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A’s trade Dana Eveland to Toronto for player to be named or cash

The A’s just announced they’ve traded left-hander Dana Eveland to the Toronto Blue Jays for a player to be named later or cash considerations. Eveland was designated for assignment Monday along with infielder Gregorio Petit, and the A’s had 10 days from that point to trade, release or send each player to the minors if they cleared waivers. Petit’s status is still pending.

Eveland was part of the six-player package the A’s received from Arizona in the Dan Haren trade prior to the 2008 season. He opened each of the last two years in Oakland’s rotation. After going 9-9 with a 4.34 ERA in 29 starts in 2008, he struggled to find any kind of consistency in 2009, spending most of the season w/Triple-A Sacramento.

Just two of the six players received in that Arizona trade are still w/the A’s — Brett Anderson and Chris Carter. Shortly after that deal, a scout told me that if just two of the six players turned into impact major leaguers, the deal would be a success for the A’s. They have to be happy w/Anderson’s development at this point, and they’re obviously high on Carter’s potential. They’ve taken others received from that trade — Carlos Gonzalez, Greg Smith and Aaron Cunningham — and flipped them in deals that eventually netted a starting third baseman (Kevin Kouzmanoff) and highly rated outfield prospect (Michael Taylor).

How do you critique that Dan Haren trade to this point. Is the jury still out?

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A’s minor league recap: Weeks hits grand slam as Ports end losing streak

Here’s a brief look at what happened down on the farm Thursday for the A’s affiliates:

SACRAMENTO (Triple-A)

RiverCats 3, Tacoma (Mariners) 2: Story l Boxscore

Dana Eveland is now 4-0 for the RiverCats as the lefty went six innings and allowed just one earned run. Eveland gave up three hits, three walks and struck out five.

Ryan Webb (fourth round, ‘04) got his first save.

Gregorio Petit had a two-run home run, his third homer of the season.

Travis Buck went 1-for-3 and is hitting .364 through four games while on rehab assignment.

MIDLAND (Double-A)

Corpus Christi 4 (Astros), RockHounds 3: Story l Boxscore

First baseman Chris Carter blasted his ninth homer of the season and second baseman
Alex Valdez also homered, but it wasn’t enough to prevent a RockHounds loss.

Jared Lansford gave up two runs in the eighth and was tagged with the loss. Corpus Christi catcher Jason Castro, the ex-Castro Valley High and Stanford star, scored the game-winning run.

STOCKTON (High Single-A)

Ports 5, Visalia (Diamondbacks) 4: Story l Boxscore

Jemile Weeks hit his first professional grand slam and Tyson Ross picked up his first pro win as the Ports ended their eight-game losing streak.

Weeks, whose grand slam highlighted a five-run third inning, now has four homers and 14 RBI in 14 games. He has a .464 on-base percentage and his OPS sits at 1.067.

Ross, who lasted five innings and allowed three runs, wound up tying his career-high with seven strikeouts.

KANE COUNTY (Low Single-A)

Cougars 2, Wisconsin (Brewers) 1: Story l Boxscore

Pedro Figueroa continued his solid pitching as he improved to 6-2 by throwing six strong innings. He allowed just one unearned run and has permitted just two earned runs in his last 24 innings, covering four starts.

Closer Mickey Storey notched his seventh save and lowered his ERA to 0.63. The 23-year-old righty has allowed just five hits in 14 1/3 innings and has 19 strikeouts.

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Cust returns to right field

The A’s lineup has a few wrinkles in it today as they shoot for their first six-game winning streak since August 2006.

Jason Giambi is at DH, not surprising since he often DH’s in a day game after a night game. His right lower calf also is bothering him, so the rest can do him well from that standpoint. Jack Cust returns to right field for the first time since the back spasms kicked in last week in Texas. He told me his back tightens up after a couple of at-bats, but it doesn’t seem to be affecting him greatly. With lefty Rich Hill on the mound for Baltimore, right-handed hitting Gregorio Petit gets a start at third base, just his third in nine games since being recalled from the minors.

The lineups:
A’s — Cabrera SS; Kennedy 2B; Cust RF; Holliday LF; Giambi DH; Suzuki C; Crosby 1B; Davis CF; Petit 3B; Mazzaro P.
O’s — Jones CF; Reimold LF; Markakis RF;Scott DH; Mora 3B; Salazar 1B; Wieters C; Wigginton 2B; Andino SS; Hill P.

