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Barton to the DL; Tommy Everidge called up to play first

With the A’s preparing to retire Rickey Henderson’s No. 24 on Aug. 1, the Red Sox will honor their own 2009 Hall of Fame inductee tonight. Jim Rice’s No. 14 will be retired in a pregame ceremony. Nice work by the Sox’s groundskeeping crew, as there’s a big “14″ cut into the grass in left field, where Rice played for Boston.

As for A’s news, Daric Barton was placed on the DL as expected with a strained left hamstring, and first baseman Tommy Everidge was promoted from Triple-A Sacramento for his major league debut. He’s starting at first. A press release lists Everidge at 6-feet, 275 pounds. For you NFL fans, think of Craig “Ironhead” Heyward, the old Saints fullback. Now you’ve got your visual … This dude looks like he’s got some power.

And talk about paying your dues: Everidge is 26, and in his sixth year with the organization after being drafted in 2004. He’s never even been invited to major league spring training, and he’s only been inside a handful of major league parks as a fan. He’s a pretty soft-spoken guy, and is extremely grateful to be getting his chance. A Sonoma native, he grew up a Giants fan and loved Will Clark.

The A’s announced today that right-hander Sean Gallagher, as expected, was sent to San Diego as the third player to complete the Scott Hairston trade. Yes, it was just a year ago that Gallagher was obtained by Oakland as the centerpiece of the Rich Harden trade. Obviously he didn’t pan out like they hoped. Eric Patterson and minor league catcher Josh Donaldson are the only players remaining of the four the A’s received from the Cubs in that deal (outfielder Matt Murton was traded in the offseason for infielder Corey Wimberly).

My question for you readers: Do you still think the Harden deal can work out as a good one for the A’s??? Consider this as you ponder: A scout told me, at the time of the Dan Haren trade, that if two of the six players the A’s got from the Diamondbacks for Haren turned into impact players, the trade could be considered a success. The A’s got four players for Harden and Chad Gaudin, and unless Patterson blossoms at age 26, Donaldson is the last hope for that deal to produce an impact player. So how do you evaluate that trade a year later?

I was just watching Bobby Crosby take grounders at shortstop, and can’t help thinking if he’ll be playing his old position on a regular basis again. That might be the case if Orlando Cabrera gets traded before Friday’s deadline.

Scott Hairston’s left quad is still hurting, so he’s out of the lineup. Ryan Sweeney is in center, with Patterson playing left and Jack Cust in right. Bob Geren said he likes having Sweeney’s stronger arm in center because there’s so much room to cover out there at Fenway.

Enough of my rambling, here’s the rest of the lineups:

A’s
Kennedy 3B
Cabrera SS
Garciaparra DH
Cust RF
Suzuki C
Sweeney CF
Everidge 1B
Ellis 2B
Patterson LF

Mazzaro RHP

Sox
Ellsbury CF
Pedroia 2B
Youkilis 1B
Ortiz DH
Bay LF
Drew RF
Lowell 3B
Kottaras C
Green SS

Buchholz RHP

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Eric Patterson starting in CF — a sign of things to come

Take a look at today’s post-Matt Holliday lineup, and I’d say it gives you a window into the A’s thinking for the rest of this season. Eric Patterson was called up, and he’s starting in center field. He’ll be seeing lots of time there, according to Bob Geren. The A’s definitely see this guy as an outfielder — long term — rather than an infielder.

Scott Hairston is starting in left w/Ryan Sweeney in right. Hmmm … looks like a potential starting 2010 outfield to me — if Patterson blossoms. Still not sold on this guy? I’m not either based on what I’ve seen in the bigs so far. But he’s tearing it up at Triple-A, and the A’s seem determined to give him a long look to see what he’s got. Where does this leave Travis Buck? Great question … Geren said Rajai Davis would keep drawing some starts against left-handed pitchers.

–Head out to San Jose Municipal Stadium on Sunday and you’ll get to see Justin Duchscherer pitch against the San Jose Giants. He’s scheduled to make his first rehab appearance that day for Single-A Stockton. Don’t show up late. He’ll probably start, and probably throw just two innings. The A’s will build his pitch count up gradually. As always, plans are subject to change. But Geren was more definitive about this plan than he was yesterday.

