Happy Monday, Athletics Nation!
The A’s continue to be active in the international market, having agreed to deals yesterday with two players on the Top 50 International Prospects list. These include right handed starting pitcher Luis Morales (#5) from Cuba, who is the top international pitching prospect, and outfielder Darling Fernandez (#40) from the Dominican Republic.
The A's have agreed to deals with RHP Luis Morales and OF Darling Fernandez, Nos. 5 and 40 on the Top 50 International Prospects list, per @JesseSanchezMLB.— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) January 15, 2023
More: https://t.co/1xLT4XhYy1 pic.twitter.com/SBG0L5Zw1U
According to Jesse Sanchez at MLB.com, 20-year-old Morales projects to be a top-of rotation-starter, with a fastball sitting in the mid-90s and a wide menu of developing secondary pitches. He recorded a record-setting 161 strikeouts in 82 2/3 innings in U-18 play through 2019 and 2020. 17-year-old Fernandez is a left-handed hitting outfielder with plus hitting potential and developing power.
In addition to making waves with these international acquisitions, the A’s made deals with all three of the team’s arbitration-eligible players, per Martin Gallegos.
A's reached one-year deals with Ramón Laureano, Tony Kemp and Paul Blackburn to avoid arbitration. Those were their only three arbitration-eligible players.— Martín Gallegos (@MartinJGallegos) January 13, 2023
Ramón Laureano, Tony Kemp, and Paul Blackburn all agreed to one year deals with the A’s, who need to hang on to as much affordable big league talent as possible. Laureano ($3.550 million) hasn’t played especially well since his 2021 PED suspension, but could be valuable if he gets his career back on track. Kemp ($3.725 million), is a consummate team player who had a fantastic second half last season. Blackburn ($1.9 million) was the A’s sole representative at the All-Star Game last season.
All in all, that’s a lot better than a year of Billy Butler if you ask me, and I’m especially happy to see Kemp coming back. Not a bad weekend for the A’s front office. Have a wonderful week, AN!
- Nico: Why This Vehement “Anti Replay” Fan Supports Robo Ball-Strike Umps
- Sanchez: A’s agree to deal with top int’l pitcher (source)
- Razo: A’s avoid arbitration with Kemp, Blackburn, Laureano
- Ostler: A’s and Oakland just got served a major reality check in ballpark pursuit ($)
MLB News & Interest:
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- Fegan: Liam Hendriks’ charitable work has built network of well-wishers as he battles lymphoma ($)
- Hampton: Frankie Montas Expected To Miss First Month Of Season
- Ahram: Notable International Signings: 1/15/2023
- Polishuk: Bonus Pools For 2023 International Signing Market
- Ahram: Ted Savage Passes Away
- Polishuk: Requested Salary Figures For 33 Players Who Didn’t Reach Agreements By Arbitration-Filing Deadline
- Hampton: MLBTR Poll: The NL East Favorite
- Polishuk: Red Sox Interested In Jurickson Profar, Elvis Andrus
- Today in Baseball History
Best of Twitter:
Definitely lots of possibilities this year.
Not sure how the A’s rotation will look on Opening Day, but it’s a lot easier to envision a viable rotation from the group they’ve assembled now than it was on OD last year.— Melissa Lockard (@melissalockard) January 14, 2023
Fujinami is big and hard-throwing.
Pruitt stays in the organization.
#Athletics have re-signed RHP Austin Pruitt to a minor league contract.— MiLB-Transactions (@tombaseball29) January 15, 2023
How the rotation could shake out.
The A’s have signed RHP Shintaro Fujinami to a 1-year deal. RHP Tyler Cyr has been DFA'd to clear room on the roster. Fujinami joins Irvin, Blackburn, Rucinski & Kaprielian as A's most likely rotation options. If Kap isn't healthy, Muller, Wadichuk & Sears likely top options.— Athletics Farm (@AthleticsFarm) January 14, 2023