Good morning Athletics Nation! Our friend Bernie is off this week, so here is a quick link dump in lieu of The Weekly Bernie.
The MLB offseason is in its final days. The trades have mostly been made, free agency is winding down, and pitchers and catchers are preparing to report this week. Here’s what happened around the league in the last week, starting with A’s news:
- RHP Daniel Mengden will miss most (all?) of spring training after fracturing his right foot. The injury required surgery and he’ll be in a boot for six weeks. Mengden was in the running for the rotation, and his absence leaves Jharel Cotton and Andrew Triggs as the current favorites for the final two starting spots (after Sonny, Manaea, and Graveman).
- The playing surface at the Oakland Coliseum will henceforth be known as Rickey Henderson Field. Great move by a new leadership corps looking to reconnect with the city and fans.
- Rosters are out for the 2017 World Baseball Classic, and the A’s are sending nine players to represent six countries. The highlights are Sonny Gray (USA) and Khris Davis (Mexico). Click here to see full rosters for every country. The tournament goes from March 6-22.
- PECOTA projections are out, and they aren’t fun at all for A’s fans.
- Commissioner Rob Manfred is toying with changing extra-inning rules, by spotting the offensive team a runner to start each frame. Nico doesn’t like it, and neither do I. Grant Brisbee of SB Nation also isn’t into it, but he at least makes a good argument in favor of trying new things to reduce marathon games in Rookie Ball and the WBC (the two places where the idea is being tested).
- Detroit Tigers owner Mike Ilitch passed away at age 87. His son released this statement. All our best to the Tigers family.
- The Marlins are close to a $1.6 billion sale to businessman Joshua Kushner. MLBTR has a roundup of all the relevant links, including the original news story from Mike Ozanian of Forbes. Here at SB Nation, Grant Brisbee has two stories about it: here and here. Marlins fans, who generally dislike current owner Jeffrey Loria, are “jumping for joy.”
- Some former A’s found homes around the league: RHP Jason Hammel went to the Royals for 2/$16M (info), DH Chris Carter went to the Yankees for 1/$3M (info), LHP Jerry Blevins stayed with the Mets for 1/$6.5M (info), LHP Craig Breslow returned to the Twins on a minor league deal eight years after they waived him to Oakland (info), and OF Collin Cowgill signed a minor league deal with the Padres.
- Meanwhile, Coco Crisp would like to keep playing if a team wants to sign him, reports John Hickey of the Mercury News.
- The Reds finally traded 2B Brandon Phillips after years of rumors, in a salary dump to the Braves.
- The White Sox and Nationals are still talking about a trade for closer David Robertson, says Bob Nightengale and Jose L. Ortiz of USA Today.
- Some final free agents: 1B Mike Napoli returns to Rangers (1/$8.5M), LHP J.P. Howell to Blue Jays (1/$3M), OF Franklin Gutierrez heads to Dodgers (1/$2.6M), 2B Chase Utley stays with Dodgers (1/$2M), RHP Nathan Eovaldi to Rays (1/$2M), and OF Desmond Jennings sign minor league deal with Reds.
What to expect ths week
OAKLAND A’S PITCHERS AND CATCHERS REPORT ON WEDNESDAY. AND FULL SQUAD ON SUNDAY. BRING IT ON.
That’s all for this week! Feel free to dump any links in the comments below.