Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
The Official Site of the Oakland Athletics
news

Athletics News

Chapman (shoulder surgery) to swing in 6 weeks

MLB.com @MannyOnMLB

A's third baseman Matt Chapman underwent left shoulder surgery on Friday and is expected to begin swinging a bat in six weeks. He first experienced pain in the shoulder during a recent offseason workout.

The distal clavicle resection procedure was performed by Dr. William Workman at the Bass Surgical Center in Walnut Creek, Calif. The surgery was Chapman's second this offseason. He had a right thumb procedure Oct. 16.

A's third baseman Matt Chapman underwent left shoulder surgery on Friday and is expected to begin swinging a bat in six weeks. He first experienced pain in the shoulder during a recent offseason workout.

The distal clavicle resection procedure was performed by Dr. William Workman at the Bass Surgical Center in Walnut Creek, Calif. The surgery was Chapman's second this offseason. He had a right thumb procedure Oct. 16.

Chapman, 25, had a breakout season in 2018, slashing .278/.356/.508 with 24 home runs in 145 games for Oakland. He finished seventh in American League Most Valuable Player Award voting, and won a Gold Glove Award at third base and the American League's Platinum Glove Award as the league's best defensive player.

Manny Randhawa is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver. Follow him on Twitter at @MannyOnMLB.

Oakland Athletics, Matt Chapman

Piscotty honored with MLB's Conigliaro Award

MLB.com @JaneMLB

A's outfielder Stephen Piscotty, who so bravely navigated and thrived amid adversity last season, has been named the recipient of the 2018 Tony Conigliaro Award.

Presented every year since 1990, it honors a Major Leaguer that "has overcome adversity through the attributes of spirit, determination and courage that were trademarks of Tony C."

A's outfielder Stephen Piscotty, who so bravely navigated and thrived amid adversity last season, has been named the recipient of the 2018 Tony Conigliaro Award.

Presented every year since 1990, it honors a Major Leaguer that "has overcome adversity through the attributes of spirit, determination and courage that were trademarks of Tony C."

Piscotty came to Oakland in an offseason trade with the Cardinals last winter that allowed him to move home and tend to his mother, Gretchen, who was battling ALS. Piscotty played the role of caretaker alongside his family when he wasn't on the field, an unimaginable task he handled with such strength and grace.

Those same attributes were on display following Gretchen's passing in May. While the A's embarked on a lengthy East Coast road trip, Piscotty remained at home to mourn her loss, days later rejoining the team in Boston and hitting an emotional home run over the Green Monster in his first at-bat.

Video: OAK@BOS: Piscotty hits a solo homer in return to club

Piscotty went on to hit 27 homers in a career year, batting .267 with 88 RBIs to help the A's into the American League Wild Card Game. All the while, he was tremendously patient and accommodating with the media, earning the BBWAA Bill Rigney Good Guy Award.

"Stephen Piscotty became a mainstay for us last year," A's manager Bob Melvin said this week. "But not only was he out there every day, he had to go through a lot and maybe ended up having the best season that he's had.

"When you look at our team last year, I don't know that anybody kind of embodied what we were about more than Stephen Piscotty, and the production would show that, too."

The Tony Conigliaro Award is awarded in memory of the former Red Sox outfielder, whose career was tragically shortened by a beanball in 1967. Conigliaro passed in '90 at the age of 45, and his brothers, Richie and Billy, are among the 18-person committee -- which also includes media members, MLB executives, Red Sox officials and fan representatives -- who vote on the award.

Piscotty is the second A's player to earn it, joining Jim Mecir (2003).

"I am deeply honored to receive the Tony Conigliaro Award," Piscotty said. "To be included among this courageous group of past winners, and Tony himself, is a distinction I'll always treasure. During my mother's courageous battle with ALS, she fought hard to give my family lasting memories that we will treasure forever. She also worked tirelessly to bring more awareness to ALS so that we can hopefully one day find a cure. She is with me in accepting this award."

Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010.

Oakland Athletics, Stephen Piscotty

A's lay groundwork for deals at Winter Meetings

Oakland signs Herrmann, but stays under the radar otherwise in Las Vegas
MLB.com @JaneMLB

LAS VEGAS -- The A's left the Winter Meetings with little to show for their four-day stay, a familiar theme around Major League Baseball.

They return to the Bay Area with a left-handed-hitting catcher in Chris Herrmann and a to-do list with several critical boxes still to be checked. Starting pitchers, a second baseman and another catcher are all necessities as they seek to build on a 97-win campaign.

LAS VEGAS -- The A's left the Winter Meetings with little to show for their four-day stay, a familiar theme around Major League Baseball.

They return to the Bay Area with a left-handed-hitting catcher in Chris Herrmann and a to-do list with several critical boxes still to be checked. Starting pitchers, a second baseman and another catcher are all necessities as they seek to build on a 97-win campaign.

