Good evening, Athletics Nation! The Oakland A's news has cooled down for now, but you never know when they might crank the heat back up again. We better stay warmed up with some minor news and notes.
Rangel Ravelo honored by Venezuelan League
A's prospect Rangel Ravelo was named the Productor Del Año of the Venezuelan Winter League (LVBP) on Monday. That translates literally to Producer of the Year, but it's safe to say it's the equivalent of the league MVP. Ravelo played in 55 games for the Cardenales de Lara, batting .354/.480/.562 for a league-leading 1.042 OPS. He was also among the league leaders in walks (41, against 32 Ks), homers (8), and RBI (38). Ravelo made headlines when he charged the mound after one of his six HBPs, and the resulting brawl led to a brief suspension and a minor finger injury for the first baseman. However, he returned quickly and continued his excellent season. The two runners-up for the award, Felix Perez and Alex Romero, are both journeymen in their 30s who are not under contract with MLB clubs.
The playing time was valuable for Ravelo, who was limited to just 59 games in 2015 after undergoing wrist surgery in spring training. He will be competing for a job again this spring, though it seems likely that he'll ultimately start his age-24 season in Triple-A.
Sickels ranks the prospects
John Sickels, renowned prospect evaluator and leader of SB Nation's site Minor League Ball, has released his list of the top 20 Oakland A's prospects. Conveniently, we've only just begun voting on our own Community Prospect List, so if you'd like to learn a bit more about some of the prospects then I highly recommend taking a look (and make sure to read the comments for more scouting reports). A few notables:
1. Franklin Barreto, grade A-
2. Sean Manaea, grade A-/B+
3. Matt Olson, grade B+
4. Renato Nunez, grade B+/B
5. Jacob Nottingham, grade B+/B
Alonso, Valencia sign contracts, avoid arbitration
Entering the week, the A's still had four arbitration-eligible players who needed contracts for 2016. Half of them are now taken care of:
That leaves two more players stuck in arby limbo: OF Josh Reddick (est. $7 million), and RP Fernando Rodriguez (est. $1.3 million). There is also the possibility that Reddick could be signed to a long-term contract instead of a one-year settlement, because it's January and we're allowed to dream.
Brandon McCarthy Q&A is pure gold
Former A's pitcher Brandon McCarthy will miss the beginning of the season for the Dodgers while he recovers from Tommy John surgery, but he's still one of the most entertaining people in the sport. Check out his Q&A at The Players' Tribune, for gems like this:
What was Tommy John surgery like? - Andrew
I was asleep, so I don't know. I assume it was gross.
And I'll give you one guess which current A's player is his favorite athlete on Twitter.
Chad Pinder Q&A on Twitter
The Midland RockHounds let shortstop prospect Chad Pinder take over their Twitter account for an hour for a Q&A session. The questions were hard-hitting.
@chris_dailycal "Chi-Willy" for sure.— Midland RockHounds (@RockHounds) January 13, 2016
Mark Canha is hungry and needs your help
Oakland Restaurant Week started today (Thu.), and it goes through Jan. 24. That is a total of 11 days, which is closer to two weeks than one, but I'm gonna let it go and stay focused here.
Oakland restaurant week begins on Thursday everyone! Which means I'm gonna need some recommendations for lunch and dinner spots... Also stay tuned for a potential mystery contest! #Letsgooakland
Canha is already as well known for being a foodie as a slugger, so if you have a favorite spot in Oakland I'll bet he's willing to listen (if he hasn't been there already).
The minor league ties that bind
They've already been separated by trades, but these gentlemen are still friends. This is a pic from Addison Russell's wedding, and if I'm not mistaken we have the following from left to right: Matt Olson, Addison Russell, Daniel Robertson, and Billy McKinney.
A bat and a ball introduced us but these are the kind of friendships that are hard to come by. I couldn't be any prouder of Addison and so glad he let us be in his wedding. I wish Mr. And Mrs. Russell a long and happy marriage!!
Congratulations to (Canadian) Hall of Famer Jeff Francis!
A's take their shots at the Powerball
Good luck to the powerball players tonight. If I win I am buying 49% of WWE. And still playing… https://t.co/iCoKYaVU89— Josh Reddick (@RealJoshReddick) January 14, 2016
I'll tell you what would happen when I win this powerball... 1. Family done working 2. I'll be flying into workouts tomorrow in a black hawk— Chris Bassitt (@C_Bass419) January 14, 2016
Think if I win the 1.5 billion @selenagomez will go on a date with me?— Matt Olson (@mattolson21) January 13, 2016
Got more links? Dump away in the comments!