Gray spurs early interest at Winter Meetings

A's eyeing impact center fielder to fortify outfield

Gray spurs early interest at Winter Meetings

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- A late-arriving group of A's front-office executives descended upon the Winter Meetings early Monday evening, their presence preceded by more rumors surrounding their ace.

Right-hander Sonny Gray made for plenty of fodder within the confines of the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center during the day, and that will likely hold true for the remainder of the week here.

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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 to auction once-in-a-lifetime experiences

Oakland participating in annual MLB-wide 'Play Ball' charity initiative

A's to auction once-in-a-lifetime experiences

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- The A's are offering several experience packages in conjunction with Major League Baseball's annual "Play Ball" auction initiative, which this year will benefit a youth baseball and softball field in honor of late Mets employee Shannon Forde.

All 30 clubs are participating in the auction in memory of Forde, the former Mets senior director of media relations who lost her battle with breast cancer earlier this year. More than 100 unique baseball experiences and memorabilia packages are up for grabs in the auction.

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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 match donations for Oakland fire victims

The A's announced Saturday night that they are matching donations up to $30,000 for those affected by the deadly fire that broke out inside a warehouse in Oakland's Fruitvale neighborhood overnight Friday.

The A's showed their support in a statement via their official Twitter page: "Our thoughts are with everyone affected by the Oakland fire. We will work together to heal our community. Join us in making a donation."

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

A's reach deal with Alonso, tender arb eligibles

A's reach deal with Alonso, tender arb eligibles

OAKLAND -- The A's reached a one-year agreement with first baseman Yonder Alonso on Friday, while also tendering contracts to each of their other arbitration-eligible players: right-handers Sonny Gray and Liam Hendriks, outfielder Khris Davis and catcher Stephen Vogt.

Alonso's offensive production was subpar in his first year with Oakland, but the club greatly values his defense; it was of particular significance to shortstop Marcus Semien. At the plate, the left-handed Alonso hit .253 with seven home runs and 56 RBIs, and he was at his best with men on base, batting .302 in such situations.

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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.

Labor deal to cut A's revenue-sharing funds

CBA underscores club's focus to build ballpark in Oakland

Labor deal to cut A's revenue-sharing funds

OAKLAND -- Baseball's new collective bargaining agreement will have significant monetary implications on the A's, who should be further motivated to build a new ballpark after learning of the deal's terms.

As part of the labor agreement, the details of which were officially revealed on Friday, the A's will be phased out of the league's revenue-sharing plan over the next four years. Their share of these annual dollars, worth more than $30 million last year, will be cut to 75 percent in 2017, 50 percent in '18 and 25 percent in '19, before it's gone completely in '20.

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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.

Inbox: Chances A's trade a core player?

Beat reporter Jane Lee answers questions from fans

Inbox: Chances A's trade a core player?

We know Sonny Gray, Stephen Vogt and Sean Doolittle are available in trades. But what's the likelihood of each getting traded?
-- Alex R., No location given

My guess is all stay put, and here's why: I don't believe the A's are quite ready to move on a trade for Gray, and my guess is they hold out hope he can up his value and be the best available pitcher at the Trade Deadline next summer. Vogt will surely be fodder for trade discussions -- and he already is in a seemingly non-existent catching market -- but his bat may not be enough to convince teams eyeing a valuable defensive presence behind the plate to swing a deal. Doolittle is perhaps the most likely of the three to be moved, but the A's would do well in keeping this affordable power lefty in house, for his value to them extends beyond the mound.

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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.

Peace & glove: Owners, players reach CBA deal

New agreement includes change to home-field advantage in World Series

Peace & glove: Owners, players reach CBA deal

IRVING, Texas -- Major League Baseball's players and owners reached a tentative five-year Collective Bargaining Agreement through the 2021 season on Wednesday night. The parties will follow up today with a formal document, which then must be ratified by representatives of both sides. 