That's not to say their time in Las Vegas went for naught. More than anything, it helped to foster the groundwork for moves to come and better educated them on an ever-changing market.

"That's sort of what everybody waits for: for the market to develop and guys to come off the board. So I think it'll free things up in a lot of conversations," A's general manager David Forst said.

Biggest remaining needs

1. Starting pitching: The A's rotation remains their weakest link, and it could be some time before it's bolstered. A slew of free-agent starters are still up for grabs, and the A's appear willing to wait out the market before closing in on a few affordable options.

Among those available: Matt Harvey, Wade Miley, Gio Gonzalez, Edwin Jackson, Garrett Richards, Trevor Cahill, Derek Holland and Jeremy Hellickson.

"We'll probably be in wait-and-see mode for a little while," Forst said.

2. Second base: The A's have not ruled out re-signing Jed Lowrie, though it's looking unlikely. There are several other options available, however, and the A's are open to finding Lowrie's replacement through free agency (DJ LeMahieu and Ian Kinsler are out there, among others) or via trade -- hello, Jurickson Profar.

Video: Beane hopes A's are able to re-sign Jed Lowrie

It's important to note that this does appear to be a priority for the club, lessening the chances of an everyday opportunity for young infielder Franklin Barreto.

3. Catching: Even after acquiring Herrmann, the A's will keep tabs on the catching market. Free agent Jonathan Lucroy, a valuable asset for them in 2018, remains available, but could ultimately be out of their price range. The A's are also open to beginning the season with a platoon of Herrmann and Josh Phegley.

Rule 5 Draft

The A's lost former first-rounder Richie Martin to Baltimore in the Major League portion of the Rule 5 Draft and passed on adding anyone to their 40-man roster. In the Minor League phase, they added a trio of players to their system: outfielder Mark Payton (Yankees) and infielders Corban Joseph (Orioles) and Anthony Miller (Indians).

GM's bottom line

"Hopefully, when we get home, we'll be able to kind of start moving on some stuff." -- Forst

Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010.

Oakland Athletics

Murray reaffirms commitment to baseball

MLB.com @JaneMLB

LAS VEGAS -- Kyler Murray's future was once again the subject du jour Wednesday, and the two-sport star offered a shred of clarity to his much talked about plans.

Murray's agent, Scott Boras, had been adamant in recent weeks that his client, Oakland's top Draft pick this year and college football's Heisman Trophy winner, will forego a future in football in favor of honoring his contract with the A's.

LAS VEGAS -- Kyler Murray's future was once again the subject du jour Wednesday, and the two-sport star offered a shred of clarity to his much talked about plans.

Murray's agent, Scott Boras, had been adamant in recent weeks that his client, Oakland's top Draft pick this year and college football's Heisman Trophy winner, will forego a future in football in favor of honoring his contract with the A's.

But when flanked by hundreds of media members while propped in front of a ceiling-scraping Christmas tree at the Winter Meetings at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino on Wednesday, Boras' tone softened.

Free-agent rumors

"When you win the Heisman Trophy, you are going to have a lot of information come to you and be looked at," Boras said. "All I know is Kyler has a tremendous opportunity to be a great baseball player. He knows that, and I think that opportunity is already in place. He has every intention to be in Spring Training and advance that interest."

Video: A's hoping that Murray's focus returns to baseball

All the while, Murray told reporters elsewhere, "As of right now, I'm going to play baseball. That's about it."

At no other time has he sounded so sure of himself. Just last week, he was on the record saying, "I think that's something me and my family will talk about at the end of the season and weigh out the options of what the NFL thinks of me."

Murray has made it known he'd like to play both sports if possible, but Boras demurred when asked about the idea Wednesday.

"He is under contract to the Oakland A's," he said. "I'm not sure he has any bars on his helmet."

Hot Stove Tracker

Should Murray, a quarterback in pursuit of a national championship with Oklahoma, opt to enter the NFL Draft, he'd be forced to relinquish the $4.66 million signing bonus he received from the A's.

To this point, A's officials have refrained from commenting on the matter. A's general manager David Forst took the same approach Wednesday, and when specifically asked about the prospect of Murray attempting careers in MLB and the NLF, he said, "It's not something we've talked to Scott about. It's certainly not something we've talked to Kyler about. We are still confident that he will be playing baseball in February and beyond."

Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010.

Oakland Athletics

A's lose 1st-rounder Martin in Rule 5 Draft

MLB.com @JaneMLB

LAS VEGAS -- Former first-rounder Richie Martin was plucked from the A's organization during the Rule 5 Draft on Thursday by Baltimore, which snagged the infielder with the first selection.

