Athletics

Source: A's are among teams interested in free-agent LHP Brett Anderson

Source: A's are among teams interested in free-agent LHP Brett Anderson

The A's are among a group of teams that have checked on free agent left-hander Brett Anderson, a source confirmed to NBC Sports California.

It's unclear if Anderson will be able to attract a Major League contract offer, but Oakland would certainly prefer a minor league deal like last year.

Anderson, 30, was effective in stretches last season but struggled with injuries and inconsistency. He finished the year 4-5 with a 4.48 ERA and 1.28 WHIP in 17 starts.

It looked like Anderson might have found something in August, where he allowed just two earned runs in his first 26 2/3 innings, but he landed on the disabled list soon after with a strained forearm.

Anderson began his career with the A's from 2009-13. He moved on to the Rockies, Dodgers, Cubs, and Blue Jays before rejoining Oakland last season. In 10 big league seasons, he has an ERA of 4.09.

[RELATED: Anderson scoreless in 16 straight innings]

The veteran southpaw could provide some much-needed depth in the A's rotation, especially during the first half of the season as Sean Manaea, Jharel Cotton, and A.J. Puk recover from injuries. As it currently stands, Oakland's rotation would likely feature Mike Fiers, Daniel Mengden, Frankie Montas, Paul Blackburn, and Chris Bassitt, with top prospect Jesús Luzardo potentially getting a shot out of spring training.

If the A's are unable to re-sign Edwin Jackson or add another starter in free agency, Anderson represents a viable contingency plan.

A's Ramon Laureano, Nick Hundley enjoy 'pretty crazy' catch, double play

A's Ramon Laureano, Nick Hundley enjoy 'pretty crazy' catch, double play

OAKLAND -- At this point, we really shouldn't be surprised by anything Ramón Laureano does on a baseball field. But this was stunning, even for him.

With Justin Smoak on first base and no outs in the second inning of Sunday's A's-Blue Jays game at the Coliseum, Toronto's Teoscar Hernández sent a fly ball to deep left-center field. Laureano, Oakland's center fielder, gave chase all the way to the wall, leaped and reached over to pull back a sure home run.

"It was in the air, and what I remember is that the wind helped it a little bit," Laureano said. "I saw the wall, and I just jumped."

But the play was just getting started. Laureano hurled the ball back toward first to try to double off Smoak. Not only did Laureano manage to throw it on the fly from the warning track, he overthrew A's first baseman Kendrys Morales by about 30 feet.

"I was really pumped up," Laureano said with a laugh. "I threw it without thinking. That happens sometimes."

Fortunately for the A's, catcher Nick Hundley was backing up the play. He ran down the ball and made an accurate on-the-run throw to second base, where Jurickson Profar tagged out Smoak trying to advance. That completed the most incredible double play in recent memory.

"You know [Laureano] has such a good arm that anything is possible," Hundley said. "When a guy makes such an incredible play, you can't let him take an error after that.

"I thought it was a homer. I didn't see him catch it. But once he [came up] with the ball, it's like, all right, now it's time to go."

The Coliseum crowd erupted in disbelief, and even Brett Anderson, who's normally stoic on the mound, let loose in celebration.

"I try to not show emotion, but that one kind of got the best of me," the A's left-hander said. "The robbed homer and then a tag and the whole ordeal. It was pretty crazy."

A's manager Bob Melvin marveled at the play on both ends, though he said he was more impressed by Laureano's catch than the throw.

[RELATED: A's left Anderson sprains ankle vs. Blue Jays]

"Well, the catch, because he overthrew everything," Melvin jokingly said. "He tried to throw it into the stands. Hundley did a great job backing up that play."

Unfortunately for the A's, the play came in a 5-4 defeat, sending the Blue Jays to a three-game weekend sweep. Still, the play will go on Oakland's all-time highlight reel.

A's Brett Anderson sprains left ankle vs. Blue Jays, hopes to make next start

A's Brett Anderson sprains left ankle vs. Blue Jays, hopes to make next start

OAKLAND -- A's starter Brett Anderson left Sunday's game against the Blue Jays in the top of the third inning after spraining his left ankle while trying to field a slow roller.

The good news is that the injury doesn't appear to be serious, and Anderson has a chance to make his next start.

"I just rolled my left ankle," Anderson said after the game. "I threw a couple of warm-up pitches, and it didn't really hurt per se, but I just couldn't push off and it didn't really feel stable. I got it taped up and will get some treatment, and it should be fine."

A's manager Bob Melvin also seemed optimistic that his left-hander could avoid a trip to the injured list.

"He didn't feel awful," Melvin said. "We're going to wait and see how he feels tomorrow. I think there's still maybe some hope that he makes his next start, especially with the off day we're getting."

With two outs in the top of the third inning and runners on second and third, Randal Grichuk tapped a swinging bunt between third base and the pitcher's mound. Anderson broke toward the ball but immediately fell down after rolling the ankle.

[RELATED: Watch Laureano's insane catch]

"It's just one of those things where it's day to day and annoying," Anderson said. "If it had been my landing leg, it might have been a little different, but having to push off and try to throw strikes and quality pitches, it probably wouldn't have happened."

Anderson ended up taking his first loss of the season, as the Blue Jays finished a three-game sweep, 5-4, at the Coliseum. The 31-year-old is off to a great start this season, allowing nine earned runs in 26 2/3 innings for an ERA of 3.04.