Mark Canha, who went from Bellarmine High to Cal, is mostly a left fielder and first baseman, but he can play some third, and A’s may well give him that chance in 2015.
The smart money says the A’s aren’t done with their tri-annual roster remake, but as we await those, there are some intriguing possibilities put forward by the moves the club already has made since the end of the season.
For me, one of the more compelling is the addition of Rule 5 slugger Mark Canha, the Cal product who is mostly a first baseman and left fielder.
He also plays third base, and has a Triple-A slash line good enough – .303/.384/.505 – that the A’s traded a young pitcher they liked, Austin House, Thursday morning to make sure they could emerge from the Rule 5 draft with Canha, the owner of 68 career minor league homers, in the fold.
John Jaso wants to be back with the A’s, but doesn’t know if a trade is in his future.
It’s possible that the A’s have done their damage at the 113th Winter Meetings and will cool their heels the rest of the week, but it’s not a solid bet.
Oakland still has at least one other player the A’s might consider moving, catcher John Jaso. To be sure, general manager Billy Beane is a huge fan of Jaso, who works the count, has a habit of coming up with timely hits and who is an on-base machine.
On the down side, he’s had concussions the last two years that have taken him out of back-to-back stretch drives with Oakland. Doctors have given him the go-ahead to resume catching.
“I think that’s ancient history now,’’ Jaso told me Tuesday morning. “I’m moving on, starting my workouts and I’m ready to go. As of right now, I’m still planning on taking up catching again, whatever team I’m on.’’
Starter Jon Lester is one of seven potential free agents the A’s could see leave this off-season.
Now that Madison Bumgarner is going to stop grabbing all the headlines, which should happen any day now, the clock is up and running on the 2015 season for the A’s, and for everyone else.
The A’s had visions that starter Jon Lester would have the same kind of impact on Oakland’s October as Bumgarner did for San Francisco’s. Lester, after all, had the second-best World Series ERA, 0.43, in history before Bumgarner’s MVP performance against the Royals lowered his career World Series ERA to 0.25, pushing Lester to third.
Now Lester is all but gone from the A’s. He said he loved his time in Oakland, and the A’s would like to have him back, but the money doesn’t work. Lester is going to get a contract in the range of $150 million from someone – the Red Sox, the Yankees and the Cubs lead the list of the usual suspects – that would all but break the bank in Oakland.
Kirk Gibson, who had been thought to be on the short list as the next bench coach of the Oakland A’s, will not be heading to Oakland, sources told this newspaper Friday.
Gibson, a longtime friend of A’s manager Bob Melvin and one of Melvin’s coaches when he managed in Arizona, was fired by the Diamondbacks in the final week of the season.
And with Dave Magadan apparently having pulled out as a candidate for the A’s batting coach, Oakland management seems to be getting closer to settling on the makeup of the coaching staff for the 2015 season.
The A’s are negotiating with current Angels’ assistant batting coach Dave Hansen to take over for Chili Davis as batting coach. Hansen previously has spent time as batting coach for the Mariners and the Dodgers.
The A’s have been able to add another strong candidate for the club’s open batting coach position.
When Chili Davis took off to be the batting coach with the Boston Red Sox, Oakland thought about trying to hire Dave Hansen, the former Dodgers’s and Mariners’ batting coach who was the Angels’ assistant hitting coach this past season.
But it seemed as if the Angels weren’t going to give the A’s permission to talk to him.
That changed Wednesday when Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times tweeted that Angels’ general manager Jerry DiPoto said he’d given the A’s permission to talk with Oakland. More than that, Hansen has already interviewed with the A’s and a decision could be forthcoming by this weekend.
Chili Davis looking forward to working with Red Sox, but confident A’s offense will do well without him.
Outgoing batting coach Chili Davis said the A’s made a good effort to try and keep him in the organization, but when Oakland couldn’t go to three years on a contract the way Boston did, that started him on the path to joining the Red Sox.
Length of contract was important, but it wasn’t the only reason he’s in Boston. There were expectations that he’d go to the Yankees, but he’d worked in the minor leagues with Boston before joining the A’s under manager Bob Melvin three years ago, and that held some sway, too.
“The A’s tried, but it just wasn’t sufficient,’’ Davis said told this newspaper Monday. “I wanted to know I would be somewhere more than two years.
“Everybody had me going to Yankees because I played there,’’ Davis said. “It was strong for me, knowing (GM Brian) Cashman and (manager Joe) Girardi. What really pulled me the other way was that I had worked for the Red Sox and I was familiar with some of the staff and a lot of the players.’’
The Red Sox have lured Chili Davis away from the A’s to be Boston’s new batting coach.
The A’s will have to make room for two new coaches heading into 2015 with Chili Davis having agreed to move to the Boston Red Sox Sunday as the new batting coach.
The A’s had already lost their bench coach when Chip Hale left last week to take over as manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks.
The A’s likely will move quickly to find a replacement for Davis. One highly qualified candidate would be Dave Magadan, who spent the last couple of years coaching the Texas Rangers. With the hiring of a new manager, Jeff Bannister, all Rangers coaches have been told they are free to explore other options.
Two men who have been hitting coaches before for A’s manager bob Melvin when he managed the Arizona Diamondbacks might be of interest. Rich Schu is the current Washington Nationals batting coach and Kevin Seitzer is the batting coach with the Toronto Blue Jays.
Melvin also worked well in 2004 with Paul Molitor as his batting coach in Seattle, but both men were fired at the end of the season. Molitor is a coach with the Minnesota Twins currently.
Looking in house, minor league roving hitting instructor Marcus Jensen might get a look, as might Triple-A hitting coach Greg Sparks and Double-A hitting coach Webster Garrison.
The Yankees have A’s batting coach Chili Davis on their radar.
Chili Davis, the A’s hitting coach the last three seasons, will fly to New York in the near future for an interview with the Yankees about taking the vacant job in the Bronx, this newspaper has learned.
Davis, who spent the last two years of his playing career with the Yankees, is one of the prime candidates for the open Yankees batting coach position.
Davis said in an email that he’d gotten a call from the Yankees and would be heading soon to New York for an interview.
Chip Hale, the A’s bench coach the last three seasons, will be named Arizona Diamondbacks manager today.
Longtime A’s bench coach Chip Hale was named manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks Monday.
Hale spent the last three seasons with the A’s under manager Bob Melvin and has been looked at as a possible big league manager for most of that time. He was a finalist in the competition in Seattle at this time last year that saw Lloyd McClendon become the Mariners’ skipper.
“It’s a great hire by Arizona,’’ Melvin, himself a former Diamondbacks manager, said Monday. “Chip’s more than ready for the job. There are some Oakland connections for him there, and he was in that organization for a while, too.’’
Sean Doolittle’s intercostal strain, putting him out for 18 games in August and September, rattled the A’s bullpen.
Had they advanced to the American League Division Series against the Angels, the A’s likely would have been heavy underdogs.
That has nothing to do with how the A’s played the Angels this season, but because of the personnel Oakland would be able to put on the field.
Center fielder Coco Crisp suffered a hamstring injury not long before the A’s suffered a 9-8, 12-inning loss to the Royals in Kansas City. Catcher Geovany Soto jammed his thumb in the first inning and had to come out of the game in the third.
Manager Bob Melvin said Wednesday the injuries were not short-term.
“We would have had to go without Coco and without Soto in the next round if we’d gotten that far,’’ Melvin said.