Good morning, Athletics Nation!
The next step toward a 2020 MLB season comes Friday, as the freeze on transactions ends at 9 a.m. PT. Teams will once more be allowed to make trades and signings, or remove players from their current rosters. On Sunday at noon PT, they must submit the list of 60 players they’ll have eligible for the season.
We shouldn’t necessarily expect any big things to happen — after all, it was midway through spring training when everything shut down to begin with, so all the major offseason moves were already done. But there should at least be some small moves worth watching around the league.
One thing we might see is National League teams preparing for the newly announced universal designated hitter. Some of them will already have in-house options they like in the DH spot, but others may look to the open market for help. There are still some intriguing hitters available, led by Yasiel Puig. Others who had bad 2019 campaigns but could be looking for bounce-backs include Scooter Gennett, Melky Cabrera, Hanley Ramirez, and Mark Trumbo. MLB Trade Rumors has a longer list of current free agents.
As for the Oakland A’s, there hasn’t been any specific reporting about what (if anything) they might do this weekend. I still wonder (pure speculation) if it might be worth bringing in a veteran catcher, since the entire A’s organization owns only 266 games of MLB catching experience (212 by non-roster invitee Carlos Perez). I also wonder if, when, and how Daniel Mengden will be activated from the 60-day injured list, including who might be removed to make space on the roster.
Keep an eye out today for transaction news, for the first time in months!
- Hickey: No Innings Restrictions for Athletics’ Rookie Starters Jesus Luzardo & A.J. Puk
- Hickey: Athletics’ DH Khris Davis, Healthy Once More, Won’t Feel Pressure as Part of Potent Lineup
- Hickey: As Athletics Finalize 60-Man Roster, Recent Draftees May Be Part of the Mix
- Brazil: Dennis Eckersley recalls getting A’s final out of 1989 World Series
- Nico: Those Who Fail To Learn From History Are Doomed To Repeat It
- Hall: How does regional 2020 schedule affect Oakland A’s?
MLB News, & Interest:
- Piecoro: COVID tests at D-Backs’ facility return multiple positives
- Feinsand: FAQ: Roster and transaction rules for 2020
- Rosenthal: Blockbuster trades are less likely; schedule complaints; scramble for jobs ($$$)
- Blum: AP Interview: Manfred: `We owe it to our fans to be better’
- Justice: 5 teams that could shock the league this season (including two West teams)
- Szymborski: The Obscenely Late, Obscenely Early ZiPS Projected Standings
- Toribio: Top prospect Franco to be in TB player pool
- Clair: The 13 coolest MLB teams of all-time (including two A’s teams)
- Today in Baseball History
Best of Twitter:
Don’t expect to be following actual games during “spring” training
MLB told clubs today they will be permitted to schedule up to three exhibition games before the end of Spring Training 2.0. If a club is not located near any potential opponents, it can schedule games against its initial regular-season opponent in days leading to Opening Day.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) June 25, 2020
More un-furloughs coming!
I’m told the A’s will be bringing back some of their furloughed minor-league coaches when they get their taxi-squad/extra pool players/whatever we are calling them site up and running.— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) June 25, 2020
Sometimes the silver lining is that there’s no storm cloud at all
One random shortened schedule potential advantage for the West teams: they are by far the best positioned to get through the schedule without a rainout.— Melissa Lockard (@melissalockard) June 25, 2020
Definitely something for us to talk more about in the coming days
Interesting to note that the Angels & Mariners have both announced that they'll be going with 6-man rotations this season. If the A's wanted to do the same, they've got Fiers, Manaea, Montas, Luzardo, Puk & Bassitt.— Athletics Farm (@AthleticsFarm) June 25, 2020
Interesting detail. Nominations for a new term? I’ll start with a team-specific one: Oakland B’s
I’ve been saying this. Officially, the taxi squad consists of the extra players who go on regular season road trips with the MLB club. The players at the alternate training site need to be called something else. https://t.co/HL3y2UPthJ— Zak Basch (@zakbasch) June 26, 2020
I imagine this is referring to Allen being in the Oakland B’s player pool, not the three-man taxi squad
Source: #Athletics No. 5 prospect Nick Allen is expected to be on the team’s taxi squad.— William Boor (@wboor) June 26, 2020
Start getting ... cautiously optimistic of maybe baseball happening soon!