It was hardly surprising; leading up to the draft, Martin was favored to go first. The athletic shortstop, originally taken by the A's as the 20th overall pick of the 2015 Draft out of the University of Florida, finally enjoyed a productive offensive season with Double-A Midland this year following a string of injury-ridden seasons.

LAS VEGAS -- Former first-rounder Richie Martin was plucked from the A's organization during the Rule 5 Draft on Thursday by Baltimore, which snagged the infielder with the first selection.

It was hardly surprising; leading up to the draft, Martin was favored to go first. The athletic shortstop, originally taken by the A's as the 20th overall pick of the 2015 Draft out of the University of Florida, finally enjoyed a productive offensive season with Double-A Midland this year following a string of injury-ridden seasons.

Martin hit .300 with the RockHounds, posting a .368 on-base percentage with 25 stolen bases in 118 games. Yet the A's, who have shortstop Marcus Semien in place through at least 2020, opted to leave him unprotected ahead of the Rule 5 Draft.

Now, he's bound for a potential career-changing opportunity.

"Great for Richie," A's general manager David Forst said. "It's a good opportunity, obviously with a club that needs players, so I'm sure he'll have every opportunity to stick. That's part of the decisions we have to make, but I wish him the best of luck."

Per rules attached to the Rule 5 Draft, the Orioles must keep Martin on their 25-man active roster for the entire season, or else send him through waivers to make him available to other clubs before offering him back to his original team. Baltimore will pay Oakland $100,000 for Martin and will get half of that back should it return him to the A's.

The A's did not make any selections in the Major League phase of Thursday's draft.

Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010.

Oakland Athletics

Veteran catcher Herrmann signed to 1-year deal

Bay Area native Tulowitzki emerges as potential infield addition
MLB.com @JaneMLB

LAS VEGAS -- The A's got a catcher on Tuesday but aren't ruling out adding another.

The signing of veteran backstop Chris Herrmann to a one-year deal marked progress in their push for depth behind the plate, and he could very well partner with Josh Phegley in a platoon when the 2019 season opens, A's general manager David Forst said from the Winter Meetings.

LAS VEGAS -- The A's got a catcher on Tuesday but aren't ruling out adding another.

The signing of veteran backstop Chris Herrmann to a one-year deal marked progress in their push for depth behind the plate, and he could very well partner with Josh Phegley in a platoon when the 2019 season opens, A's general manager David Forst said from the Winter Meetings.

That hasn't stopped them from continuing conversations with Jonathan Lucroy's reps, however, or looking elsewhere for alternative help.

"Obviously as of right now, [Herrmann] and Josh are platooning," Forst said. "I think we'll probably look around and see if there are options, just because you never know, but it's nice to be in a spot right now where we have two Major League catchers who fit well."

Tweet from @Athletics: Heating up the stove.We've agreed to terms with catcher Chris Herrmann on a one-year contract for the 2019 season. Welcome to Oakland, Chris!#RootedInOakland pic.twitter.com/7C1uvBTw6p

Forst said Herrmann will be utilized as a catcher but also offers versatility at first base and the corner-outfield spots, in addition to a handy late-game option off the bench.

Along with his speed, Herrmann can draw a walk and has potential to provide some pop, offsetting an otherwise uninspiring offensive resume.

The 31-year-old appeared in just 36 games for Seattle in 2018, hitting .237 with a .743 OPS in 87 plate appearances. He began his career as a reserve catcher for Minnesota in 2012 before latching on with the D-backs in '16. Herrmann hit .284 over 56 games in his first year with Arizona, then made his way into a career-high 106 games and totaled 10 homers in 2017 but hit .181.

Herrmann was most recently non-tendered by the Astros after being claimed from Seattle in the middle of his ongoing American League West winter tour.

"We needed an option from the left side, and in fact when Chris got claimed on waivers by the Astros, we were kind of kicking ourselves for not jumping in front of that one," Forst said. "Then we were pleasantly surprised to see he got non-tendered."

Another newly available player who could be of interest to the A's: Troy Tulowitzki. The Blue Jays released the veteran infielder on Tuesday and are on the hook for the remaining $38 million on his pact, which expires after 2020; the team that signs him will only have to pay him the Major League minimum over that span.

Video: Tulo released by Blue Jays, enters free agency

Forst, abiding by the A's policy of not commenting on specific free agents, was mum when asked specifically about Tulowitzki but noted, "I do like minimum salaries."

That's expected to be $555,000 in 2019 and just above that in '20, making Tulowitzki -- a five-time All-Star with an injury-ridden past -- an attractive, affordable option for several teams. The 34-year-old shortstop would have to accept a move to second base were he to choose Oakland, but it's also home for the Bay Area native.

The A's have other outside options to explore, though the best-case scenario at this position -- enticing Jed Lowrie back -- is looking less likely by the day. Then there's the rotation, which could include an opener yet again.

