Athletics

MLB Rumors: Ex-A's reliever Shawn Kelley agrees to deal with Rangers

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MLB Rumors: Ex-A's reliever Shawn Kelley agrees to deal with Rangers

Shawn Kelley won't be back with the A's next season, but he reportedly will be staying in the American League West.

The 34-year-old reliever has agreed to a contract with the Texas Rangers, according to multiple reports.

MLB.com's Mark Feinsand reports the deal is worth $2.5 million, with a $2.5 million club option for 2020. Feinsand notes Kelley could earn close to $3 million based on performance bonuses.

NBC Sports California reported last week that Kelley was unlikely to return to Oakland, despite his stellar performance last season. The right-hander went 1-0 with a 2.16 ERA and 0.78 WHIP in 19 games with the A's. In 54 games between Washington and Oakland, he was 2-0 with a 2.94 ERA and 0.90 WHIP.

The A's did have conversations with Kelley's representatives earlier this offseason, but not since signing veteran right-hander Joakim Soria to a two-year, $15 million deal last month. While Oakland had hoped to bring Kelley back, they identified starting pitching as a higher priority.

The A's still figure to have a strong bullpen, which will feature All-Star closer Blake Treinen, Lou Trivino, J.B. Wendelken, Fernando Rodney, Ryan Buchter, and Soria, among others. However, it's a bit surprising they were willing to bring back Rodney for $5.25 million, but not Kelley at about half that price.

Oakland remains interested in adding another left-handed reliever to join Buchter in the 'pen, though nothing appears imminent.

A's vs. Indians lineups: Khris Davis out again to begin Cleveland series

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A's vs. Indians lineups: Khris Davis out again to begin Cleveland series

The A's carry a three-game winning streak into Cleveland as they open a three-game series with the Indians on Monday.

Oakland will once again be without designated hitter Khris Davis, who has been battling a left hip contusion since crashing into the left-field side wall in Pittsburgh more than two weeks ago. The 31-year-old missed Saturday's game in Detroit before returning to the lineup on Sunday and going 1-for-4.

Davis' swing has clearly been affected by the hip ailment, as he is failing to generate the same torque we're used to seeing. He has also noticeably grimaced on multiple occasions.

Mark Canha will fill in as the A's DH and bat sixth in the lineup. Stephen Piscotty moves up to the cleanup spot and Jurickson Profar will bat fifth.

Left-hander Brett Anderson takes the hill for Oakland, looking for his fifth win of the season. He has found previous success against the Indians, going 3-0 with a 0.82 ERA and 0.76 WHIP in five career starts.

Cleveland will counter with right-hander Carlos Carrasco, who has had his own success against the A's. In six career starts against Oakland, Carrasco is 4-1 with a 2.89 ERA and 0.84 WHIP. 

[RELATED: Piscotty proving he's A's X-factor]

Here are the full lineups for the A's-Indians game, which will be broadcast on NBC Sports California and the MyTeams app. Coverage begins at 2:30 p.m. PT, with first pitch at 3:10. 

Oakland A's (22-25)

Marcus Semien, SS
Matt Chapman, 3B 
Matt Olson, 1B 
Stephen Piscotty, RF 
Jurickson Profar, 2B 
Mark Canha, DH
Robbie Grossman, LF 
Ramón Laureano, CF 
Josh Phegley, C

Brett Anderson, LHP (4-3, 4.41 ERA)

Cleveland Indians (25-20)

Francisco Lindor, SS
Jason Kipnis, 2B
Carlos Santana, 1B
Jordan Luplow, RF
José Ramírez, 3B
Roberto Pérez, C
Carlos González, DH
Oscar Mercado, LF
Leonys Martin, CF

Carlos Carrasco, RHP (4-3, 4.18 ERA)

Stephen Piscotty proving he's A's X-factor, despite power-bat surroundings

Stephen Piscotty proving he's A's X-factor, despite power-bat surroundings

While sluggers like Khris Davis, Matt Chapman, and Matt Olson garner most of the attention in the A's lineup, manager Bob Melvin has often said that Stephen Piscotty is truly the X-factor.

After a somewhat pedestrian start to the season, Piscotty is beginning to heat up, and that is great news for the A's. The 28-year-old went 2-for-4 with three RBI on Sunday in Detroit, including the go-ahead two-run double in the seventh inning to give Oakland a 5-3 lead in a game suspended by rain.

Piscotty has now reached base safely in 15 consecutive games and has gone 8-for-18 with three doubles and four walks in his last five contests.

"I feel like, while I'm not at my best, I've still been able to operate and have some good at-bats," Piscotty told reporters Sunday. "Still a little bit of work to go, but I'm seeing the ball well. I was able to get a couple of walks the other day. That's big for me. That's a good sign that I'm seeing the ball well."

When Piscotty is at his best, he adds much-needed length to the Oakland lineup. He can be a serious power threat in the fifth or sixth spot in the order, as he showed last year, belting a career-high 27 home runs, 41 doubles, and 88 RBI.

For the season, Piscotty is now slashing .263/.337/.409 with five homers and 22 RBI. Last year, he got off to an even slower start than he did this season, hitting just .227/.286/.349 through the month of May.

Piscotty caught fire midway through the season and that's when the A's really took off last year. He amassed 24 home runs from June through September, ranking near the top of the league. If Piscotty can pick up the power in a similar way this year, the A's will take their production to another level.

[RELATED: A's starting pitching beginning to turn around]

To really understand Piscotty's value in the lineup, just look his offensive numbers in wins versus losses. In A's victories this season, Piscotty is slashing .337/.383/.523. That line falls to .188/.291/.292 in Oakland's defeats.

The A's hope Piscotty's recent success marks the start of an extended hot streak into the All-Star break and beyond. His bat makes Oakland's lineup nearly impossible for pitchers to navigate, with dangerous hitters lurking from top to bottom.