A's, Plouffe agree to 1-year contract

A's, Plouffe agree to 1-year contract

OAKLAND -- The A's have an agreement in place on a one-year deal with infielder Trevor Plouffe, the club announced Wednesday.

The deal is worth $5.25 million plus incentives, according to multiple reports. Plouffe can earn $150,000 for 350 plate appearances and $300,000 each for 450 and 525 plate appearances. The club has not confirmed those figures.

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Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Chapman enters 2017 with momentum from healthy year

Chapman enters 2017 with momentum from healthy year

A's prospect Matt Chapman was the talk of Spring Training last year, and for good reason. The slugging third baseman showed off his power, leading the club with six home runs and 14 RBIs in Cactus League play.

Chapman collected 36 more home runs by year's end -- 29 with Double-A Midland and seven with Triple-A Nashville, following his August promotion to cap his first full, healthy professional season.

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Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010. Follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Jonathan Mayo

Puk No. 7 on MLB Pipeline's Top 10 LHP Prospects list

Hader leaps from No. 6 to top of list, Groome slides into No. 2 spot

Puk No. 7 on MLB Pipeline's Top 10 LHP Prospects list

MLBPipeline.com will unveil its 2017 Top 100 Prospects list on Saturday, Jan. 28, with a one-hour show on MLB Network at 8 p.m. ET. Leading up to the release, we look at baseball's top 10 prospects at each position.

Exactly half of last year's Top 10 left-handed pitching prospects list graduated off of prospect lists during the 2016 season. The top three -- Julio Urias, Blake Snell and Steven Matz -- all had large impacts, with Urias even pitching in the postseason. Four of the other five are still on the list, including new No. 1 Josh Hader.

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Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com. Follow him on Twitter @JonathanMayo and Facebook, and listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Jim Callis

Chapman named Pipeline's top defender at third

Padres' Margot garners most votes for best defensive prospect

Chapman named Pipeline's top defender at third

These days, there may be more value placed on defense and certainly more time spent on evaluating and quantifying it than ever before. When MLBPipeline.com surveyed front-office officials as to which prospects stood out most for their glovework, there was no shortage of candidates.

In fact, there were so many talented defenders that among the 18 votes we received, no player garnered more than Padres outfielder Manuel Margot's three and a half. Thirteen players received at least a half a vote -- we allowed executives to split their picks -- and another five were brought up as worthy of discussion.

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Jim Callis is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow @jimcallisMLB on Twitter. Listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

A's avoid arbitration with Gray, Vogt, Hendriks

A's avoid arbitration with Gray, Vogt, Hendriks

The A's announced on Friday that they've avoided arbitration and settled on one-year agreements with starter Sonny Gray, All-Star catcher Stephen Vogt and reliever Liam Hendriks. Each were first-year arbitration-eligibile players.

Slugging outfielder Khris Davis, who ranked third in the Majors with 42 homers last year, is the club's remaining arbitration-eligible player.

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Daniel Kramer is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver. Follow him on Twitter at @DKramer_. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Source: A's, Casilla agree to 2-year, $11M deal

Source: A's, Casilla agree to 2-year, $11M deal

The A's and free-agent reliever Santiago Casilla have agreed to a two-year, $11 million deal, a source told MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez on Wednesday. The club has not confirmed the report.

Casilla can also earn up to $3 million more in performance bonuses.

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David Adler is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @_dadler. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

A's send Muncy to Triple-A

A's send Muncy to Triple-A

The A's outrighted infielder/outfielder Max Muncy to Triple-A Nashville on Tuesday after previously designating him for assignment following the signing Rajai Davis.

Muncy will be a non-roster invitee to big league Spring Training.

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Cash Kruth is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @cashkruth. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Fowler, Rajai catch up at MLBPA charity event

2016 World Series foes ready to start new season with new clubs

Fowler, Rajai catch up at MLBPA charity event

LAS VEGAS -- The last time the two of them were in the same building, they were playing in and witnessing one of the great games of all time.

It was Game 7 of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field in Cleveland. Rajai Davis was the little Indians center fielder whose unlikely eighth-inning home run off Cubs super-closer Aroldis Chapman tied the game and stunned the sport. Dexter Fowler was the Chicago center fielder who walked away with a championship not too long after when the Cubs re-rallied to take their first title in 108 years.

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Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @DougMillerMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Trumbo could be a fit for power-seeking A's

Trumbo could be a fit for power-seeking A's

The A's need a right-handed bat. General manager David Forst admitted that last week when the club signed Rajai Davis. Slugger Mark Trumbo -- a right-handed bat -- needs a home with Spring Training looming.

Perhaps that's why Trumbo to the A's would make so much sense.

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Brian McTaggart has worked for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Spring is in the air: First workout dates announced

Spring is in the air: First workout dates announced

Despite the frigid temperatures throughout many big league cities, Major League Baseball's announcement Tuesday of the first workout dates of Spring Training should be enough to warm the hearts of baseball fans everywhere.

