The A’s took care of one of their seven players up for arbitration, signing outfielder Ryan Sweeney to a one-year, $1.4 million deal that includes some incentives. That leaves six arbitration-eligible players left to sign: Pitchers Dallas Braden, Craig Breslow, Joey Devine and Brad Ziegler; third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff and outfielder Conor Jackson. Remember, all of these players are under contract w/the team now. It’s just a matter of whether the A’s can agree to financial terms with them, or whether they go through the arbitration process, in which a third party would assign a salary sometime in February. Players and teams generally try to avoid arbitration, and the A’s have had great success coming to terms with players before that stage. Over the next several weeks, we’ll hear of more of the remaining six agreeing to deals.
I talked to Sweeney over the phone, and he said his surgically repaired right knee is coming along well. He’s heading to Colorado on Tuesday for a check-up with Dr. Richard Steadman, who performed the July 30 procedure that was aimed to ease tendinitis in the knee. Sweeney said he’s hopeful he’ll be cleared to start running and doing hitting drills. His left knee also has caused him trouble, but Sweeney chose rehab over surgery for that knee, and he said it’s also responding well to treatment. Overall, he sounded very upbeat about his health, and his goal is to be full strength by the start of spring training.
The A’s have Sweeney penciled in to play either left or right field, with David DeJesus manning the opposite corner spot.