Tonight’s lineups:
A’s
Kennedy 3B
Cabrera SS
Hairston LF
Cust DH
Suzuki C
Sweeney RF
Barton 1B
Ellis 2B
Patterson CF

Anderson LHP

Yanks
Jeter SS
Damon LF
Teixeira 1B
Rodriguez 3B
Posada C
Matsui DH
Cano 2B
Swisher RF
M. Cabrera CF

Chamberlain RHP

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Sunday lineups and pregame notes …

I’ll switch it up and give you lineups first, just for kicks …

A’s
Kennedy 3B
Cabrera SS
Hairston CF
Holliday LF
Cust DH
Suzuki C
Giambi 1B
Sweeney RF
Ellis 2B

Anderson LHP

Angels
Figgins 3B
Aybar SS
Abreu RF
Napoli DH
Matthews Jr. CF
Kendrick 2B
Wood 1B
Mathis C
Willits LF

Lackey RHP

–Boy, what does Rajai Davis have to do to get back in the lineup? After sparking Friday night’s victory on the bases, he hasn’t started the past two games, even with Scott Hairston sidelined Saturday with a wrist injury. I understand the Angels have started right-handers yesterday and today, and Davis doesn’t hit righties nearly as good as lefties. But after a game like he had Friday, don’t you have to find a way to work him back into the mix?

–Hairston said his wrist is feeling a lot better, so he’s back in center field after getting hit by a Justin Speier pitch Friday night.

–Bob Geren mentioned the need for a strong start from Brett Anderson today. The A’s have gotten a combined 12 2/3 innings from their starting pitchers in three games since the All-Star break, which is killing the bullpen. … No restrictions on Anderson today, as Geren said his back is 100 percent …

That’s all for now …

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A’s-Sox pregame update — Tuesday

It was pouring rain earlier today in Boston, and I was giving this game zero chance of being played. But the skies have cleared a bit and the sun is out over Fenway, so it’s looking more promising. Dana Eveland takes the hill for the A’s tonight in place of Dallas Braden, who is on bereavement leave. You might remember Eveland’s only previous start at Fenway didn’t go so well last August. He surrendered nine runs in two innings, including five in the first. He goes against Josh Beckett tonight.

We were all speculating earlier about whether they might play a doubleheader tomorrow if tonight was rained out. The A’s also play a four-game series here July 27-30, so they could play a twin bill one of those days, I suppose. Anyway, this game should get in. …

Scott Hairston is starting in center and hitting third for the A’s. “Third is where he hit all year in San Diego (before Sunday’s trade),” A’s manager Bob Geren said. “I like what our 1-2 guys are doing. I think (Hairston) could be a nice fit (hitting) 1,2 or 3.”

Geren added that Rajai Davis would still get some starts, either spelling Sweeney in right field or Hairston in center. And he didn’t rule out Jack Cust still getting a little time in right. Jason Giambi and Nomar Garciaparra figure to eat up some at-bats at DH ….

Here are your lineups:

A’s
Kennedy 3B
Cabrera SS
Hairston CF
Holliday LF
Giambi 1B
Suzuki C
Cust DH
Sweeney RF
Ellis 2B

Eveland LHP

Red Sox
Drew RF
Pedroia 2B
Youkilis 3B
Bay LF
Ortiz DH
Varitek C
Ellsbury CF
Green SS
Bates 1B

Beckett RHP

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Buck optioned to Triple-A; Eveland joins team

There’s no shortage of news here at Fenway, where Nomar Garciaparra held a news conference in front of 50-60 reporters and broadcasters, new A’s outfielder Scott Hairston is due to arrive anytime, and lefty Dana Eveland joined the club in place of Dallas Braden, who was placed on the bereavement list. We also just heard that Travis Buck was optioned to Triple-A Sacramento to clear a roster spot for Hairston.

Let’s recap the A’s news. I’ll try to throw some Nomar nuggets into a separate post.

–Hairston is not in tonight’s starting lineup, but he’ll be on the active roster and available if needed. It depends on how quickly he gets here. His flight was due to land in Boston at about 5:30 local time, 90 minutes before first pitch. Geren held his media chat before we got word of Buck’s demotion. But he didn’t offer much when asked about what the Hairston trade says about Buck’s status in the big picture. “He’s still very young. He’s a player that has a bright future.” Asked whether it’s been Buck’s injuries or flat-out ineffectiveness that’s held him back in the organization’s eyes, Geren offered: “Everything blends together. It’s a hard game to play, period. When he’s out of the lineup, it’s due to one factor or another.”

Geren confirmed that Hairston will take over starting center field duties, with Ryan Sweeney seeing lots of time in right field and Jack Cust sliding into the DH role more often. He said he envisions Hairston hitting somewhere in the 3-5 range in the order. “I like what the guys are doing at the top,” Geren said, referring to Adam Kennedy and ORlando Cabrera.

The A’s outfield defense will definitely be stronger when Matt Holliday, Hairston and Sweeney are playing left to right, with Cust at DH. “(Hairston) definitely improves our team offensively, defensively and on the bases. He’s also a very good base runner,” Geren said.

–I believe I hear the Bee Gees’ “How Deep Is Your Love?” being played on the Fenway organ right now … just had to share.