I didn’t dive real deep into Trevor Cahill’s outing last night, or Bob Geren’s rationale for pulling him after 91 pitches. I was pretty surprised that he wasn’t allowed to go longer. To shed some light on things, Geren said he went to the bullpen because Cahill gave up two hits to start the seventh, and that he wanted Brad Ziegler’s ability to get a ground ball. I was still scratching my head, and not just in hindsight because Ziegler got roughed up. These young pitchers need to be given the opportunity to work their way out of jams late in games, especially when they’re working w/a big lead. I think there’s a lot more confidence to be gained when leaving a game after completing an inning, as opposed to being pulled in the middle of one. There are times when your starter needs the hook, and leaving him in one batter too long can be disastrous. Last night wasn’t one of those times.

That’s all for now …

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Cust, Sweeney sit; Petit playing third

Not a lot to report on the pregame scene. It’s blue skies and sunshine at U.S. Cellular field, as the A’s try to make it three straight over the White Sox. As bad as the road trip started out in Texas, finishing out 3-1 in Chicago would be a nice rebound for the A’s as they head home for a seven-game homestand against Baltimore and Minnesota (and considering they follow up with three games at San Francisco, it’s virtually a 10-game homestand).

No Ryan Sweeney in the lineup, as we suspected. Bob Geren said the soreness in his knee has subsided, but he’ll probably get an MRI tomorrow. Jack Cust also gets a day off, with Jason Giambi at DH and Gregorio Petit playing third. I’m surprised it’s taken this long to get Petit back in the lineup …

Chicago’s lineup features blue-chip prospect Gordham Beckham at third. He took the express route to the majors after just 59 games in the minors …

A’s:
Cabrera SS
Kennedy 2B
Holliday LF
Giambi DH
Suzuki C
Crosby 1B
Cunningham RF
Davis CF
Petit 3B

Anderson P

White Sox:
Podsednik LF
Ramirez SS
Dye RF
Konerko 1B
Pierzynski C
Fields DH
Wise CF
Beckham 3B
Nix 2B

Buehrle P

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Buck placed on DL

It figured that roster moves were coming down today. The A’s placed Travis Buck on the 15-day DL with a strained left oblique muscle and optioned reliever Jeff Gray to the minors. Infielder Gregorio Petit and outfielder Aaron Cunningham were recalled from Triple-A Sacramento.

Jack Cust? It looks like he’ll avoid the DL, although he’s not in the lineup today. He says his back spasms have calmed down, but that one more day of rest might have him 100 percent by tomorrow. “I probably shouldn’t have played yesterday,” said Cust, who only lasted one at-bat before having to be replaced.

How bad is this injury situation? There wasn’t even a lineup posted in the A’s clubhouse by the time players hit the field to stretch. And during his media chat, Bob Geren had difficulty remembering the lineup he finally settled on, because he scribbled out so many drafts based on who might/might not be available.

I didn’t catch Buck before BP to discuss his injury. He had said he thought he’d be available today. … Cunningham and Petit each return for their second stint w/the big club, and Cunningham is starting in right field tonight. Petit played some third base in his latest stint w/Sacramento, and I’d expect he’d get some time there w/the A’s. He provided a nice spark earlier this season (he had that game-winning RBI in Seattle, when Bobby Crosby plowed over the catcher). I could see him playing third against left-handed pitchers, particularly when Crosby plays first and Jason Giambi is DH …

The A’s are back to 12 pitchers (seven relievers) and 13 position players. That gives Geren four position players off the bench, although Cust probably isn’t much of an option tonight …

Tonight’s lineups:
A’s — Cabrera SS; Kennedy 2B; Holliday LF; Giambi DH; Suzuki C; Sweeney CF; Cunningham RF; Hannahan 3B; Crosby 1B; Anderson P.

Rangers – Kinsler 2B; Young 3B; Hamilton DH; Jones LF; Cruz RF; Blalock 1B; Byrd CF; Saltalamacchia C; Andrus SS; McCarthy P.

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A’s pregame update, Saturday

It’s days like this that make you wish every A’s home game was played during the afternoon. The sun’s out. Perfect baseball weather. The ball should fly pretty good …

Adam Kennedy is in the lineup, starting at second and hitting eighth. Bob Geren said he didn’t want to interrupt the top six in his lineup, and batting the left-handed hitting Kennedy seventh would have made for three lefties in a row (Cust, Sweeney, Kennedy) against Toronto lefty Brian Tallet.

