Athletics

Report: Shawn Kelley 'almost became physical' with Nationals GM after outburst that led to trade

Report: Shawn Kelley 'almost became physical' with Nationals GM after outburst that led to trade

In 3.1 innings over four appearances with the A's, reliever Shawn Kelley has allowed just one hit and one walk. He has yet to allow a run. He should likely still be pitching for the Washington Nationals. But he's not. He's putting up those numbers for the A's instead.

Kelley found himself on the A's earlier this month after the Nationals designated him for assignment due to an outburst on the field. With Washington up 25-1 against the Mets on July 31, Kelley was brought into the game and gave up a three-run homer. He slammed his glove down and starred into his dugout, in apparent anger over manager Dave Martinez not defending him against bad calls by the home plate umpire. The next day, Kelley was DFA'd. On August 5, Washington traded him to Oakland for international slot bonus money.

Two weeks later, new details surrounding the incident on July 31 have emerged.

According to the Washington Post, Kelley was confronted by Nationals GM Mike Rizzo in the team's clubhouse at Nationals Park. Fellow veteran pitchers Max Scherzer and Ryan Madson also had words with Kelley. The encounter with Rizzo "became heated, including raised voices, and eventually it almost became physical," according to the publication.

The Post was able to get ahold of Kelley for comment regarding the incident:

“I hate to be seen as a guy that was showing up his manager or selfish because I’ve played 10 years and I’ve never been that guy. So I don’t think I’d start now. It’s an unfortunate set of circumstances but it is what it is so I’ll move on and make the best of it," Kelley told The post's Chelsea Janes.

Did Nathan Eovaldi's playoff heroics put him out of A's price range?

Did Nathan Eovaldi's playoff heroics put him out of A's price range?

No free agent made himself more money this postseason than right-hander Nathan Eovaldi.

The 28-year-old had a respectable regular season, going 6-7 with a 3.81 ERA and 1.13 WHIP between the Tampa Bay Rays and Boston Red Sox. His career numbers also are just decent: 44-53, 4.16 ERA, 1.35 WHIP.

But in 22 1/3 innings this postseason, Eovaldi allowed just four earned runs for an ERA of 1.61, helping the Red Sox win a World Series title.

Eovaldi's playoff heroics turned him into one of the hottest commodities of the offseason. He earned just $2 million in each of the last two seasons, but he's now projected to land a multiyear contract at around $15 million per season.

The A's obviously need starting pitching help -- executive vice president of baseball operations Billy Beane already has said as much. But spending big bucks on a sexy free agent target isn't exactly their MO.

Eovaldi would have been a shrewd signing for around $8 million per year, but $15 million is a pretty steep price to pay off one great month. Before this season, Eovaldi hadn't recorded an ERA under 4 since 2013. His high WHIP and low swing-and-miss rate also are concerns.

For the type of money Eovaldi is expected to get, the A's would be better off pursuing top-end starters such as Patrick Corbin and Dallas Keuchel, both of whom are expected to earn around $20 million per year. And really, what's an extra $5 million at that point?

Otherwise, Oakland probably should use that $15 million to sign multiple pitchers, including their own free agents.

Editor's note: This week across the NBC Sports Regional Networks, we'll be taking an in-depth look at some of the top free agents in baseball. Thursday is dedicated to free agent pitcher Nathan Eovaldi.

Will Phillies be in the mix for Nate Eovaldi?
How Eovaldi set himself up for big payday
How does Eovaldi fit the White Sox?
Will Giants take risk with Eovaldi?

MLB rumors: A's talking to former catcher Kurt Suzuki about possible reunion

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MLB rumors: A's talking to former catcher Kurt Suzuki about possible reunion

A familiar name recently has been mentioned with the A's.

Catcher Kurt Suzuki, who spent seven seasons with the team, reportedly has been approached by the organization about a possible reunion.

According to The San Francisco Chronicle's Susan Slusser, the 12-year veteran has interest from the green and gold about a deal next season.

Suzuki was granted free agency this offseason after finishing his 2018 campaign with the Braves slashing .271/.332/.444 with 94 hits and 12 home runs in 105 games. His resume includes an All-Star selection in 2015 with the Twins and two postseason appearances.

The A's traded Suzuki to the Nationals in 2012, then was reacquired by the A's in 2013 for a short stint.