Writing about ex-A's is an interesting task. As you dive into the rabbit hole of former players, you start to think that everyone played for the A's at one point or another. Super Bowl Most Valuable Player Von Miller? Former left fielder. Fake Super Bowl MVP Peyton Manning? Former pitcher. Papa John? Former O.co vendor. Beyonce? Ugh I wish.
Remember Matt Murton? He was a key player in the Rich Harden deal, a guy lots of us were excited about. He was supposed to come in and start from day one and hold down a spot in an otherwise wide open outfield. Like most things 2007-2011, that didn't work, but that's alright. The Cubs signed Murton to a minor league deal a week ago and he has a shot at breaking camp as their fourth outfielder. Murton has spent the past few years in Japan's NPB where he's crushed a few records. I can't help but root for guys who make the trip overseas, so go get 'em, Matt!
Murton's failure with the A's would have been much more painful if it weren't for a guy named
The reigning MVP and former Oakland great finally got paid on Monday after an arbitration based standoff kept he and the Jays from striking a deal. Donaldson will now make $29 million over the next two seasons. The deal doesn't change the length of time he's in a Jays uniform, but he is now a very rich man. Even with the sadness of him being gone and his various warts and all, I can't be anything but happy for Donaldson. He's certainly earned the big bucks. Plus, it made for a fun day on Twitter.
@BringerOfRain20 congrats on the deal. Now you can tip your barber so he'll stop doing what he does to you— Brandon McCarthy (@BMcCarthy32) February 9, 2016
Welcome to a new segment called Traincan Gasman, where your task is to guess the pitcher who Trainman called a Gascan based on a piece of trivia. These will get more obscure as we go along. No cheating! Unless of course you want to cheat at Traincan Gasman, in which case just do it, I guess. Here's your hint:
This former A's starter managed to put up a 2-14 record for one of our most hated rivals.
I'll post the answer with a spoiler in the comments. Special thanks to Trainman for always providing us non-swear-word names for people who really deserve swear-word names. It serves the community well.
Spring Training Eve
John Baker, a former catcher who apparently had a stint in the A's system wrote a piece on what it's like to be player before Spring Training. I'm not sure why he released "Spring Training Eve" a week and a half before Spring Training eve, but it's a good read so we'll give him a pass.
Players sniff their new gloves and take dry hacks with new bats in their underwear.
Baseball players are weird.
The A's former closer finally found a team on Monday, signing a two year, $12.25 million contract with the DBacks. Clip got a bit of a bad wrap with A's fans while he was here thanks to heart attack inducing innings, but he was the one pitcher to consistently get outs. Thanks for that Clip, not sure we could have handled a full season of Edward Mujica. I hope Clippard finds success in his new home but am currently skeptical of A) anything GM Dave Stewart does and B) Clipboard's ability to not give up a million triples in the thin Phoenix air. Prove me wrong, Clip!
Former A's temp closer and future subject of Traincan Gasman is reportedly choosing between four teams and should have a new deal by the weekend, according to Jerry Crasnick. No that's not a typo, there are legitimately four teams vying for the lefty's services. Oh to be a baseball player. I never should have retired.
Even with a brutal 2015, I harbor no feelings of resentment for O'Flaherty and hope he does well. Unless one of those four teams are the Angels in which case do what you did last year, please.
Major League Baseball is looking at changing the rules on players sliding into second base after major injuries last season marred the playoffs. Don't forget the fracas Brett Lawrie's slide caused either! It's unclear what the exact change will be, nor is it certain to go into effect before 2016 or ever, but it appears players will have to make a greater effort to actually, you know, slide into the bag. This change would presumably help the A's middle infield tandem of the oft injured Jed Lowrie and the occasionally erratic Marcus Semien.
Tune in next time for our five part writeup about wherever O'Flaherty lands!