Athletics

POLL: A's Memorable Moments -- 2012 AL West Title vs Scutaro's bases-clearing 2B in '06 ALDS

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AP

POLL: A's Memorable Moments -- 2012 AL West Title vs Scutaro's bases-clearing 2B in '06 ALDS

PROGRAMMING NOTE: NBC Sports California is looking back at the A's 50 Memorable Moments since the franchise relocated to Oakland in 1968. Below are the next two moments you can vote on. Tune into A's Pregame Live today at 6:30 p.m. to watch highlights of the two moments. After the A's and Angels conclude, tune into A's Postgame Live to see which moment will move on to the next round!

1. A's winning 2012 AL West title on final day of the season (Four-time winner --  Defeated Coco Crisp's walk-off single against Tigers in Game 4 of the 2012 ALDS)

(From A's play-by-play broadcaster Glen Kuiper)

On the morning of Sept. 25, 2012, the A's trailed the first place Texas Rangers by five games with nine to play. My thought, oh well, Wild Card game here we come. 

Six games later, the A's were two back with three to play. And the Rangers were coming to town for a season-ending three-game series. My thought, forget that Wild Card game, lets win this thing. 

The A's win the first two games of the series to catch the Rangers for 1st place. Then on Oct. 1, Game 162, all hell broke lose at the Coliseum. 

Getting ready to do the game that morning, I remember feeling nervousness, tension, but most of all excitement. Be at your best, don't screw anything up, don't start screaming in the 1st inning, and just enjoy the moment. The A's trailed 5-1 going to the bottom of the 4th inning, and I was concerned. I should have known better. That A's team had no intention of losing that day. Forget the Wild Card game, this division is ours. The A's scored six runs in the 4th inning, the final two runs scoring on a dropped fly ball in CF by Josh Hamilton. When something like that happens, you just know it is your teams' day. With the crowd going nuts the rest of the game, the Coliseum turned into a party zone. The A's won the game 12-5, and won the Division. 

It was by far the most fun series I have ever announced, capped of by Game 162. I had a sore throat for two weeks from yelling during our broadcasts, but it was well worth it.

VS.

2. Marco Scutaro's bases-clearing double in Game 3 of the 2006 ALDS against the Twins

(From Ben Ross)

Leading two games to none, and up 5-2 in the seventh inning, the A's were one swing away from burying the Minnesota Twins. Marco Scutaro provided that swing.

With the bases loaded and two outs, and more than 35,000 fans at the Coliseum chanting his name, Scutaro went opposite field for a three-run double to put the A's up 8-2, and all but clinch a spot in the American League Championship Series.

The A's went on to win Game 3, 8-3, to finish the sweep of the Twins. However, they ran into a buzzsaw in the ALCS, getting swept by the Detroit Tigers.

VOTE HERE:

A's Matt Chapman undergoes shoulder surgery, will swing again in six weeks

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USATSI

A's Matt Chapman undergoes shoulder surgery, will swing again in six weeks

Matt Chapman had his second surgery of the offseason on Friday and underwent a successful procedure on his left shoulder, the A's announced. 

The Gold Glove-winning third baseman will begin physical therapy next week, and is expected to be able to swing a bat in six weeks, according to Dr. William Workman, who performed the surgery. Six weeks from the surgery is Jan. 25, 2019, or about two weeks before the start of spring training. 

Chapman recently felt discomfort in his shoulder during off-season workouts, according to the A's. In October, Chapman underwent surgery on his left thumb, and was expected to make a full recovery. 

Chapman emerged as one of the most important A's last season, and arguably the best defender in baseball. He led all of MLB with 29 defensive runs saved, and was voted the winner of the AL Platinum Glove. 

The A's need his glove -- and his bat -- healthy for spring training, no matter how the rest of the offseason shakes out. 

A's in no hurry to sign starting pitchers as MLB free agency progresses

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AP

A's in no hurry to sign starting pitchers as MLB free agency progresses

Right at the beginning of this offseason, A's executive vice president of baseball operations Billy Beane identified starting pitching as the club's top priority. General manager David Forst and manager Bob Melvin both echoed that sentiment.

So why has the team yet to add a single starting pitcher?

"I don't think there's a need to be knee-jerk right now because some of these guys will still be on the board till the end," Melvin said at the 2018 MLB Winter Meetings this week in Las Vegas. "Our guys have been pretty good about identifying the right fits here. So it doesn't look great right now as far as our rotation, but I think our guys have a pretty good handle on it."

Added Forst: "We have sort of targeted conversations, free agents and trades, and kind of go at our own pace. I don't know that any external forces are going to change that."

[RELATED: Sources: A's, Kelley's reps have 'positive dialogue']

The A's did meet with several agents at the winter meetings, and they remain interested in a handful of starters, including Edwin Jackson, Trevor Cahill and Brett Anderson from last year's squad.

But while some teams feel a sense of urgency to wheel and deal at the winter neetings, Oakland preferred to take a more cautious approach.

"There are certainly good things about being [at the winter meetings], but we also want to get out, look at what we've done in the light of day and make sure it's the right thing," Forst explained.

Said Beane: "Things don't always get done [at the winter meetings], but a lot of groundwork is laid and a lot of things happen right after."

That explanation might not satisfy fans, but the strategy has worked for Oakland in the past. Last year, the A's waited until March to sign Trevor Cahill and Brett Anderson. They didn't add Edwin Jackson until June.

Even if other teams go out and spend big money on starting pitchers, Oakland won't let that affect its negotiations.

"We kind of set our price," Forst said. "We know what we can do within the confines of our payroll and try to stay on that."

[RELATED: Former A's top pick goes No. 1 overall in Rule 5 Draft]

As for the current roster, the A's actually do already have five or six viable starters. Everyone in the organization agrees top prospect Jesús Luzardo is ready to pitch at the big-league level. Add Daniel Mengden, Frankie Montas, Chris Bassitt and Paul Blackburn, and you have a starting five.

The A's also recently acquired 25-year-old right-hander Tanner Anderson from the Pirates, and they expect him to compete for a rotation slot. 22-year-old righty Grant Holmes is another possibility.

Of course, some of Oakland's best pitchers are injured, though prospect A.J. Puk and Jharel Cotton should be able to return midway through the season.

"We feel really good about the depth we have," Melvin said. "Now, granted, a lot of these guys are hurt right now, and you never really know how you're going to respond. But there's a whole host of guys who are going to be back (between) spring training (and) the end of the year that we're really excited about."

That's not to say the A's will fail to add a few more starters to the mix, either through free agency or trade. It just might not happen as soon as fans would like.

But remember, it's a long offseason.