Athletics

Source: A's sign former All-Star Matt Harvey to minor league contract

Source: A's sign former All-Star Matt Harvey to minor league contract

The A's are taking a chance on Matt Harvey. 

A source confirmed to NBC Sports California's Ben Ross that the A's signed Harvey to a minor league contract. Roster Resource first reported the sides were nearing an agreement, and Jon Heyman first reported the deal. 

Harvey was one of the most dominant pitchers in baseball during the first three seasons of his career, making the All-Star Game and finishing fourth in NL Cy Young voting in 2013. He partially tore his UCL that season and missed all of 2014 after underoing Tommy John surgery, but Harvey returned to form in 2015 and helped lead the Mets to the NL pennant. 

But the "Dark Knight" struggled after that, and has posted a 5.65 ERA and 1.47 WHIP in 400 innings pitched since the start of the 2016 season. The Mets traded him to the Cincinnati Reds last year, and Harvey signed a lucrative one-year contract with the Los Angeles Angels this winter.

The Angels released Harvey last month after he posted a 7.09 ERA in 59 2/3 innings. 

The A's acquired starters Homer Bailey and Tanner Roark right around this year's trade deadline, but reportedly were interested in Harvey this winter. Oakland has Sean Manaea working his way back from the injured list, and Bailey made a strong case for a spot in the rotation in Wednesday's win over the Giants.

There wouldn't appear to be much room for Harvey in the majors, although a minor league deal carries a much lower financial investment than the one he signed with the Angels this summer. 

[RELATED: A's option Martini, DFA Taylor to make room for Corban Joseph]

It's possible Harvey can follow in Brett Anderson's footsteps and rejuvenate his career in the East Bay, but his recent body of work indicates his best days are behind him. At the very least, a Harvey comeback story already has a ready-made title.

Yes, that was a "The Dark Knight Rises" joke. 

MLB rumors: A's in talks with Stephen Vogt's agent during free agency

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MLB rumors: A's in talks with Stephen Vogt's agent during free agency

Stephen Vogt could be staying in the Bay Area after all. But the catcher might choose a reunion over the option to continue wearing a Giants jersey.

The San Francisco Chronicle's Susan Slusser reported Monday morning that the A's have contacted the agent for the free-agent catcher.

Vogt, 35, proved to be fully healthy after what was once seen as potentially career-threatening shoulder surgery. After missing the entire 2018 season, Vogt was one of the Giants' most reliable bats this past season. 

The veteran catcher signed a minor league contract with the Giants in February, and went on to be a steal for San Francisco. He played in 99 games, hitting .263 with 10 homers and 40 RBI as a spot starter and backup to Buster Posey. Vogt also played seven games in left field last season. 

Vogt became somewhat of a cult hero over his four-and-a-half seasons in Oakland. He broke through as a 30-year-old for the A's in 2015 when he made his first of back-to-back All-Star Game appearances. 

The left-handed hitting catcher had a .255 batting average with 49 homers in 458 games with the A's. Even as someone who turned 35 on Nov. 1, he could be the perfect fit for an Oakland reunion. 

Adding Vogt likely would be the end of the Josh Phegley era. The A's have one of the best young catchers in the game in Sean Murphy, and could pair the 25-year-old right-handed hitter with Vogt, a veteran lefty. 

[RELATED: Vogt's championship desires might hinder Giants return in 2020]

Vogt could start games here and there behind the dish, as well as at DH, play left field and even first base, while being an incredibly serviceable bat off the bench. He hit .325 with two homers in 43 games off the bench for the Giants last season.

At this stage of his career, Vogt has one thing on his mind: A World Series ring. The A's could fit his desires while keeping him in the Bay Area on the team that truly gave him his first chance.

MLB free agency: Why reliever Daniel Hudson, A's might be good fit

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MLB free agency: Why reliever Daniel Hudson, A's might be good fit

It's free agency time, baseball fans -- you know what that means. Well, if history has a way of repeating itself, it means some lulls in the winter months.

For now, we get to speculate and dissect rumors as they come. For the A's, that means concentrating on pitching acquisitions. 

Every team needs pitching whether they're starving for it or not. Oakland is no different, but they have a tendency to concentrate on bullpen arms and are willing to pay up as MLB.com's Mark Feinsand points out. 

Daniel Hudson is one of Feinsand's pitching free-agent targets for the A's and for good reason.

The 10-year veteran was a big part of the World Series champion Washington Nationals' success as he recorded the final out of the Fall Classic. His 2019 campaign had him boasting a 1.44 ERA in 24 games and 23 strikeouts in 25 innings. If you're into pitching wins (some of you are, it's OK to admit it) he was undefeated last season with a 3-0 record.

[RELATEDJesús Luzardo intriguing candidate for 2020 Rookie of the Year]

Hudson never wanted the closing spot, he believed it was too much pressure, because of his ability to throw too many strikes and allowing too much contact. Hudson more than made up for those doubts in himself, but knowing he could potentially be a set-up man and assist in the closing department if needed could benefit the A's.

Liam Hendriks did a fabulous job last season transitioning to the closer role. Adding Hudson to that could be fun to watch.