At 8:40 p.m. ET, an assortment of happy players, owners, lawyers and staffers poured from meeting rooms to exchange handshakes and hugs. That's how quickly 36 hours of round-the-clock negotiations ended, nearly four hours before today's deadline of 12:01 a.m. ET to reach a deal. Short of an agreement, the sport was faced with the best-case scenario of an extension or owners could have imposed a lockout.

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Richard Justice is a columnist for MLB.com. You can follow him on Twitter @richardjustice. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Joyce headed to A's on 2-year, $11M pact

Joyce headed to A's on 2-year, $11M pact

OAKLAND -- The A's, hardly shy in expressing their desire for outfield help this winter, have secured a corner platoon piece in veteran Matt Joyce, who inked a two-year, $11 million deal with the club on Wednesday.

Joyce will earn $5 million in 2017, and $6 million in '18, per sources.

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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

Jim Callis

The Next Big Leaguers: Athletics' Montas

A team-by-team look at future key contributors who starred in the 2016 Arizona Fall League

The Next Big Leaguers: Athletics' Montas

The Arizona Fall League always is loaded with talent, and it was stronger than usual in 2016. In the initial installment of MLBPipeline.com's "The Next Big Leaguers," which premieres Tuesday, we focused on five prospects: Dodgers first baseman Cody Bellinger, Twins shortstop Nick Gordon, Cubs outfielder Eloy Jimenez, Red Sox infielder Yoan Moncada and Yankees shortstop Gleyber Torres.

We could have spotlighted many more promising prospects if not limited by time constraints, and below we'll do exactly that.

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

McGwire to learn Hall of Fame fate on Sunday

16-member committee to decide on Selig, Steinbrenner among 10 hopefuls

McGwire to learn Hall of Fame fate on Sunday

The Today's Game Era ballot for induction to the National Baseball Hall of Fame will be voted upon this Sunday at the Winter Meetings in National Harbor, Md. Five former Major League players, three executives and two managers will be considered, and the results of the voting will be announced on MLB Network's "MLB Tonight" and streamed live on MLB.com at 6 p.m. ET.

The players named on the ballot are Harold Baines, Albert Belle, Will Clark, Orel Hershiser and Mark McGwire. The three executives are John Schuerholz, Allan H. "Bud" Selig and George M. Steinbrenner. The two former managers are Davey Johnson and Lou Piniella.

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

Melvin a hit with students at De La Salle Academy

Melvin a hit with students at De La Salle Academy

CONCORD, Calif. -- After playing shy in front of Bob Melvin in the early going of a much anticipated meeting Tuesday morning, middle-school students at De La Salle Academy quickly warmed to the A's manager, peppering him with a hodgepodge of questions.

"Are you famous?"

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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.

Watch Barry Zito's music video for 'Secret to Life'

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Watch Barry Zito's music video for 'Secret to Life'

In his 15-year career as a pitcher, Barry Zito won 165 games, was a two-time World Series champion and took home 2002 American League Cy Young Award honors after going 23-5 with a 2.75 ERA for the AL West-winning A's.

Here's an image from that press conference, just for reference's sake.

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Stairs gets 1st shot on HOF ballot

Posada, Magglio, Wakefield among those seeking enshrinement in 2017

Stairs gets 1st shot on HOF ballot

Soon, members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America will cast their ballots for the Hall of Fame's Class of 2017.

Among their choices will be returners who fell just shy of the 75-percent threshold in last year's voting, a group that includes Jeff Bagwell (71.6 percent), Tim Raines (69.8) and Trevor Hoffman (67.3). There also are a few high-profile newcomers. Vladimir Guerrero was a feared hitter with 449 homers and a National League MVP Award, Ivan Rodriguez is third all-time among catchers in wins above replacement (WAR), and Manny Ramirez hit 555 homers but also was suspended twice for his use of performance-enhancing drugs.

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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.