Video: Forst discusses how Lowrie, Davis are keys to A's

Both Forst and manager Bob Melvin affirmed as much when asked about utilizing the strategy that was so prevalent in September as their starting stuff crumbled in front of them. They even employed it in the American League Wild Card Game, opening the game with Liam Hendriks for one inning.

"I think it may continue to be a necessity going forward," Forst said. "It's not easy trying to find starting pitching. We are exploring all avenues, but I think we recognize that there are different ways to get 27 outs, and we're going to have to consider all of them."

"We're used to it so to speak, and you're seeing other teams do it, too," Melvin said. "I think you'll see more of it next year."

Among the crop of injured A's starters is Sean Manaea, who had an encouraging follow-up appointment with Dr. Neal ElAttrache last week. The left-hander underwent shoulder surgery in September and is making good progress. He's expected to begin plyometric work in January, but it remains to be seen whether he'll be able to pitch in 2019.

Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010.

Oakland Athletics, Chris Herrmann

A's flexible as Davis extension talks continue

MLB.com @JaneMLB

LAS VEGAS -- The A's remain in ongoing conversations with Khris Davis' reps regarding a contract extension, according to general manager David Forst, but they must first take care of other business.

Forst and Co. descended upon the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino for the Winter Meetings on Monday, engaging in internal meetings while monitoring the landscape of the free-agent market.

LAS VEGAS -- The A's remain in ongoing conversations with Khris Davis' reps regarding a contract extension, according to general manager David Forst, but they must first take care of other business.

Forst and Co. descended upon the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino for the Winter Meetings on Monday, engaging in internal meetings while monitoring the landscape of the free-agent market.

The A's should be active buyers -- they need several starters, a catcher and perhaps a second baseman -- but it remains to be seen whether they add to their roster while in Las Vegas.

Baseball saw little action during Day 1, which was defined more so by a stream of rumors and speculation. The A's have expressed interest in second baseman DJ LeMahieu, per the San Francisco Chronicle, but the 2016 National League batting champion has been linked to several other clubs as well.

Video: DJ LeMahieu set to hit free agency at age 30

Josh Harrison, like LeMahieu a plus defender, could also be among the A's potential targets. Veterans Brian Dozier and Daniel Murphy are also available, should the A's be unable to re-sign free agent Jed Lowrie.

The A's could also opt to forego adding a second baseman and let infield prospect Franklin Barreto play every day. Forst reiterated this is one of many options on the table; adding a platoon partner for Barreto is another.

A's may address rotation, catcher at Meetings

In contrast, the addition of a catcher to replace free agent Jonathan Lucroy is imperative.

"We're going to add somebody," Forst said.

There are numerous free-agent options for sale, and the same can be said of starting pitchers. The A's are casting a wide net in their search for rotation help, since their current options are limited to Daniel Mengden, Chris Bassitt, Paul Blackburn, Frankie Montas and prospects Jesus Luzardo and Grant Holmes.

Andrew Triggs, who underwent thoracic outlet surgery in late September, has been cleared for action but will more than likely be limited to relief duties.

"I'm not sure we can be that choosy right now," Forst said. "We're kind of exploring every avenue, whether it's trade or free agency, and I think that applies to year or multiyear deals. We're looking for guys that fit from a timeframe standpoint and dollars and payroll."

Detroit's signing of former Athletic Tyson Ross to a reported $5.75 million deal with incentives on Monday could help set the market for the second- and third-tier options. Edwin Jackson and Trevor Cahill, who pitched well for the A's in 2018, are among them. Yet Forst doesn't expect a sudden flurry of moves.

"We kind of go at our own pace," he said. "I don't know that any external forces are going to change that."

The A's are maintaining a similar approach with Davis, particularly since he's under club control through 2019, but continue to express their interest in locking up baseball's 2018 home run leader to a long-term deal.

Video: Forst discusses how Lowrie, Davis are keys to A's

"It continues to be an ongoing conversation," Forst said. "Khris is going to be here in 2019, no matter what, so the sense of urgency right now is making sure we build the rest of the roster.

"Khris is a huge priority for us, and that conversation is always ongoing."

Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010.

Oakland Athletics, Khris Davis

Trio of A's giving back to Oakland-area families

MLB.com @sfgiantsbeat

OAKLAND -- Matt Chapman, Marcus Semien and Stephen Piscotty are serving as goodwill ambassadors during the A's Week of Giving, which is designed to brighten the lives of youths and their families in and around Oakland.

"I'm happy to be in a position to give back. A lot of people aren't," said Chapman, Oakland's Gold Glove-winning third baseman.

OAKLAND -- Matt Chapman, Marcus Semien and Stephen Piscotty are serving as goodwill ambassadors during the A's Week of Giving, which is designed to brighten the lives of youths and their families in and around Oakland.

