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Elbow surgery means Vogt misses start of spring training

Stephen Vogt, here heading home after an April 17, 2015 homer in Kansas City, will need 4-6 weeks of recovery after right elbow surgery Friday.

Stephen Vogt, here heading home after an April 17, 2015 homer in Kansas City, will need 4-6 weeks of recovery after right elbow surgery Friday.

A’s catcher Stephen Vogt’s spring training will be a work in progress after he underwent successful arthroscopic surgery on his right elbow Friday.

The surgery, performed by Dr. Jon Dickinson in San Francisco, was a debridement of the elbow joint and the removal of a bone chip. Vogt is estimated to need 4-6 weeks to return, and the A’s said in a statement that he’s expected to be ready by opening day.

The suggested timetable means it’s likely he would be limited in baseball activities for perhaps the first half of spring training.

“He’ll be late getting into the spring,’’ A’s manager Bob Melvin said Friday afternoon. “But we think he’s going to be good to go by the start of the season.’’

The A’s pitchers and catchers report to spring training Feb. 20 in Mesa, Ariz.

Vogt has enjoyed his healthiest winter since joining the A’s from Tampa Bay, but an MRI of his sometimes problematic right elbow last week showed a bone chip, and the decision was made to go in and have it dealt with now.

Vogt is coming off his best season, being named an American League All-Star and finished with a .261/.341/.443 slash line with 18 homers and 71 RBIs.

He made 34 of his 35 starts behind the plate, but just 55 of his last 80 start were as a catcher as he dealt with injury issues. He’s wound up being limited to pinch-hitting duty in 21 games and started 20 games at first base. A serious groin injury cost him much of the month of September.

“We’re a much better team when he can catch and give us that offensive production behind the plate,’’ Melvin said.

 

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Semien’s fight through error issues impresses teammates

Marcus Semien muzzled his error total in the second half last year and has high hopes to do the same in 2016.

Marcus Semien muzzled his error total in the second half last year and has high hopes to do the same in 2016.

Marcus Semien’s claim to fame last year was more a claim to infamy – 35 errors, an Oakland record for a shortstop.

Along the way, though, Semien picked up a huge group of admirers in the A’s clubhouse for the way he handled the error problem and for the way he continued to get better as the season went along.

“Marcus isn’t on Twitter, but I know he had to know about the things that people were saying,’’ Mark Canha, a teammate both with the A’s and before that with the California Golden Bears. “It wasn’t good.

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Unable to talk Scott Kazmir into a return to A’s, Sonny Gray finds himself shouldering an even larger role in rotation

Sonny Gray has a bigger load to carry at top of Oakland rotation in 2016.

Sonny Gray has a bigger load to carry at top of Oakland rotation in 2016.

Sonny Gray spent his winter trying to catch up to his son, Gunnar, and his pal, Scott Kazmir.

He jokes that he was unsuccessful at both. Gunnar, who turns 1 on Wednesday, began walking at 10 months, although as Gray puts it, Gunnar hit the ground running and never stopped.

Gray did catch up to his son, of course, but “he became so heavy I had to stop carrying him in my right hand and use my left,’’ he said, laughing at the thought.

As for Kazmir, who became one of Gray’s best friends during their 1½ seasons together at the top of the A’s rotation, he proved equally elusive when Gray tried to recruit him to return to the A’s.

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A’s will have to wait and see on recoveries of Crisp, Parker

Coco Crisp is swinging a bat already, but A's don't know what he will be able to give them in 2016.

Coco Crisp is swinging a bat already, but A’s don’t know what he will be able to give them in 2016.

Much of the focus of the A’s in spring training will be on two of the players who weren’t able to make it to FanFest Sunday, left fielder Coco Crisp and right-handed starter Jarrod Parker.

The A’s had been at their best with Crisp leading off in 2011-14, but elbow surgery and neck injuries limited him to just 44 games in 2015, and the A’s don’t know what they can expect from Crisp, who made just one start the final month of the season.

“Coco has already started hitting,’’ A’s manager Bob Melvin said Sunday at the club’s annual FanFest. “But we won’t really know about him until we get to spring training.’’

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Reddick ready if A’s come forward with multi-year offer

Josh Reddick , seen here stealing extra bases from Houston's Evan Gattis, would love to have A's step up with a multiple-year contract offer.

Josh Reddick , seen here stealing extra bases from Houston’s Evan Gattis, would love to have A’s step up with a multiple-year contract offer.

Suggestions that the A’s would try and get right fielder Josh Reddick’s name on a contract extension have yet to pan out.

Reddick says there’s no hurry, but if the club wants to talk, he’s all ears. He was thrilled when club vice president Billy Beane told him of his plans last year.