MLB.com Columnist

Jim Callis

Montas, Barreto among Top 25 Fall League prospects

Montas, Barreto among Top 25 Fall League prospects

While the most talented team doesn't always win the championship, it did in the Arizona Fall League. The Mesa Solar Sox wrapped up the East Division crown on the final day of the regular season before rolling to an easy victory in the AFL's one-game playoff for its first title since 2003.

Mesa had the league's deepest lineup, as evidenced by its seven hitters who rank among the AFL's 20 best prospects below. The Solar Sox had star power with outfielders Eloy Jimenez (Cubs) and Bradley Zimmer (Indians) and second baseman Ian Happ (Cubs), all of whom sit in the 20s on MLBPipeline.com's Top 100 Prospects list. They also had emerging talents such as shortstop Yu-Cheng Chang and outfielder Greg Allen, who have been overshadowed in a deep Indians system, and league home run leader Brian Anderson (Marlins No. 4 prospect), who had support for making our list.

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

Covey, Montas shut down Surprise in Fall League championship

Oakland's No. 20 prospect opens title game with four perfect frames; No. 10 fans five in relief

Covey, Montas shut down Surprise in Fall League championship

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Oakland's No. 20 prospect Dylan Covey was perfect through four innings and Frankie Montas, the Athletics' No. 10 prospect, struck out five in three innings of relief, with the duo limiting Surprise to one run on two hits in eight innings in Mesa's 6-1 win in the Arizona Fall League title game.

Covey was scheduled to start the AFL championship after winning four of his six starts.

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Trisha Garcia is a sports journalism graduate student at Arizona State University. This story is part of a partnership between MLB.com and ASU's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. You can follow her on Twitter @trishaanicole. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Fisher succeeds Wolff as managing partner of A's

Wolff to sell interest in club to remaining owners; Kaval named president

Fisher succeeds Wolff as managing partner of A's

OAKLAND -- Lew Wolff is stepping down as managing partner of the Athletics, handing the reins to majority owner John Fisher. In addition, Dave Kaval has been named A's president, replacing Michael Crowley, who after 20 years in the position will transition to a senior adviser role with the ownership group.

Major League Baseball owners approved the transition of power Thursday during the Owners Meetings in Chicago.

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Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Barreto among 5 added to A's 40-man roster

Prospects now protected from Rule 5 Draft

Barreto among 5 added to A's 40-man roster

OAKLAND -- The A's added five players to their 40-man roster on Friday, opting to protect infielders Franklin Barreto and Yairo Munoz, outfielder Jaycob Brugman and pitchers Paul Blackburn and Bobby Wahl from next month's Rule 5 Draft.

The A's, who entered the day with 36 players on their roster, outrighted right-hander Josh Smith to Triple-A Nashville to clear an additional space.

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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 announce 2017 Minor League staff

A's announce 2017 Minor League staff

OAKLAND -- The A's announced their 2017 Minor League coaching staff on Tuesday, revealing several changes -- chief among them the appointment of Ryan Christenson as manager of Triple-A Nashville.

Christenson, a former A's outfielder, joined the organization as a Minor League manager in 2013 and has led his clubs to postseason appearances in each of his four seasons at the helm, including twice at Double-A Midland, where he guided the RockHounds to back-to-back Texas League titles. He takes over for Steve Scarsone, who moves into the new position of traveling instructor after taking Nashville to a Pacific Coast League-best 83-59 record this year.

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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 add righty prospect in deal for Valencia

A's add righty prospect in deal for Valencia

The A's acquired pitching prospect Paul Blackburn from the Mariners on Saturday in exchange for infielder/outfielder Danny Valencia.

Blackburn, 22, was ranked as the Mariners' No. 18 prospect and is now ranked No. 19 in the Oakland system. The right-hander was acquired by the Mariners from the Cubs in July and went 9-5 with a 3.27 ERA in 26 games (25 starts) in Double-A between Tennessee and Jackson. Blackburn was named to the Southern League Northern Division All-Star team.

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

King's impact on Bay Area deserves Frick Award

King's impact on Bay Area deserves Frick Award

The Hall of Fame recently announced eight finalists for the Ford C. Frick Award. As usual, each candidate has outstanding credentials.