The following are the first Spring Training workout dates, subject to change, both for pitchers and catchers and full squads of the 30 Major League clubs. 

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Around the Horn: Semien brings pop to shortstop

His 27 HRs last year were tied for most in MLB at position

Around the Horn: Semien brings pop to shortstop

This is the fourth of a multipart Around the Horn series that features a position-by-position look at the A's projected starters and backup options heading into the 2017 season. Previously: 2B | 1B | C

Who's at shortstop?

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Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Familiarity makes A's, veteran Davis good fit

Familiarity makes A's, veteran Davis good fit

The opportunity to return to an organization in which he has some comfort and a chance to bring some veteran leadership to the young Oakland A's was enough to convince veteran outfielder Rajai Davis to sign a one-year contract for the 2017 season.

Davis, who nearly played the role of World Series hero last year for the Indians with his game-tying homer off Aroldis Chapman in the eighth inning of Game 7 vs. the Cubs, fills the A's need for a center fielder and will give them a veteran presence at the top of the batting order.

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Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

A's brought back their last player to steal 50 bases

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A's brought back their last player to steal 50 bases

The modern Athletics aren't exactly known for their speed -- those sparkling white cleats are more associated with walks and dingers after hulking sluggers like Jason Giambi and Jack Cust ruled the team in the early 2000s. But, Oakland still boasts one of the speediest teams in history.

From 1974-75, the team carried Herb Washington, who was strictly a pinch-hitter and stole 31 bases with the team.

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Around the Horn: Second thoughts for A's

Lowrie should start if healthy, though Wendle could platoon

Around the Horn: Second thoughts for A's

The multipart Around the Horn series, which features a position-by-position look at Oakland's projected starters and backup options heading into the season, turns its focus to second base.

Who's on second?

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Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Sources: A's reach out to Trumbo

Orioles, Rockies have also been linked to 2016 MLB home run leader

Sources: A's reach out to Trumbo

The Oakland Athletics have reached out to free-agent slugger Mark Trumbo, sources told MLB Network insider Jon Heyman on Wednesday.

The power-seeking A's have turned their attention to Trumbo, who led the Major Leagues with 47 home runs last season, after missing out on Edwin Encarnacion.

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Oliver Macklin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Schulze returns to Midland as pitching coach

Schulze returns to Midland as pitching coach

The Athletics have tabbed Don Schulze as the new pitching coach for Double-A Midland, the club announced Wednesday.

The 2017 season will be Schulze's 12th as a coach in the A's farm system and his second stint with Midland. Schulze also served on the RockHounds coaching staff from '11-14.

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Oliver Macklin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Around the Horn: Who's on first for A's?

Alonso to be backed up by Canha, with prospect Olson waiting in wings

Around the Horn: Who's on first for A's?

The multipart Around the Horn series, which features a position-by-position look at Oakland's projected starters and backup options heading into the season, begins at first base.

Who's on first?

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Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Davis returns to Oakland on one-year deal

Davis returns to Oakland on one-year deal

The Athletics have reached a one-year deal with free-agent outfielder Rajai Davis to return to the Bay Area, the club announced Tuesday. Davis, who spent last season with the Indians, played for the A's from 2008-10.

To clear a spot on the 40-man roster, the A's designated infielder Max Muncy for assignment. Davis, 36, satisfies Oakland's need for a center fielder after he hit .249 with a .306 on-base percentage and a career-high 12 homers and a league-leading 43 stolen bases last year. Davis' eighth-inning homer off Aroldis Chapman of the Cubs sent Game 7 of the World Series into extra innings, though the Cubs eventually won.

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Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Heat '16! Swing into '17 with fastest-pitch HRs

Heat '16! Swing into '17 with fastest-pitch HRs

There's a reason high velocity is prized in pitchers. It's not easy to square up heat that approaches or reaches triple digits.

When an at-bat ended with a pitch of 99 mph or harder this season, batters hit .205 with a .285 slugging percentage, according to Statcast™. By comparison, they hit .301 and slugged .514 on fastballs between 88 and 90 mph.

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Andrew Simon is a research analyst for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AndrewSimonMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Khrushed it: Davis a bright spot for A's in 2016

Left fielder posted career-high 42 homers, 102 RBIs last season

Khrushed it: Davis a bright spot for A's in 2016

OAKLAND -- The A's endured more difficulties in 2016, sustaining their second consecutive last-place American League West finish in a season marred by injuries and inconsistencies, with few bright spots chronicled along the way.

