At least three of the four teams known to have made inquiries regarding Oakland Athletics infielder Brett Lawrie have not been a match for the A's so far. First, after the Orange County Register's Jeff Fletcher reported the Angels' interest in Lawrie on Monday, reports since then have said things just aren't a fit. Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle:
I'm hearing that while the #Angels may have called on Brett Lawrie, they don't have a ton of interest now.— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) December 8, 2015
CSN California's Joe Stiglich reports that the Angels did discuss Lawrie, "but it doesn't appear Los Angeles could offer a return package to Oakland's liking." The Detroit Tigers were also said to have interest in Slusser's original report on Monday, but Stiglich says, "Detroit flirted with the idea of trying to acquire Lawrie but nothing has come of it."
The Angels and Tigers were probably the least likely of the quartet to make Lawrie a priority anyway. Fletcher's report indicates that the Angels are making re-signing David Freese their top priority at third base. The Tigers have a young but underperforming third baseman waiting for a breakout year of their own in Nick Casteallanos.
This morning, however, ESPN's Buster Olney adds that the Cleveland Indians don't appear to be a match either:
A's have been talking with other teams about Brett Lawrie, but Indians/Angels probably aren't natural landing spots at this point.— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) December 8, 2015
That leaves the Chicago White Sox, and they've shown no signs that they're going to stand pat at third base:
White Sox general manager Rick Hahn spoke with CSN Chicago on Monday:
Hahn's ideal answer would be a long-term third base the team could build around. They haven't identified one of those since Crede, who last played on Sept. 2, 2008.
But the reality is the type of player he'd love to find isn't available and Hahn is willing to adapt to the market if needed, meaning he'd sign or trade for a shorter-term option.
Of course, there's still plenty of time for other clubs to join or re-join the discussions or for the A's to not trade Brett at all. It appears Lawrie is literally driving himself up the walls in anticipation.
No seriously, the A's are not trading Sonny Gray
Oakland Athletics general manager David Forst reiterated to MLB Network Radio, "It is not our plan to trade Sonny Gray . . . Sonny is very much a centerpiece of our club right now and as soon as you trade a Sonny Gray you spend the next decade looking for him again. He's critical to what we're doing and what we think we can do in 2016:
Forst's comments come after Susan Slusser's article in Tuesday's San Francisco Chronicle saying the A's absolutely must sign Sonny Gray to an extension now or else the cost will become too great for the A's to buy out future free agent years. Slusser's sources believe that a six-year deal that would take Gray through the four years of team control plus two years of free agency would range between $52-65 million.
Ryan Madson signing likely announced today, contract details
Susan Slusser also says that the A's are likely to announce reliever Ryan Madson's three-year, $22 million deal today. Her paper says the contract breakdown for the games finished bonuses are potentially $1.25 million each year of the deal. In each year, "he would make an additional $250,000 for finishing 30 games, another $250,000 for finishing 35 games, another $250,000 for finishing 40 games and $500,000 for finishing 45 games."
UPDATE (12:16PM): MLB.com's Jane Lee says Madson's physical is scheduled for Thursday, conveniently after the morning Rule 5 Draft. Before Madson signs, the A's have 39 players counting against their 40-man roster, and must have a spot open to be able to make a selection during the major league portion:
Hearing Ryan Madson's physical is scheduled for Thursday, so an official announcement on his signing with A's won't come before then.— Jane Lee (@JaneMLB) December 8, 2015
A's brass meeting beat writers today
The A's pulled into the Gaylord Opryland Resort in Nashville on Monday night. General manager David Forst and manager Bob Melvin will have media availabilities today, says MLB.com's Jane Lee.