Athletics

A's should target a pair of pitchers as Marlins' fire sale continues

strailymarlinsusatsi.jpg
USATSI

A's should target a pair of pitchers as Marlins' fire sale continues

At the rate they're going, the Marlins might not be able to field a team on Opening Day.

Last week, Miami traded talented young catcher J.T. Realmuto to the Phillies, continuing their seemingly never-ending fire sale. As ESPN's Sam Miller pointed out, the Marlins have now traded 23 of their top 25 players in franchise history, based on WAR.

With Miami clearly tanking this year, there might be an opportunity for the A's to add some talent before the season starts. CBS Sports' R.J. Anderson listed nine players who could soon be shipped off by the Marlins. We've selected two the A's should target:

José Ureña - SP

José Ureña would have a chance to be the A's number one or two starter. The 27-year-old right-hander is coming off a solid 2018 season with the Marlins, going 9-12 with a 3.98 ERA and 1.18 WHIP in 174 innings.

Ureña was even better in 2017, finishing 14-7 with a 3.82 ERA. He has always had great stuff but has struggled a bit with his command. Getting out of Miami would probably serve him well, and what better place to pitch than the Oakland Coliseum?

Ureña will earn just $3.2 million this season and is under team arbitration control through 2021, making him even more attractive to a team like the A's. With Oakland's wealth of outfielders and prospects, a trade for Ureña wouldn't be unrealistic.

[RELATED: A's manager Melvin praises Luzardo's wicked breaking ball]

Dan Straily - SP

Dan Straily is another starter who could help solidify the A's rotation. The veteran right-hander began his career in Oakland, spending three seasons with the A's from 2012-14.

Last year, Straily went 5-6 with a 4.12 ERA and 1.30 WHIP in 122 1/3 innings. The 30-year-old has a career ERA of 4.23 in seven Major League seasons.

Straily is scheduled to make $5 million this season and has one more year of arbitration control. He could potentially slot in as the A's number three or four starter and likely wouldn't cost a whole lot to acquire.

A's Stephen Piscotty to honor father Mike for 'Coaching Corps' Awards

piscottyusatsi.jpg
USATSI

A's Stephen Piscotty to honor father Mike for 'Coaching Corps' Awards

Stephen Piscotty spends his days roaming the outfield for the A's. But long before he sported the green and gold, he was a little leaguer being coached by his dad, Mike. 

"He had a little bit of that military-style -- very serious, regimented coaching style which was great for us kids growing up, Stephen said about Mike to NBC Sports California. "There was a time to have fun, but there was a time to be serious. He had a good way of teaching young kids how to play."

Stephen will honor his dad Thursday night during the sixth annual "Coaching Corps Game Changer Awards" presented by Levi's, where top Bay Area athletes honor influential coaches and mentors.

Stephen would play up a level throughout his playing career, beginning with little league. And the way he was coached by his dad is something he still uses to this day.

Mike, at times, would be the manager of three different teams for each of his sons -- that meant more than just switching hats and jerseys. 

View this post on Instagram

Home sweet home! Go A’s!

A post shared by Stephen Piscotty (@spiscotty) on

His kids (all 15 of them if you counted his sons and the kids on the team) would come over, eat pizza and watch "The Sandlot" -- all the essentials you need for a successful little league season.

"Baseball gave me a platform to teach character -- just like you're teaching character to your children," Mike told NBC Sports California. "Things are going to go great and there's going to be controversy at times."

"Baseball gave me the opportunity to parent, just like you would coaching," Mike said.

Having his dad as a coach was all Stephen knew. So much so, when Mike wasn't around, it was "weird."

The weirdness, if you will, became apparent when Stephen went to college.

"That's where things really changed because he's not there every day and I'm around college coaches that know a fair amount," Stephen said. "I want to be very open to coaching and trying those things, but he's not there to go through it with me."

But dad was watching from afar. 

"That parenting approach I would take with my boys was pretty much the same with coaching," Mike said. "It was easy for me to do that because it was just an extension of my home to the field."

"Part of it is a success as an individual. Developing your skills, being able to have a great game, making a great play, having a fantastic hit or something and being able to enjoy that."

Mike believed that isn't something you can learn on your own, he believes it's something he helped Stephen with.

"[Stephen] reveled in it."

Turning his coaching hat into being simply being a dad and a supporter doesn't change the way Mike views the game. He still notices things. That's what happens when you've coached for as long as he has. 

Mike then detailed the moment he got the call that Stephen would officially be a Major League baseball player. 

"The emotions are just incredible," Mike said. "Very fulfilling and really a lot of fun. You can really enjoy it, I've learned."

As Mike watches Stephen on the big league diamond, he is overcome with memories of the days where they would use a wiffle ball bat in the backyard. 

"All those days we would spend at the field -- it's very satisfying," Mike said. "But life keeps going on. It's a great moment, but now that set up more great moments."

"Life's a journey. You don't ever stop coaching. You're always mentoring, you're always coaching. Baseball gave me the opportunity to parent, just like you would coaching."

[RELATED: Three A's prospects make Baseball America's top 100 list]

And no matter where he goes, Stephen knows his dad was there from the very beginning.

"He was my first coach, and he got me off to a tremendous start and developed the passion and love I have for the game," Stephen explained. "That's why I'm choosing to honor him."

You can donate to the "Coaching Corps Game Changer Awards," here

“Coaching Corps Game Changer Awards” presented by Levi’s airs Tuesday, January 28 at 7:30 p.m. on NBC Sports Bay Area

Three A's prospects named to Baseball America's top 100 for 2020 season

Three A's prospects named to Baseball America's top 100 for 2020 season

The A's have one of MLB's best young cores in third baseman Matt Chapman, shortstop Marcus Semien and first baseman Matt Olson. Add in pitchers Sean Manaea and Frankie Montas and it's clear why this team keeps knocking on the door as a contender. 

The future for Oakland already is here, too. That sentiment was reinforced Wednesday when Baseball America released its latest list of their top 100 prospects before the 2020 season. 

Pitchers Jesus Luzardo (nine) and A.J. Puk (21), and catcher Sean Murphy (41) all made the list. They also all made their major league debuts last season. 

Luzardo is Baseball America's No. 2 left-handed pitching prospect behind only MacKenzie Gore (six) of the San Diego Padres. Puk is the website's fourth-best lefty, three spots higher than MLB Pipeline ranked him. 

Murphy comes in as the third-highest ranked catcher, behind Giants prospect Joey Bart. As someone whose defense stands out, he will be a key factor in Luzardo and Puk's development on a big league mound. 

Luzardo, 22, might wind up being the A's ace as soon as this upcoming season. Puk, who will turn 25 in April, isn't too far behind. Both pitchers are hard-throwing southpaws who have dirty offspeed pitches. 

[RELATED: Former Cal pitcher rises up A's top 10 prospect rankings]

Murphy, who hit four homers in just 20 games for the A's last year, likely will be Oakland's Opening Day catcher this year. He has Gold Glove potential behind the plate and is continuing to improve as a hitter. 

The A's already have their Big Three on offense in Chapman, Olson and Semien. The next trio already has arrived, and they're here to stay.