The growing pains will likely spill into 2017, as the A's continue to piece together a youthful core while waiting on a potential new stadium site. First, let's revisit the A's top five storylines of 2016, which features both the good and bad:

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Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010. Follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

A's Nunez among top winter league performers

A's Nunez among top winter league performers

There were high expectations for Stone Garrett ahead of his 2016 full-season debut with Class A Greensboro. However, the Marlins' No. 7 prospect would appear in only 35 games before a practical joke by then-teammate Josh Naylor resulted in right thumb laceration and subsequent surgery that kept the 21-year-old outfielder out of action until mid-August.

Now fully healthy, Garrett is making up for some of that lost time this offseason with a strong showing Australian Baseball League. He was the only player on the World All-Stars to collect multiple hits (2-for-4) in the circuit's annual All-Star Game last week, and then went 1-for-5 with a solo home run in his first post-All-Star contest on Thursday.

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Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Around the Horn: Catcher

Oakland has trio of backstops, solidifying position before spring even begins

Around the Horn: Catcher

A multipart Around the Horn series, which features a position-by-position look at Oakland's projected starters and backup options heading into the 2017 season, begins at catcher.

Who's behind the plate?
The A's will enter camp with three solid catching options in Stephen Vogt, Josh Phegley and Bruce Maxwell, and all three could be with Oakland on Opening Day, depending on the makeup of the roster.

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Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Doolittle does Christmas right with movies, treats

Doolittle does Christmas right with movies, treats

A's reliever Sean Doolittle has had no trouble filling his days since the season ended. He and his girlfriend, Eireann, have spent time traveling to see their families and are now prepared to enjoy the Christmas season at their home in Arizona.

Doolittle recently caught up with MLB.com to share his holiday favorites and memories.

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Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

A's, Cuban righty Ruiz agree to Minors deal

A's, Cuban righty Ruiz agree to Minors deal

The A's agreed to a Minor League deal with Cuban international free agent Norge Ruiz on Friday, the team announced.

Sources confirmed to MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez that Ruiz's deal with the A's is for $2 million.

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David Adler is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @_dadler. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Doolittle reviews 'Rogue One: A Star Wars Story'

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Doolittle reviews 'Rogue One: A Star Wars Story'

Big Star Wars fan Sean Doolittle was kind enough to take some time away from his rigorous offseason sock-throwing regimen to write a film review of Rogue One ... yes, really! Enjoy it all below, and don't worry -- there are no major spoilers, as Sean knows what he's doing. 

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Henderson shines through 'School of Rickey'

MLB Network doc highlights SB king's unique personality, ties to Oakland

Henderson shines through 'School of Rickey'

"School of Rickey" opens with an Oakland graffiti artist named Vogue spray-painting a mural of Rickey Henderson: the young Man of Steal in his A's uniform, grinning as the city glints in the reflection of his sunglasses.

The documentary, presented by MLB Network, aired Tuesday night. It chronicles the stolen-base king's Hall of Fame career, but more importantly focuses on Henderson's unique style, emblematic of his home city. "School of Rickey" portrays the Oakland product as a trailblazing player-entertainer who helped transition baseball from Old School to New School.

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David Adler is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @_dadler. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Chapman, Puk among A's non-roster spring invites

Chapman, Puk among A's non-roster spring invites

OAKLAND -- The A's have extended Spring Training invites to 26 non-roster players, a group that includes several of their top prospects, as well as a slew of new faces hoping to make a home in the organization. Notable names on this list include:

INF Matt Chapman: The A's 2014 first-round Draft pick, ranked by MLB Pipeline as their No. 4 prospect, returns for his second big league camp. After greatly impressing in his first go around, Chapman proceeded to mash 36 home runs while racking up 96 RBIs in 135 games between Double-A Midland and Triple-A Nashville. He's expected to take over at third base in Oakland at some point in 2017.

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Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010. Follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

A's shifting FanFest to Jack London Square

A's shifting FanFest to Jack London Square

A's FanFest will be staged on different grounds in 2017, with the team shifting the annual event, scheduled for Jan. 28, to Jack London Square.

After hosting the event at the Coliseum and Oracle Arena for more than a decade, the A's opted for a waterfront destination for their fans, who will also enjoy free admission.

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Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Jonathan Mayo

Greene, 2-way talent highlight Top 50 Draft Prospects list

Greene, 2-way talent highlight Top 50 Draft Prospects list

For the second year in a row, MLBPipeline.com's early Draft Top 50 list is topped by a high school pitcher. There's still a long way to go between now and June -- last year's early No. 1 Jason Groome eventually went No. 12 overall to the Red Sox -- but there is no question that Hunter Greene is the best overall talent in the Class of 2017.

A two-way star at Notre Dame High School in Southern California (the same school Marlins star Giancarlo Stanton attended), Greene is preferred by some for his ability as a hitter and an infielder, but the vast majority think the right-hander has the chance to be an elite performer on the mound. A prep right-handed pitcher has never been the No. 1 overall pick in the history of the Draft, but does Greene and his stuff plus athleticism give him the chance to be the first?

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Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com. Follow him on Twitter @JonathanMayo and Facebook, and listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.