"I'm happy to be in a position to give back. A lot of people aren't," said Chapman, Oakland's Gold Glove-winning third baseman.

"Giving to people in need is very important," Semien said. "It's neat that this week is happening in Oakland. We're very fortunate to be professional athletes in this city."

Activities started Monday as Chapman and Semien teamed up at City Hall to stuff coloring books, games and other sure-to-please items into bags as part of the city's Community Toy Drive to benefit low-income families. The A's were expected to provide 400 sets of toys to the ultimate total of 4,000.

Athletics' community events

Chapman and Semien will sort various edible items on Tuesday in preparation for distribution at the Alameda County Community Food Bank warehouse.

Piscotty is scheduled to join Chapman and Semien on Wednesday to help host the team's holiday party at the Oakland Zoo. The guest list features 180 fifth-graders from the A's partner schools -- Parker Elementary, Vincent Academy and Lincoln Elementary. The youths will have opportunities to tour the zoo and make holiday crafts.

The three A's will conclude their week of service with another holiday party, this time to address the needs of families at the Salvation Army Garden Street Center. Players will give gifts and care packages to families residing in the center's emergency shelter.

Chris Haft has covered the Major Leagues since 1991 and has worked for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat.

Oakland Athletics, Matt Chapman, Stephen Piscotty, Marcus Semien

Heisman winner Murray could make MLB history

On Saturday night, Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray was announced as the 2018 Heisman Trophy winner as the best player in college football after throwing for 4,053 yards and 40 touchdowns and adding 892 yards and 11 touchdowns on the ground. 

Murray: I'd play baseball and football 'if possible'

A's first-round Draft pick named finalist for Heisman Trophy
MLB.com @_dadler

Ever since the A's drafted and signed Kyler Murray in June, the two-sport star has maintained that he's going to play professional baseball, even as he's continued to excel on the football field.

But what about baseball and football, instead of baseball over football?

Ever since the A's drafted and signed Kyler Murray in June, the two-sport star has maintained that he's going to play professional baseball, even as he's continued to excel on the football field.

But what about baseball and football, instead of baseball over football?

At his media availability the day before Saturday's Heisman Trophy presentation -- Murray is a finalist for the award, given annually to college football's top player -- Murray addressed the possibility of continuing to play both sports at the professional level.

"I'd like to do both [football and baseball] if possible," Murray said Friday, per Sports Illustrated's Andy Staples. "But I don't know how possible that is."

Murray received a $4.66 million signing bonus after being selected ninth overall by Oakland, with an agreement that he would play one more year of college football, during which he would succeed Baker Mayfield as the Oklahoma Sooners' starting quarterback, before turning his attention to baseball full-time.

Tweet from @MLB: What will he do? Only #KylerKnows. pic.twitter.com/0Hy8zoFEWe

Murray certainly has the talent to try both. On the diamond, he's Oakland's No. 4 prospect, per MLB Pipeline. On the gridiron, he's not only a Heisman Trophy finalist. He was also named The Associated Press' college football Player of the Year this week and has led Oklahoma to a berth in the upcoming College Football Playoff.

MLB-NFL dual-sport athletes are rare -- there have been only a handful in recent history -- but there are, of course, some famous examples, with Bo Jackson and Deion Sanders being the most prominent.

As far as Murray's plans, his agent Scott Boras told the San Francisco Chronicle on Thursday that "Kyler has every intention of fulfilling his agreement with the A's, and he's grateful he has had the chance to pursue his college goals. He will be in Spring Training with the A's."

Murray himself had made similar comments on Monday, saying, "I feel like I could play in the NFL, but as far as giving it up, as of now, yeah, that's the plan." But in an ESPN College GameDay interview, he also told Tim Tebow -- who's in the midst of a multi-sport effort of his own, as he attempts to make the Major Leagues with the Mets after his NFL career -- that, "I think that's something me and my family will talk about at the end of the season and weigh out the options of what the NFL thinks of me."

David Adler is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @_dadler.

Oakland Athletics

Inbox: Will A's bolster rotation this offseason?

Beat reporter Jane Lee answers questions from fans
MLB.com @JaneMLB

Is it realistic to hope we acquire a starting pitcher through a trade, or is that something we are more likely to fill in free agency?
-- @ElephantBall

Either is possible, but the latter is more likely. Sources indicate the A's have discussed bringing Sonny Gray back from the Yankees, but the asking price appears to be too high. That could change, of course, but Oakland is setting its sights on other options in the meantime. The club isn't expected to be a player for any remaining big-name free-agent starters -- think Dallas Keuchel and J.A. Happ -- but the A's could emerge with one or two low-cost alternatives from the open market. I suggested a few options here.