I admit to a certain bias because I grew up listening to him, and we spent 10 years together in the Oakland A's radio booth, but it's my belief that the selection of Bill King is long overdue.

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Ken Korach recently completed his 21st season in the A's radio booth, 11th the lead radio announcer. He is the author of "Holy Toledo - Lessons from Bill King: Renaissance Man of the Mic." This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

A's could seek outfield help via free agency

Oakland also expected to look for veteran rotation help

A's could seek outfield help via free agency

OAKLAND -- Though the A's hardly ever make a big splash in the free-agent market, their offseason doings rarely lack intrigue. Rather, history shows they're primed for a trade frenzy in an effort to better their roster following a second consecutive last-place division finish.

It's unclear how active they plan to be this winter, but complacency won't be had, seemingly setting the stage for a series of moves ahead of the 2017 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.

Longtime Oakland voice King a Frick Award finalist

Longtime Oakland voice King a Frick Award finalist

One of the Bay Area's most iconic voices could soon echo throughout the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

Legendary broadcaster Bill King is one of the eight finalists for the 2017 Ford C. Frick Award, presented annually for excellence in baseball broadcasting by the Hall of Fame.

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

White Sox claim lefty Soto off waivers from A's

White Sox claim lefty Soto off waivers from A's

The White Sox claimed left-hander Giovanni Soto off waivers from the A's on Monday. Soto, 25, was previously claimed by Oakland on Oct. 26 from the Cubs.

Soto began the 2016 season with Cleveland before being traded to Chicago on April 11 for cash considerations. He was 1-3 with a 5.14 ERA in 33 relief appearances at Triple-A Iowa, striking out 55 and walking 31 in 49 innings.

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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.

Offseason moves, youngsters to shape A's roster

Offseason moves, youngsters to shape A's roster

OAKLAND -- The 2016 A's picked up one more win than last year's version, but their 69-93 record was, nonetheless, another disappointment, continuing an uninspiring stretch of mediocre play that has fans begging for better days.

Perhaps it's overly optimistic to expect the low-payroll A's to field a contender as soon as 2017, but a competitive Billy Beane, the club's vice president of baseball operations, and general manager David Forst aren't just going to stand pat, either. Anticipate the A's to engage in a flurry of activity this offseason, per usual, as they attempt to turn things around.

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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 claim Reds righty Smith off waivers

A's claim Reds righty Smith off waivers

The A's announced Friday that they've claimed right-handed pitcher Josh Smith off waivers from the Reds.

Smith, 29, spent most of last year with Cincinnati's big league club, going 3-3 with a 4.68 ERA in 32 outings, including two starts, while also making nine appearances at Triple-A Louisville. He was primarily a starter during his seven seasons in the Minors, where he went 58-47 with a 3.60 ERA. The Reds' 21st-round pick in the 2010 Draft, Smith debuted for the big league club in '15.

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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.

A's in AFL: Barreto, Schrock represent future double-play tandem

MLB Pipeline checks in on Oakland's prospects participating in the Arizona Fall League

A's in AFL: Barreto, Schrock represent future double-play tandem

Franklin Barreto and Max Schrock highlight a talented crop of Oakland Athletics prospects participating in this year's Arizona Fall League, a group that includes seven players overall and five Top 30 prospects.

Barreto and Schrock have been billed as offensive-oriented players in their young careers, with their hitting ability helping to offset some defensive concerns. But now, after a short stint playing together in Double-A during the regular season, the A's future double-play tandem is working on honing its defensive chops while playing for the Mesa Solar Sox in this year's Fall League.

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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.

A's hire Hale to be third-base coach

A's hire Hale to be third-base coach

Chip Hale is returning to the A's as the club's third-base coach.

Hale, who previously served as manager Bob Melvin's bench coach from 2012-14, replaces Ron Washington, who joined Atlanta last week to serve as the Braves third-base coach. The rest of the A's coaching staff will return in their same roles.

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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.