Gray will not participate in World Baseball Classic

Denial of insurance will keep right-hander off Team USA

Gray will not participate in World Baseball Classic

MESA, Ariz. -- A's ace Sonny Gray will not participate in the World Baseball Classic, after he was denied insurance coverage because of his extended time on the disabled list last year.

According to A's general manager David Forst, Gray was identified as a "chronic-condition player," having spent more than 60 days on the DL last year because of two separate injuries. The provision excuses pitchers who total more than 10 innings after coming off the DL, but Gray only pitched one inning following his return.

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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.

De Aza, Canha click in A's home opener

De Aza, Canha click in A's home opener

MESA, Ariz. -- Outfielder Ryan LaMarre's tiebreaking, two-run single in the seventh inning propelled the Angels to a 5-3 Cactus League victory over the A's at Hohokam Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Outfielder Ben Revere and third baseman Luis Valbuena -- who signed with the Angels this offseason -- chipped in with RBI doubles to help Los Angeles secure its second win in as many tries.

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Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010.

Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Gossett impressing A's across all levels

No. 7 prospect delivers 2 hitless innings in first spring start

Gossett impressing A's across all levels

MESA, Ariz. -- A's pitching prospect Daniel Gossett, thrust into a start against the Angels on Sunday, responded with two scoreless innings in the team's home opener at Hohokam Stadium, a 5-3 loss.

"First time I've ever actually played a game on that field," Gossett said, "so it was exciting to get out there and be in front of the crowd facing some of the top-notch in the league."

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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.

Oscar winner Ali screened 'Moonlight' for the A's

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Oscar winner Ali screened 'Moonlight' for the A's

In addition to being a newly minted Academy Award winner, "Moonlight" star Mahershala Ali is an Oakland native and big-time A's fan. Really, he threw out a first pitch last season and everything.

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Oscars wiz Axford makes his predictions

A's reliever correctly guessed all 18 winners in 2014

Oscars wiz Axford makes his predictions

A's reliever John Axford, the film buff who was a perfect 18-for-18 in Oscar predictions in 2014, has shared his full selections again ahead of tonight's ceremony:

Best Picture: "La La Land"

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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.

Melvin, Hahn pleased with righty's first outing

Joyce homers in A's debut; Chapman also goes deep

Melvin, Hahn pleased with righty's first outing

MESA, Ariz. -- Jesse Hahn's arm looked better than his glove, which deflected a comebacker that led to two runs in the A's right-hander's Cactus League debut against the defending World Series champion Cubs on Saturday.

Hahn, competing for the last rotation spot, was tagged for three runs in Oakland's 4-3 loss, scattering four hits in 1 2/3 innings in Oakland's spring opener. He struck out two and walked one.

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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.

Hendriks opts out of Classic to prep for season

Righty wants to avoid overextending himself with travel, competition

Hendriks opts out of Classic to prep for season

MESA, Ariz. -- A's right-hander Liam Hendriks has elected out of the World Baseball Classic, forgoing a trip to Tokyo with Team Australia in favor of remaining in Arizona.

Hendriks is healthy, but the prospect of making a pair of 15-hour flights within one week and having to immediately return to the mound for the A's in tiptop form proved disconcerting for the 28-year-old reliever.

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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 prospect Chapman flashes power vs. Cubs

A's prospect Chapman flashes power vs. Cubs

MESA, Ariz. -- The defending World Series champion Cubs displayed their trophy on the field before the game, and the sellout crowd of 14,929 at Sloan Park gave them a standing ovation as they took the field for the Cactus League opener against the Athletics.

Matt Joyce and No. 4 A's prospect Matt Chapman nearly spoiled the day as both hit home runs for the A's but Minor Leaguer Charcer Burks smacked a tie-breaking leadoff shot in the seventh to lift the Cubs to a 4-3 victory on Saturday.

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Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Detwiler begins spring audition with A's

Lefty plans to use opt-out clause if he doesn't make roster

Detwiler begins spring audition with A's

MESA, Ariz. -- Left-hander Ross Detwiler intends to sneak his way onto the A's roster with a strong spring showing. Otherwise, he's likely out the door.

The veteran pitcher, newly accepting of the swingman role, has a March 26 opt-out clause in his contract, and he plans to take advantage of it -- barring a dreadful Cactus League performance -- and become a free agent in search for opportunity elsewhere should he not make the team.

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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

Phil Rogers

A's young talent knocking at door

A's young talent knocking at door

MESA, Ariz. -- Another season, another math problem for the Athletics: How to be last in the division in spending and remain competitive over 162 games?

That's been the perennial question for Oakland and will remain the case until it builds the new stadium the team has been seeking for more than a decade. The good news is that Billy Beane was an early adapter at this game, helping his team reach the postseason eight times in a 15-year stretch, and the formula of pitching, platoons and precocious talent still works.