–Braden flew back to the Bay Area for what Geren called a family matter, but didn’t offer more information. Players can stay on the bereavement list a maximum of seven days. Eveland, 7-1 with a 3.49 ERA in 12 starts w/Triple-A Sacramento since being optioned May 5, could start tomorrow in Braden’s place. But Geren said Edgar Gonzalez also was an option if Gonzalez isn’t needed tonight in relief. If Eveland goes, he’d be pitching on three days’ rest, as he pitched for the River Cats on Friday. Geren said he’d have to check w/Eveland to see if his arm was good to go on three days’ rest, which is odd because Geren also mentioned Eveland could be used tonight (on two days’ rest) if needed out of the bullpen in a pinch …

Tonight’s lineups …

A’s
Kennedy 3B
Cabrera SS
Holliday LF
Giambi 1B
Suzuki C
Garciaparra DH
Cust RF
Sweeney CF
Ellis 2B

Anderson LHP

Red Sox
Ellsbury CF
Lugo SS
Youkilis 3B
Ortiz DH
Bay LF
Varitek C
Baldelli RF
Green 2B
Bates 1B

Smoltz RHP

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A little more on Hairston trade

Thought I’d follow up with a bit more on the Scott Hairston deal that I couldn’t squeeze into today’s paper:

–A’s assistant GM David Forst did not guarantee that Ryan Sweeney was going to slide over and be the regular right fielder if Hairston plays center. From reading the blog comments, I got the feeling that some of you might have gotten that impression. Forst merely said Sweeney was an option in right. Regardless, this trade definitely points to Jack Cust seeing more time at DH and less in right field with Sweeney available as an obvious defensive upgrade in right. But we’ll have a clearer read on the outfield picture after Bob Geren holds court w/reporters before tonight’s game in Boston.

–”This is a trade we made for the long-term,” Forst said of Hairston, 29. The A’s will have control over him for the next 2 1/2 years, as Hairston won’t be eligible for free agency until after the 2011 season. He’s arbitration-eligible each season until then. Forst also said that Hairston is probably a natural corner outfielder, but is better suited for center in the A’s current state (read: as long as Matt Holliday is still wearing an A’s uniform and playing left field).

–Some of you have seen this story from mlb.com. Hairston was caught off-guard and not particularly happy about the trade because he liked it in San Diego. I’m sure his .360 average against left-handed pitching this season had to be enticing to the A’s, who have struggled against lefties despite beating Cliff Lee yesterday. Click here for Hairston’s career stats.

–It’s tough to get a read on this deal until we learn who the “player to be named” is that goes to San Diego along with pitchers Ryan Webb and Craig Italiano. The mlb.com story paraphrased Padres GM Kevin Towers as saying he’ll pick from two A’s pitchers sometime this month, with one having major league experience. This deal didn’t come cheaply for the A’s just factoring in Webb and Italiano. If San Diego gets another impact arm, that’s an even steeper price to pay. Time will tell …

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A’s get Scott Hairston from the Padres

A’s just sent over a release detailing their trade for Padres outfielder Scott Hairston, who will likely become Oakland’s new leadoff hitter. The A’s gave up a pair of pretty decent pitching prospects in Ryan Webb and Craig Italiano.

Here’s the release:

OAKLAND, Calif. – The Oakland A’s acquired outfielder Scott Hairston from the San Diego Padres in exchange for minor league pitchers Ryan Webb and Craig Italiano plus a player to be named later, the club announced today. Hairston is expected to join the A’s Monday in Boston.

Hairston was batting .299 with 10 home runs and 29 RBI in 56 games with San Diego, including today’s game against Los Angeles. He also has a career high eight stolen bases in nine attempts. The 29-year old right-handed hitter has made 34 starts in center field and 14 in left field. Hairston was batting .327 in 43 games before going on the disabled list on June 2 with a strained left biceps. He was reinstated from the DL on June 23 and is batting .220 (11 for 50) with two home runs and six RBI in 13 games since his return.

Hairston made his Major League debut with Arizona in 2004 and spent parts of four seasons with the Diamondbacks before he was traded to San Diego on July 27, 2007. He hit a career high 17 home runs last year and is a .255 career hitter with 51 home runs and 127 RBI in 400 games. Hairston’s father, Jerry, played 14 seasons with the White Sox and Pirates, and his older brother, Jerry Jr., is currently playing for Cincinnati.

Webb was 7-1 with two saves and a 4.34 ERA in 31 games, two starts, at Triple-A Sacramento. He allowed a .313 opponents batting average and had 15 walks and 39 strikeouts in 45.2 innings. The 23-year old right-handed pitcher was originally drafted by the A’s in the fourth round of the 2004 First-Year Player Draft.

Italiano was 5-6 with a 5.63 ERA in 16 starts at Single-A Stockton. He had 75 strikeouts and 40 walks in 76.2 innings and allowed a .280 opponents batting average. The 22-year old right-handed pitcher was the A’s second round selection in the 2005 draft.