Geren played it sly about Kennedy being his everyday second baseman until Mark Ellis returns. “I plan on using him quite a bit,” Geren said, with a look that indicated Kennedy will definitely be the regular guy. Bobby Crosby is starting at third, and although Jack Hannahan had RBI doubles each of the past two games, I’d expect Crosby to get the lion’s share of time at third. His defense is good enough there isn’t a huge dropoff with the glove between him and Hannahan.

So Kennedy was added to the 40-man roster, and Rule 5 outfielder Ben Copeland was designated for assignment to make room for him. Long story short, they have 10 days to try to work a trade for Copeland, and then he must be sent through waivers. If nobody claims him, he must be offered back to the Giants for $25,000. If the Giants don’t want him, the A’s can send him to the minors.

Infielder Gregorio Petit also was optioned to Triple-A, and reliever Jeff Gray was recalled to replenish the bullpen. Gray has a big-time arm. The A’s like him and I know he’s generated interest from other clubs too.

Eric Chavez played catch with Mark Ellis at 120 feet and also hit soft toss, according to Geren. Chavez was aiming to come off the DL Friday, but I’m not sure how likely that is. Geren said Chavez might require a minor league rehab stint, but that Chavez would have the final call on that. As for the A’s other injured third baseman, Nomar Garciaparra might try hitting tomorrow.

A’s lineup: Cabrera SS; Suzuki DH; Giambi 1B; Holliday LF; Cust RF; Sweeney CF; Crosby 3B; Kennedy 2B; Powell C; Gallagher P.

Jays lineup: Scutaro SS; Hill 2B; Rios RF; Wells CF; Lind DH; Bautista 3B; Overbay 1B; Chavez C; Snider LF; Tallet P.

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A’s 5, Blue Jays 3

If you missed the second inning, you missed all the offense tonight. The A’s five-run rally in the second, highlighted by Ryan Sweeney’s two-run homer, was all the scoring they needed. Another tag-team effort from the bullpen salted away the victory after Josh Outman lasted just 4 1/3 innings.

It was the second straight game Sweeney has batted sixth, and he said afterward he feels more at ease than he did batting leadoff. “I just feel more relaxed,” he said. “I may have put pressure on myself to get on base and make something happen (in the leadoff spot).”

So, Orlando Cabrera and Kurt Suzuki have batted 1-2 over the past two games, and the offense has responded with two encouraging efforts. How much credit should go to Bob Geren’s lineup shuffle? Tough to say for sure.

I’ll be curious to see what happens if new second baseman Adam Kennedy is inserted in the lineup for tomorrow’s game, as Geren said is likely to happen. Where would he hit? Would it upset whatever chemistry has developed?

I’d put him in the eighth or ninth spot right now, thinking maybe he can get on base and help turn the lineup over. But who gets bumped from the lineup? And from the 25-man and 40-man rosters to make room for him?

The A’s currently have six outfielders (including Jack Cust), so maybe they offer Rule 5 pick Ben Copeland back to the Giants. If not, I’d think Gregorio Petit gets optioned. He’s been stuck on the bench. Jack Hannahan has delivered a couple of big hits each of the last two games, so it might be tough to send him down right now. And with the A’s starting pitchers not going deep, I’d think they’d want to keep a 12-man pitching staff. We should get the answer early tomorrow …

Sean Gallagher makes his first start of the season, in place of Brett Anderson. With the game not on TV, I’ll try to provide a couple in-game updates …

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A’s trade for Adam Kennedy; he’ll start at 2B

Expect a different face out at second base for the A’s as soon as tomorrow. They acquired Adam Kennedy from the Tampa Bay Rays today for a player to be named later. He’s expected to arrive in Oakland tonight, and Bob Geren indicated he’d get Kennedy in the lineup immediately. “We’ll give him a shot to get out there,” Geren said. “He’s similar to other players here. He’s very experienced, he’s been in pennant races, the postseason. He’s a good base runner and good fielder, and he’ll bring another veteran presence to the team.”

Obviously the A’s felt they needed an experienced everyday-type player with Mark Ellis likely to miss at least another month with a strained left calf. And calf injuries can linger for longer than expected, so I’m sure that factored into the A’s decision-making. Although Gregorio Petit provided a spark at the plate last weekend in Seattle, they must not be sold on him as a starter. With Eric Chavez’s uncertain status, Bobby Crosby will be needed more at third base (Chavez took grounders today during batting practice, but I don’t believe he made any throws. I saw him tossing the ball to Jack Hannahan).