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Phil Rogers is a columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Breaking down the Athletics' Top 30 Prospects

Pitching-heavy system features many players knocking on door

Breaking down the Athletics' Top 30 Prospects

The Athletics finished last in the American League West for the second straight year in 2016, compiling a 69-93 record that was the third worst in the AL and a one-game improvement from the previous year. But the club made the most of its situation, using the non-competitive year to audition a host of rookies in the big leagues, all the while furthering the development of its top prospects.

Left-hander Sean Manaea turned in a strong rookie campaign after his debut in April, posting a 3.86 ERA with a 124-to-34 strikeout-to-walk ratio and a career-high 144 2/3 innings. Equally impressive was third baseman Ryon Healy, who, after beginning the year in Double-A, reached the big leagues in mid-July and proceeded to hit .305/.337/.524 with 13 homers and 20 doubles in 72 games. Jharel Cotton and Joey Wendle were plenty good in their own rights and were part of large group of A's September callups that included Raul Alcantara, Renato Nunez and Matt Olson.

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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.

Rosales ready to be mentor to young A's

Veteran utility player recalls advice from former teammate Ellis

Rosales ready to be mentor to young A's

MESA, Ariz. -- Seven years later, Mark Ellis has resumed the role of mentor to Adam Rosales, one of his many students gathering in the infield each morning for early work this spring.

Except the 33-year-old Rosales is essentially now the same age the since-retired Ellis was in 2010; and with years comes experience and veteran status -- and Ellis, in A's camp as a guest instructor, is urging him to do some of his own tutoring.

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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.

Murphy makes impression on A's with arm

Oakland catcher making most of time in camp

Murphy makes impression on A's with arm

MESA, Ariz. -- Sean Murphy, the walk-on Wright State University catcher who blossomed into the A's third-round Draft pick, has a standout arm that's drawing attention in big league camp.

"The kid can throw," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "It's special. We heard that coming in, but to actually see him throw to bases, it's one of those where you tell the infielder, 'If the ball looks low, give it a chance, because it's carrying,' and he threw some balls that looked like they might not make it but had that carry on them. It's an electric arm for sure."

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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.

Canha among impressive hitters in intrasquad game

Gray hurls one inning; Graveman tunes up for Cactus League opener

Canha among impressive hitters in intrasquad game

MESA, Ariz. -- A's manager Bob Melvin wasn't quite prepared for what he saw from his hitters, who teed off some of the club's best arms during a pair of brief intrasquad games Thursday morning.

Right-handers Sonny Gray and Kendall Graveman squared off in one game, each dueling with a large handful of the team's better bats. Among the highlights was Mark Canha's two-out RBI double against Gray.

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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 Graveman soaking in knowledge

To be the best, right-hander seeks out mentors to harness command

A's Graveman soaking in knowledge

MESA, Ariz. -- A's camp has been open less than two weeks, and Kendall Graveman is already playing with pinpoint command, his manager labeling him "quite the perfectionist" after watching the right-hander throw a bullpen session recently.

"It's a testament to how hard he's working," manager Bob Melvin said. "He missed the glove one time -- and got really frustrated about missing the glove one time in his second bullpen."

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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 Melvin on board with rule change

Intentional walks will be issued by dugout sign

A's Melvin on board with rule change

MESA, Ariz. -- No longer will pitchers lob four balls to home plate. Major League Baseball is eliminating the old-fashioned intentional walk, instead electing for a dugout signal as part of ongoing efforts to improve the pace of play.

A's manager Bob Melvin, at least when considering alternative options being mulled to speed up games, is on board with the decision.

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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

Phil Rogers

AL-inclusive: Everyone has eyes on West title

AL-inclusive: Everyone has eyes on West title

PHOENIX -- Jerry Dipoto knows that the Astros are favored to win the American League West, and if baseball analysts aren't talking about Jose Altuve's budding powerhouse, they're focused on the Rangers. Why not? They've won the AL West two years in a row.

Dipoto hides his confidence with a sheepish grin.

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Phil Rogers is a columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

New A's reliever Casilla held up by visa process

New A's reliever Casilla held up by visa process

MESA, Ariz. -- The A's are still awaiting the arrival of their newest reliever and hold out hope Santiago Casilla will be in camp "any day," manager Bob Melvin said Tuesday.

The veteran right-hander is held up in the Dominican Republic by visa paperwork that was delayed because he was a late sign, only committing to a second tour with the A's -- via a two-year, $11 million deal -- in late January.

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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.

Bassitt revamping mechanics while rehabbing

Bassitt revamping mechanics while rehabbing

MESA, Ariz. -- Rehabbing from Tommy John surgery is a long, arduous process that can be equal parts lonely and boring. Except A's right-hander Chris Bassitt has hardly been lonely, and only occasionally bored.

