Welcome back to The Daily Bernie! It's the best dance in the game, so let's get rolling once more!
- The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim had talks with the A's about Josh Reddick, per Alden Gonzalez, prior to Jerry DiPoto's resignation. According to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, the Angels also inquired on Ben Zobrist. No traction was gained, as the A's gave a resounding "no" on Reddick. However, the Angels persisted, even trying to get the Boston Red Sox involved, similar to the Andrew Heaney trades last winter. I don't personally see this going anywhere, as the Angels don't have a very deep farm, but this is certainly a situation to monitor.
- The A's completed another deal with the Atlanta Braves, and a very similar one at that. The A's gave up a smaller international bonus slot, this one valued at $167,000, and received 24-year-old righty Aaron Kurcz in return. Kurcz is a reliever with solid strikeout rates, but some control issues. Career minor-leaguer Ryan Verdugo was traded to the Angels for cash in order to make room on the Triple-A roster for the returning Nate Freiman, per Athletics Farm, so another move will be necessary to make room for Kurcz.
- Catcher Stephen Vogt and righty ace Sonny Gray will represent the A's at the 2015 All-Star Game in Cincinnati, as Major League Baseball has announced. A very huge congratulations to both deserving candidates! (Scott Kazmir and Josh Reddick are notable snubs, as manager Ned Yost decided to go with seven relievers, and the AL outfield is very stacked this year.)
- Top draft pick Richie Martin has looked promising so far in Short Season ball, albeit in a very small sample. The 20-year-old shortstop held a 1.414 OPS over his first four games prior to Tuesday's contest in which he went 0-4. Only five games into the season the numbers don't mean a whole lot, but Martin has passed the eye test according to all reports from his recent workout at O.Co Coliseum. The entire minor league system update from A's Farm is here.
- Chicago Cubs' minor leaguer (and potential A's trade target) Arismendy Alcantara has gone ice cold in Triple-A Iowa. The 23-year-old super utility player has OPSed .550 since June 5, posting a wRC+ of 39. Alcantara still has a decent ceiling as a Ben Zobrist-lite, but that certainly looks further off than ever now.
Bernie's Daily Deal: Scott Kazmir and Tyler Clippard to the Houston Astros for A.J. Reed, Tony Kemp, and Nolan Fontana
The Astros have shown strong interest in Houston native Scott Kazmir, as they could use some rotation help behind Dallas Keuchel and Lance McCullers Jr. Kazmir would slot in as at least Houston's No. 3 starter, if not their No. 2. Although Kazmir is a free agent following the 2015 season, the Astros have very little future financial commitment, and could certainly look to re-sign him. Clippard, on the other hard, was targeted by the Astros last winter before they signed Luke Gregerson and Pat Neshek. He would help give some depth to an otherwise top-heavy bullpen.
In return for two of their top trade chips, the A's would receive three prospects age 24 or younger. Reed is the best of the bunch, as the 2014 second-round pick has mashed 20 home runs in 77 High-A games this season. A lefty first baseman, he could displace Ike Davis by the 2016 All-Star break. Kemp is a speedy 23-year-old with lots of speed, a good glove, and solid plate discipline. Promoted to Triple-A in early June, Kemp could break camp with the A's in 2016, or even earn a September call-up. Finally, Fontana is a 24-year-old middle infielder with a 20.8% walk rate for his career. In addition, Fontana plays solid defense and has a little speed and a little power, and could thrive in a utility role. All three players are blocked in Houston, both short-term and long-term, and thus are somewhat expendable.
That's it for today. The A's take on the Yankees at 4:05 p.m. PT. Feel free to dump any links in the comments below. Until tomorrow - lean on, A's fans!