The A’s will have to bump somebody from the 40-man roster to make room for Kennedy, who was on Tampa’s Triple-A roster. Kennedy is a .276 hitter over his 10-year major league career. He was the Cardinals’ main second baseman last year, hitting .280 in 115 total games. Geren wouldn’t predict where he’d bat Kennedy in the lineup.

Other tidbits …

–Reliever Santiago Casilla will make a rehab appearance for Single-A Stockton tomorrow. He’ll pitch a couple days later for Triple-A Sacramento, and if his sprained knee is feeling good, he’ll be activated from the DL next Friday, when the A’s open a seven-game road trip in Detroit.

–Nomar Garciaparra ran again today, but no word on his timetable for coming off the DL. Ditto for Chavez.

–Lefty Brett Anderson has been throwing with a protective device on his left index finger to protect his blister. He isn’t likely to make his next start until next weekend in Detroit, Geren said. With two offdays before then, the A’s have some flexibility to rework their rotation a bit.

Tonight’s A’s lineup. Not surprisingly, it’s identical to the one that produced nine runs yesterday:

Cabrera SS; Suzuki C; Giambi 1B; Holliday LF; Cust DH; Sweeney CF; Crosby 2B; Buck RF; Hannahan 3B; Outman P.

Blue Jays lineup: Scutaro SS; Hill 2B; Rios RF; Wells CF; Lind DH; Rolen 3B; Millar 1B; Barajas C; Bautista LF; Richmond P.

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A’s pregame update: Friday

Just a few loose ends to tie up. We’re about an hour away from first pitch here at Safeco Field …

Eric Chavez has gone back to the Bay Area, and he’ll probably have tests on his elbow/forearm at some point, though Bob Geren didn’t know when that would be. Bobby Crosby is getting another start at third, with Eric Patterson starting for the second straight day at second base. Geren had good things to say about Patterson, indicating he’d get the majority of playing time at second for now over Gregorio Petit, who was called up earlier today. But considering that Petit hits right-handed and Patterson from the left side, I could see Petit getting some pinch-hit opportunities.

Not to state the obvious, but the absence of Eric Chavez AND Nomar Garciaparra has a pretty bad ripple effect on this lineup. Guys such as Kurt Suzuki get bumped up in the order (he’s hitting sixth tonight), and that weakens the bottom third of the order. It’s a pretty good situation when you can afford to bat a red-hot hitter like Suzuki as far down as the No. 7 spot, as the A’s did before the recent rash of injuries hit …

The good news: Jason Giambi is back at first base, though his hamstrings aren’t quite 100 percent.

Brad Ziegler is still under the weather. I didn’t see him in the clubhouse, but it looks like the A’s will have to go with other alternatives at closer tonight. Santiago Casilla (right calf) was scheduled to throw long toss before the game to see whether he might be available tonight. If he’s not, that leaves the A’s with five healthy relievers to back Dana Eveland.

A’s starting nine (plus Eveland)

Sweeney CF; Cabrera SS; Giambi 1B; Holliday LF; Cust DH; Suzuki C; Buck RF; Crosby 3B; Patterson 2B.

Mariners starting nine (plus Carlos Silva)

Suzuki RF; Endy Chavez LF; Sweeney DH; Beltre 3B; Branyan 1B; Lopez 2B; Johjima C; Gutierrez CF; Betancourt SS.

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Eric Chavez placed on DL; Gregorio Petit arrives

Quick update here that won’t surprise you too much.

The A’s put third baseman Eric Chavez on the 15-day DL with what’s described as a strained right forearm. To fill his spot, middle infielder Gregorio Petit was recalled from Triple-A Sacramento. Petit had three different stints with Oakland last season and hit .348 in 14 games. He was not hitting great w/Sacramento this season, just .239 with a homer and three RBI in 19 games. But it’s not like any other infield candidate has been better at the plate. Petit has played second base and shortstop this year. I’m not sure if they’d consider him at third as well.

This gives the A’s six infielders, which they need right now considering Chavez, Mark Ellis and Nomar Garciaparra are on the DL, and Jason Giambi’s hamstrings are bothering him. …

More to come later …