Bassitt has struck up a close friendship with rehab partner Felix Doubront, and the two A's pitchers have charted identical rehab schedules after undergoing elbow reconstruction surgery within a month of each other last year. Bassitt feels spoiled by Doubront's constant company, "because if I didn't have him," he said, "it would be really, really hard."

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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 easing into spring after injury-plagued '16

Doolittle easing into spring after injury-plagued '16

MESA, Ariz. -- A year ago, A's left-hander Sean Doolittle temporarily changed his Twitter handle to "BestShapeOfMyLifeGuy," after proclaiming on the first day of Spring Training that he was, in fact, in the best shape of his life.

Hyperbole or not, it's a common line players throw around excessively upon reporting to camp, and Doolittle at least laughed at himself while using it. This year, though?

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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.

Kaval out to improve Coliseum fan experience

A's president discusses ongoing search for new stadium location

Kaval out to improve Coliseum fan experience

MESA, Ariz. -- The Coliseum food scene is getting a makeover under the watch of new A's president Dave Kaval, who is making good on his promise to improve the fan experience and embrace the club's history while waiting for a new stadium in Oakland to take shape.

"People were not satisfied with the food experience," said Kaval, who opens his doors to fans during weekly office hours.

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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.

K. Davis decides against playing in Classic

A's left fielder choosing to focus on Spring Training ahead of season

K. Davis decides against playing in Classic

MESA, Ariz. -- A's left fielder Khris Davis has bowed out of the World Baseball Classic, forgoing his invitation from Team Mexico to focus his energy on preparing for his second season in Oakland.

Davis, speaking Sunday upon reporting to camp, said the decision was "horrible, I feel terrible," but he believes it to be in the best interest of the A's.

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

Rosales, A's celebrate Glove Day

Rosales, A's celebrate Glove Day

MESA, Ariz. -- A's super-utility man Adam Rosales isn't so much attached to his gloves, but he still enjoys the day he receives his new ones from Wilson each spring, as he did Sunday morning.

Rosales signed on with Wilson in 2010 and has since sported three custom-designed gloves, one each molded for the infield, outfield and first base.

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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.

Rested, recovered Lowrie joins A's camp

Rested, recovered Lowrie joins A's camp

MESA, Ariz. -- A's second baseman Jed Lowrie is able to run again, and sleep better.

The nine-year veteran had two surgeries within a month last year. First, a multifaceted procedure to repair ligament damage and remove a bunion and cyst in his left foot. Then, an operation to resolve a deviated septum and relieve him of nasal issues that had disrupted his sleep for nearly a decade.

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

The A's made a special baseball card for a young fan

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The A's made a special baseball card for a young fan

Some of the baseball-playing children of today will grow up to be the stars of tomorrow. That's just how things work.

Recently, a father sent the A's a precious photo of his young son, fully decked out in green and gold, with a question about their Spring Training roster.

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A's Hahn hoping to find early-2015 form

Once a promising starter, righty trying to overcome recent struggles

A's Hahn hoping to find early-2015 form

MESA, Ariz. -- Not long ago the A's No. 3 starter, right-hander Jesse Hahn is simply hoping to crack the team's rotation, and he'll seemingly need to put together a near-perfect spring to do so.

A forearm strain prematurely ended Hahn's promising 2015 season, and that was only the beginning of a rocky voyage that has challenged the right-hander both physically and mentally.

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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.

Prospect Puk adding curve to repertoire

After ditching pitch in college, first-round pick advised to bring it back

Prospect Puk adding curve to repertoire

MESA, Ariz. -- A.J. Puk was nearly driving age by the time he learned how to throw a curveball, and it wasn't long after that his college coaches told him to stash it away for a future date.

That time is now. The left-hander has recently pulled it out of his pocket for the first time in nearly four years.

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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.

R. Davis brings World Series experience to A's

Veteran center fielder enters Spring Training slated as club's leadoff hitter

R. Davis brings World Series experience to A's

MESA, Ariz. -- New A's center fielder Rajai Davis couldn't put back on the uniform soon enough, reaching for the green and gold the moment he found his locker upon joining camp Thursday morning.

"He had his cap and his jersey on, and his slacks and his dress shoes," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "I said, 'Did you come in here like that?' I know he's excited about being here, and those are the type of guys we need 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.

Joyce sees promise in 2017 A's upon arrival

Out of options, right-hander Alcantara vies for spot on roster

Joyce sees promise in 2017 A's upon arrival

MESA, Ariz. -- Veteran Matt Joyce, signed by the A's to a two-year deal to play in a platoon in right field, descended upon A's camp Thursday morning following an adventurous travel day to the desert.

Joyce had quite the entourage in tow from 35-degree temperatures in Connecticut: his wife, Brittany, along with their 1-month-old daughter, Kensington, and three dogs: Eli, Sky and Ru.

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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.