakland at spring training in Arizona, getting ready for the season ahead. But back in November, well, he was earning a save, just not in a baseball sense.
A major storm had been pummeling Houston, TX – where Mengden hails from – for days. As a result, two of man’s best friend found themselves in a very precarious position.
Two puppies – one male, one female -- had been stuck in a storm drain for multiple days, which was rapidly filling with water. When Mengden encountered the group that had originally noticed the animals, he snapped into action.
Mengden and another pedestrian combined to get the furry friends out of the drain and into helping hands.
If that doesn’t make you smile, well, maybe you’re a cat person.
But the story gets better: Mengden adopted the female puppy.
[RELATED: Grading the A's offseason with spring training underway]
The A’s bullpen is perhaps their biggest area of strength, but it can’t hurt knowing they have another player capable of coming up clutch with a critical save.
Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred expressed his confidence is the A's Howard Terminal site for a future ballpark on Tuesday, despite a recent report from the San Francisco Chronicle on hazardous chemicals and a costly cleanup.
“I am aware of some of the issues that have been raised with respect to the site,” Manfred said to reporters during a news conference at the Glendale Civic Center. “I’m optimistic that we’re going to find a way that the A’s and government officials in Oakland will find a way to work through those issues to everyone’s satisfaction."
Manfred praised the A's ownership and front office for their creativity in landing at Howard Terminal, too.
“I give (owner) John Fisher and (president) Dave Kaval really high marks for the level of effort, creativity and commitment they have put into the project in terms of trying to find a site in Oakland that’s workable. They deserve a ton of credit.”
The A's have long been looking for a new ballpark. It seems every year, we hear rumblings of either a new location in Oakland, or a possible relocation outside of the Bay Area. Manfred made one thing clear -- he wants the team right here in Oakland.
[PHOTOS: Howard Terminal ballpark and Coliseum site redevelopment renderings]
“I think it’s important for us to stay in Oakland,” he said. “Most fundamentally because of our commitment to communities. But, you know, Oakland is a major-league market. We should have a club there.”
The A's moved from Kansas City to Oakland in 1968, and have remained at the Coliseum -- with its many names -- ever since.