Athletics

Source: Free agent second baseman Eric Sogard interested in A's return

Source: Free agent second baseman Eric Sogard interested in A's return

Having a lefty bat at the second base position continues to be one of the A's main focuses this offseason

That could mean reuniting with Eric Sogard. A source tells NBC Sports California the 34-year-old is open to returning to Oakland.

Sogard, currently a free agent, had an exceptional campaign in 2019 slashing .290/.353/.457 with 13 homers across 110 games with the Blue Jays and the Rays. He was part of the Tampa Bay squad that came to the AL Wild-Card Game in Oakland and celebrated in the visitors' clubhouse.

A's fans remember the outcome of that. 

The second baseman spent six seasons with the A's from 2010-15 where he accumulated a .239 average with eight home runs and 105 RBI. 

The A's traded second baseman Jurickson Profar to the Padres on Dec. 2, so they have a need at the position.

Despite picking up a talented second baseman during Thursday's Rule 5 Draft, the team will still seek a more prominent starter at the position. 

[RELATED: A's are focused on keeping young stars]

The A's reportedly are interested in bringing current Mets second baseman Jed Lowrie back for the third time -- but there are 10 million reasons as to why the Mets wouldn't make a trade.

Did we mention Sogard bats left-handed yet?

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

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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. 

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Home sweet home! Go A’s!

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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.