“They told me last year they wanted to do something,’’ Reddick said. “Nothing’s happened yet. Now that we’ve got arbitration out of the way, maybe we’ll talk.

“If they want to do something, I’d like to do it in spring training. I don’t want to go into the season having it hanging over me.’’

Reddick and the A’s avoided salary arbitration by agreeing on a one-year deal for $6.575 million. That ties him to the club for the 2016 season, but with his combination of power, RBI potential and defensive wizardry make him a guy Oakland would like to keep around.

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Australian Rules football’s loss is A’s gain as Liam Hendriks gets ready to settle in to do short work in Oakland bullpen

Liam Hendriks was never supposed to play Major League Baseball.

Growing up in Perth on the west coast of Australia, he was the son and grandson of Australian Rules football stars, both of whom played in the Western Australian Football League.

It was the family game, and Hendriks took to it. He was named to the All-Australian football team. The trouble was, he was also a pretty good baseball player. It’s a fringe sport in Australia – cricket is the summer game – but he began playing Tee-ball when he was 5.

“To play cricket it was going to be a six-hour drive away,’’ Hendriks said this week before leaving his home in Florida for the Bay Area where he will be part of Sunday’s A’s FanFest at the Coliseum. “Tee-ball was 30 minutes away.’’

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Does Lambo have the stuff to be the new Brandon Moss?

Andrew Lambo doesn’t invite the comparison, but his arrival in Oakland has some striking parallels with that of Brandon Moss five years ago.

Both came aboard at low cost because of a miserable season the year before. Moss had just six big league at-bats in 2011 with the Phillies despite 23 homers and 80 RBI at Triple-A. He wouldn’t come up to the big leagues with Oakland until the middle of 2012, but once he did, he was in the middle of the A’s lineup, hitting 76 homers and driving in 220 runs in the next 2½ seasons.

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With Reddick, Rodriguez signed, A’s turn to long-term deals

Josh Reddick agreed to terms on a one-year contract Friday,. but talks of a multiyear deal are in the future.

Josh Reddick agreed to terms on a one-year contract Friday,. but talks of a multiyear deal are in the future.

The A’s have cleared all the potential salary arbitration cases off their books by agreeing on one-year contracts with right fielder Josh Reddick and right-handed reliever Fernando Rodriguez Friday.

The club is unlikely to be done with veteran contracts, however. Reddick, who agreed to a one-year $6.575 million deal and starter Sonny Gray are two players the club is interested in signing to multiple-year contracts.

Executive vice president Billy Beane and general manager David Forst have both indicated the A’s are interested in getting the deals done.

Gray and Reddick are both agreeable, but whether or not the years and the money can bet made to fit is a tossup.
With Reddick and Rodriguez ($1.05 million) signing, the A’s have cleaned up the last of their salary arbitration cases, having agreed to terms this week with first baseman Yonder Alonso and third baseman Danny Valencia earlier in the week.

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Valencia signed for 2016; Reddick, Rodriguez still to go

Danny Valencia has a new one-year deal worth $3.15 million after a couple of big months with Oakland last year.

Danny Valencia has a new one-year deal worth $3.15 million after a couple of big months with Oakland last year.

The A’s struck a deal with third baseman Danny Valencia on a one-year contract worth $3.15 million late Thursday.

The club now has just two arbitration-eligible players unsigned, right fielder Josh Reddick and right-handed reliever Fernando Rodriguez.

Valencia came to the A’s the first week of August when Oakland claimed him off waivers from Toronto. Plans to have him play second base were quickly scuttled, but even more quickly he became an integral part of the A’s offense while splitting time between third base and DH.

He hit safely in his first six games with three doubles, three homers, seven RBIs and a slash line of .391/.462/.913 and for the month of August, those numbers stood at six doubles, five homers, 17 RBIs and a slash line of .305/.356/.561.

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Alonso signs, A’s have three arbitration eligibles left

Yonder Alonso agreed to terms on a one-year deal with the A's Wednesday, who now have three arbitration-eligible players to deal with.

Yonder Alonso agreed to terms on a one-year deal with the A’s Wednesday, who now have three arbitration-eligible players to deal with.

The A’s list of players still eligible for salary arbitration sits at three after the club agreed on a one-year contract with first baseman Yonder Alonso Wednesday.

Still left to sign are right fielder Josh Reddick, third baseman/left fielder Danny Valencia and reliever Fernando Rodriguez.

Alonso, now 28, came to Oakland along with lefty reliever Mark Rzepczynski in the trade that set left-handed reliever Drew Pomeranz, minor league lefty reliever Jose Torres and a player to be named later to San Diego.

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