Welcome back to Weekdays at Bernie's! It's the best dance in the game, so let's get rolling once more!
- Right fielder Josh Reddick reported to camp on Tuesday morning and was bombarded by questions about a possible contract extension, as Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle summarizes. Reddick remains very open to an extension "if the numbers are right," while Athletics' GM David Forst claims to be stuck in a game of phone tag with Reddick's agent. The 29 year-old has been Oakland's starting right fielder since 2012, making him one of the longest-tenured players on the roster. Slusser speculates that the extension could be worth about $40 million over three years or close to $60 million over four. For more, check out Jeremy's coverage of the news.
- Often-forgotten reliever R.J. Alvarez is looking to bounce back after a rough 2015 that he describes as a "bust," also via Slusser. Alvarez, only 24, posted a 9.90 ERA for the Athletics over 20 innings in 2015. The flamethrower struggled mightily with command, and has worked hard to improve his consistency. Manager Bob Melvin was impressed with his bullpen today, and Alvarez is excited to learn even more from veteran relievers Ryan Madson and John Axford. If Alvarez can settle in and start throwing strikes, he could be a major asset in the late innings.
- Also in that article, Slusser reports that righty Aaron Brooks and southpaw Sean Manaea will be starting the first two Cactus League games for the A's on March 3rd and 4th respectively. The two came over to Oakland together in last season's Ben Zobrist trade, and each has something to prove. Brooks is fighting for the fifth spot in the rotation, and Manaea will be looking to live up to the considerable hype he has received as Oakland's top pitching prospect. They say Spring Training stats don't matter, but these two pitchers will definitely be ones to keep an eye on.
- Other notes from that article - righties Jarrod Parker and Jesse Hahn, each returning from injuries, will throw one day and rest two to start the spring; catcher Stephen Vogt, coming off of elbow surgery, has started throwing once again and all is going well; minor league catcher Bruce Maxwell will be playing for Germany in the World Baseball Classic qualifier in March.
- The Baltimore Orioles made a sizable addition to their offense on Tuesday afternoon, inking outfielder Dexter Fowler to a three year, $33 million deal. Roch Kubatko of MASN broke the news of the long-speculated agreement, while Jon Heyman reported the specifics. However, the deal is still pending a physical, and that's no small hurdle when it comes to the Orioles - a three-year agreement with right-handed pitcher Yovani Gallardo has now been tabled due to concerns over his shoulder, per Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun. Both players declined qualifying offers earlier in the offseason, so each would cost Baltimore a draft pick if they were signed.
"Best Shape of My Life"
- Dodgers' righty Brandon McCarthy tweeted a questionable picture of teammate Enrique Hernandez, and Blue Jays' third baseman Josh Donaldson had something to say about it:
- The future is here - an umpire for a Division III John Hopkins University baseball game was caught riding around the field mid-game on a hoverboard. (link)