Is it realistic to hope we acquire a starting pitcher through a trade, or is that something we are more likely to fill in free agency?
-- @ElephantBall

Either is possible, but the latter is more likely. Sources indicate the A's have discussed bringing Sonny Gray back from the Yankees, but the asking price appears to be too high. That could change, of course, but Oakland is setting its sights on other options in the meantime. The club isn't expected to be a player for any remaining big-name free-agent starters -- think Dallas Keuchel and J.A. Happ -- but the A's could emerge with one or two low-cost alternatives from the open market. I suggested a few options here.

There was much ado from fans about the decision to non-tender Mike Fiers, but his anticipated 2019 salary ($10 million) could ultimately amount to the price of two starters for Oakland.

:: Submit a question to the A's Inbox ::

The A's always said they are building a team to hit the ground running when the new stadium is done. Have we started to peak too early?
-- @RussellsRitings

This is a dreamy idea, but it's more idealistic than realistic. If 2018 proved anything, it's that you can't always plan for such things; the A's ran all the way to the postseason, far ahead of schedule, and they now must do right by this group and better the club to stay competitive in 2019. They're not going to simply sit back and field a perpetually middling team, only to strike ahead of a planned 2023 stadium opening. Nothing is guaranteed in this game. Heck, the stadium isn't even yet guaranteed. So while it would be nice to see their new ballpark renderings come to life -- notably a "2023 World Series" logo on the scoreboard -- the A's baseball brass must stay on course in the meantime and do their best to contend now, rather than plan to contend later.

Jed Lowrie is projected to make about $12 million, double what he made last season. And with Khris Davis' arbitration number about $18 million, what are the chances Jed takes less to come back?
-- @roddster510

I'm guessing Lowrie may be game to take less -- but only if the A's can guarantee him a multi-year pact. MLB Trade Rumors projected a three-year, $30 million deal for Lowrie at the onset of the offseason, and I just don't know that the A's are willing to commit so many dollars ahead of Lowrie's age-35 season. That's not to say he's not worth it. Lowrie is an extremely valuable commodity, but does it make sense for Oakland to pay him substantial dollars for three years when it already has infield prospect Franklin Barreto waiting in the wings? Probably not.

Even still, Lowrie will likely have plenty of attractable suitors since an AAV of $10 million is chump change for most other clubs.

Do you see A.J. Puk cracking the rotation?
-- @msully17

Not anytime soon. This was a question that carried significant weight last spring, as Puk continually impressed in big league camp, but injury rehab following Tommy John surgery will keep him out of action for several more months. Puk underwent the procedure in April, and the rehab process can typically stretch well over the year mark. The A's will be cautious with their prized pitching prospect, ranked No. 2 on the club's Top 30 Prospects list by MLB Pipeline, and will likely guard from attaching a timeline to his return. Best case scenario, he's on a rehab assignment during the second half of the season. Maybe, then, we can revisit this question.

While the official press conference is not until Saturday, what do you think Las Vegas will change their name to as the A's Triple-A affiliate?
-- @msully17

Word was out on this one months ago, so Saturday's announcement won't amount to much of a surprise. As a nod to Howard Hughes -- the Howard Hughes Corporation owns the ballclub -- the new Triple-A affiliate is expected to take on the name of the Aviators.

Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010.

Oakland Athletics

Each team's best 1st-rounder of the past decade

MLB.com

The release of the 2019 Draft Top 50 list had the MLB Pipeline staff thinking about Drafts in years past. Teams always want to get that first pick right, and there have been some real home runs hit in the first round.

Who were the best first-round picks for each team over the last decade? MLB Pipeline dug through the first rounds of the last 10 years (2009-18) and picked the top first-rounder for each organization. Only those chosen in what was the official first round each year were considered -- no supplemental picks were allowed. The 2014 Draft has been the most fruitful, with six players from that first round making the list. The Drafts from 2012 and 2009 are right behind with five selections, with the latter boasting the player who has to be the single best first-round selection over the last 10 years.

The release of the 2019 Draft Top 50 list had the MLB Pipeline staff thinking about Drafts in years past. Teams always want to get that first pick right, and there have been some real home runs hit in the first round.

Who were the best first-round picks for each team over the last decade? MLB Pipeline dug through the first rounds of the last 10 years (2009-18) and picked the top first-rounder for each organization. Only those chosen in what was the official first round each year were considered -- no supplemental picks were allowed. The 2014 Draft has been the most fruitful, with six players from that first round making the list. The Drafts from 2012 and 2009 are right behind with five selections, with the latter boasting the player who has to be the single best first-round selection over the last 10 years.

AL East

Marcus Stroman, RHP, Blue Jays, 2012 (No. 22 overall)
Stroman's profile scared away many teams in the 2012 Draft, but the Duke product has done his part to overcome the stigma associated with being an undersized right-hander. Though he regressed in 2018, while dealing with right shoulder fatigue and, later, a blister issue, Stroman posted back-to-back 200-inning seasons (2016-17) and has been worth 10.6 WAR over five seasons with the Blue Jays.

