Rumor season is in full swing around MLB, especially now with the Winter Meetings underway. However, there has been little mention of the A’s in any of the rumors so far, and even the moves they did already make came with no prior warning.
The only times I can recall the A’s being mentioned are the following: a brief tie to free agent outfielder Eric Thames, before he signed elsewhere; the general word that the team will listen on Sonny, Vogt, and Doolittle; and the report that the Braves inquired about Sonny but weren’t interested in the price. That’s it, other than folks speculating about what players the A’s might be after or what teams they might match up with in a trade.
In the absence of actual A’s rumors, here are a few reports from around the league that might at least interest some folks on Athletics Nation.
A’s didn’t ask for Swanson in Sonny discussion
We already knew the Braves asked about Sonny Gray earlier in the offseason, and that it went nowhere. Atlanta has continued chasing ace starters, specifically Chris Sale and Chris Archer — whenever there’s an update on those guys, Sonny’s name comes up again, if only as part of the due diligence background info. But there hasn’t been any actual new rumor regarding Sonny.
There still isn’t! But there is new info on the old rumor. Which wasn’t really a rumor in the first place, if we’re being honest, but rather a non-rumor, which isn’t nothing but is still like a lesser version of an actual rumor. It’s news that nothing is happening.
Anyway, back when nothing happened, the A’s asked for some kind of return package that the Braves didn’t want to give up. We don’t know who was included in that rejected proposal, but trying to guess sure is fun! The one thing we now know is that the A’s didn’t ask for prized shortstop Dansby Swanson, the 2015 No. 1 overall pick who debuted last summer (via Joel Sherman of the NY Post).
I guess that’s not really a surprise. If the A’s were to trade with the Braves, you’d imagine they’d want one of Atlanta’s young CF and/or pitching prospects. Oakland already has a solid shortstop, with several infield prospects already arriving in 2017. I wouldn’t really have expected them to base a Sonny trade around Swanson, a highly touted player who fills exactly zero of their current organizational holes (he even bats righty). But now we definitely know it didn’t happen!
In semi-related news, Mark Polishuk of MLB Trade Rumors, in response to a rumor about the Rangers getting nowhere in an inquiry on Atlanta’s Gold Glove CF Ender Inciarte, said the following: “[I]t is clear Atlanta regards the defensive standout as a building block in center field.”
Finally, Ken Rosenthal of Fox suggested on Sunday that the A’s might consider toning down their wheeling and dealing under their new leadership, and that “[t]rading Gray would be more of the same.”
Add it all up, and the chances of Sonny going anywhere seem lower than they might have in past winters. As non-rumors go, I guess it could be worse than keeping one of our favorite players, who also might still be super awesome.
The CF search
Most of these rumors don’t involve the A’s. But they have to do with outfielders we’ve talked about on AN.
- The Nationals asked about Kevin Kiermaier of the Rays, but they “consider the asking price exorbitant.” (Bob Nightengale, USA Today)
- The Reds won’t part with Billy Hamilton easily, and they “expect premium offers” if they’re to listen. They don’t think he’s hit his ceiling. (Mark Sheldon, MLB.com)
- A’s beat writer Jane Lee muses on the possibility of the A’s and Royals connecting again, this time for an outfielder like Jarrod Dyson or Lorenzo Cain. This one isn’t an actual rumor, but rather interesting speculation from an insider.
- Cain is available, though. (Buster Olney, ESPN)
- The Blue Jays offered a contract to Dexter Fowler, around 4/$60M, but it wasn’t enough. (Jon Heyman, Fan Rag Sports) If you still had hope of Oakland landing him, then that report should just about end that dream.