Manny Machado, SS, Orioles, 2010 (No. 3 overall)
Machado made the jump straight from Double-A to the Majors as a 19-year-old in late 2012, and quickly became a star. His 33.8 WAR is the highest among 2010 first-round position players, second only to Chris Sale, and after helping guide Baltimore to two postseason appearances as a four-time All-Star, Machado netted the organization five Top 30 prospects when it dealt him to the Dodgers this past July.

Ryne Stanek, RHP, Rays, 2013 (No. 29 overall)
Drafting in the first round has long been a problem for the typically savvy Rays, and even their selection of Stanek isn't a hands-down win for the organization, considering he was viewed as a starter (before needing hip surgery) out of the Draft. That said, the right-hander emerged as a legitimate late-inning weapon (and, at times, an "opener") for the Rays in 2018, when he compiled a 2.98 ERA, 1.09 WHIP and 11.0 strikeouts per nine innings over 66 1/3 innings (59 appearances).

Andrew Benintendi, OF, Red Sox, 2015 (No. 7 overall)
Benintendi went from unheralded Arkansas freshman to consensus College Baseball Player of the Year as a sophomore, soaring up Draft boards in the process. The Red Sox had him No. 2 on theirs (behind Dansby Swanson), which he justified by becoming a regular in their 2018 World Series championship lineup just 13 months after signing.

Video: 2015 Draft: Red Sox draft OF Andrew Benintendi No. 7

Aaron Judge, OF, Yankees, 2013 (No. 32 overall)
Judge was the second of three Yankees first-rounders in 2013, sandwiched between Eric Jagielo (No. 26) and Ian Clarkin (No. 33), and lasting that long because there were questions about how well his massive raw power would translate into production. After only hitting 18 homers in three years at Fresno State and 56 in three seasons in the Minors, he exploded for a rookie-record 52 in 2017.

AL Central

Francisco Lindor, SS, Indians, 2011 (No. 8 overall)
Cleveland landed perhaps the best player in a historically good first-round class, as Lindor has become one of the faces of game while totaling 23.9 WAR -- second to Mookie Betts (35.2) among 2011 draftees -- and leading the Indians to an American League title (2016) since his debut in '15, when he finished second in AL Rookie of the Year Award voting. Entering his age-25 season, he's garnered All-Star honors and finished Top 10 in MVP voting in each of the last three years.

Aaron Crow, RHP, Royals, 2009 (No. 12 overall)
The Royals haven't fared well in the first round during the last decade, though Crow made the All-Star Game as a rookie in 2011, and was an effective reliever for four seasons until he blew out his elbow shortly after a trade to the Marlins. Cristian Colon (No. 4 overall, 2010) didn't have as much sustained success but delivered the championship-winning hit in the 2015 World Series.

Casey Mize, RHP, Tigers, 2018 (No. 1 overall)
Perhaps this one is more aspirational because he's thrown only 13 2/3 career innings since being the top pick in last June's Draft, but Mize should be able to use his three plus pitches and his plus control to move quickly through the Tigers' system. Look for him in Detroit sooner rather than later.

Alex Kirilloff, OF, Twins, 2016 (No. 16 overall)
The rules for this story don't allow for a supplemental first-round pick to be chosen, otherwise Jose Berrios might be the guy. But after missing the 2017 season, Kirilloff erupted in '18, his first real full season, and is looking like one of the best hitting prospects in all of baseball.

Chris Sale, LHP, White Sox, 2010 (No. 13 overall)
After 2010's Big Three of Bryce Harper, Jameson Taillon and Machado, Sale should have been the next player taken. But teams psyched themselves out over worries about his low arm slot and desire for a big league contract (typical for top college arms at the time), allowing the White Sox to steal him at No. 13. He was saving games for Chicago by September and has been an All-Star in each of his seven seasons as a starter.

Video: WS2018 Gm1: Sale K's Dozier to start off World Series

AL West

Matt Chapman, 3B, A's, 2014 (No. 25 overall)
Chapman emerged as the A's next homegrown star in his first fully healthy season, as he ranked third in WAR (8.2) among all position players, finished seventh in AL MVP voting and took home the revered Platinum Glove award as baseball's best defensive player. His 11.7 WAR in 229 career games is tops among positional players from his Draft class -- ahead of even Trea Turner (10.4), who's played 360 games.

Mike Trout, OF, Angels, 2009 (No. 25 overall)
The teams that say they had Trout No. 2 on their board are sort of like the million people who say they were present for The Shot Heard Round the World. Their loss was the Angels' gain, obviously, as he's turned into one of the game's top stars, with seven All-Star appearances and two MVP Awards.

Carlos Correa, SS, Astros, 2012 (No. 1 overall)
George Springer (No. 11, 2011) and Alex Bregman (No. 2, 2015) can also make a case, but our choice is Correa. A series of impressive pre-Draft workouts gave him late helium and made him the first Puerto Rican taken with the top choice. He won AL Rookie of the Year Award honors in '15, then received All-Star recognition and won a World Series two year later.

Video: ALCS Gm1: Correa knocks go-ahead single in 6th

Mike Zunino, C, Mariners, 2012 (No. 3 overall)
Zunino struggled for several years after being rushed to the Major Leagues and hit .207 over 2,000 plate appearances with Seattle. His combination of right-handed power and strong defense behind the plate, however, became increasingly valuable, especially with the quality of the position on the decline across the Majors.

Lewis Brinson, OF, Rangers, 2012 (No. 29 overall)
The Rangers' 13 first-round picks from the last decade have produced only three big leaguers and a combined -0.4 WAR so far. An exceptional athlete who has yet to hit in the Majors, Brinson went to the Brewers in a deal for Jeremy Jeffress and Jonathan Lucroy in July 2016, and to the Marlins in a trade for Christian Yelich last January.

NL East

Kyle Wright, RHP, Braves, 2017 (No. 5 overall)
The Braves hoped Wright would move quickly when they took him with their first pick in the 2017 Draft out of Vanderbilt. Starting his first full season in Double-A was a good sign and reaching Atlanta before the year was over was ahead of schedule, even for a fast-tracker.

Christian Yelich, OF, Marlins, 2010 (No. 23 overall)
One of the 2010 Draft's better hitters as a California prep, Yelich reached the Majors in mid-2013 and received a seven-year, $49.57 million contract extension two years later. He hit .290/.369/.432 (18.6 WAR) over 643 games with Miami, and then helped the organization restock its farm system with four prospects, including Brinson and Monte Harrison, when they dealt him to Milwaukee last offseason. In his first year with the Brewers, Yelich won the batting title (.326) and powered the club to the National League Championship Series en route to MVP honors.

Video: NLCS Gm7: Yelich crushes solo homer to right-center

Michael Conforto, OF, Mets, 2014 (No. 10 overall)
It took the Oregon State product only a year to get to the big leagues, and while his performance has been a little up and down, he's hit 56 homers the last two years and has an All-Star nod already on his resume. Still only 25, he has already amassed nearly 1,400 Major League at-bats.

Bryce Harper, OF, Nationals, 2010 (No. 1 overall)
The Nationals' selection of Harper with the first pick in the 2010 Draft forever changed the course of the franchise, as it gave the club a player with near-immediate impact potential as well as generational-star upside worthy of building around. Over seven seasons with the Nats, Harper -- a six-time All-Star and the 2015 NL MVP -- hit .279/.388/.512 with 184 homers in 927 games, good for a 27.4 WAR.

Aaron Nola, RHP, Phillies, 2014 (No. 7 overall)
Nola took his combination of solid stuff and outstanding command and made a beeline to Philadelphia, joining the rotation in just over a year following his selection. And the 25-year-old is just getting going, making his first All-Star team and finishing third in NL Cy Young Award voting in 2018.

NL Central

Keston Hiura, 2B, Brewers, 2017 (No. 9 overall)
The Brewers' track record with first-round picks isn't great, but Hiura could soon help reverse that trend. After leading all Division I hitters in average (.442) as a UC Irvine junior, Hiura raked his way up to Double-A this past season and then took home MVP honors in the prestigious Arizona Fall League. He still needs some more time in the Minors, but it shouldn't be long before Hiura is driving in runs from the middle of Milwaukee's order.

Jack Flaherty, RHP, 2014 (No. 34 overall)
The Cardinals have had some solid back-half-of-the-first-round selections, like Michael Wacha and Kolten Wong, but Flaherty made it to the big leagues in 2017, then finished fifth in NL Rookie of the Year voting in '18. Flaherty will be only 23 in 2019, so the best may be yet to come.

Kris Bryant, 3B, Cubs, 2013 (No. 2 overall)
Bryant had a stunning junior season at San Diego, swatting 31 homers to not only lead NCAA Division I but also topping 223 of the 296 teams at that level. He raced to the big leagues, winning the NL Rookie of the Year Award in 2015 and encoring with an NL MVP Award and World Series championship the next season.

Video: STL@CHC: Bryant belts a towering solo homer to center

Gerrit Cole, RHP, Pirates, 2011 (No. 1 overall)
Cole's 17.4 WAR is more than double any other Pirates' first-rounder in the last decade. Perhaps his tenure with Pittsburgh was up and down, but he made the All-Star team, finished fourth in NL Cy Young voting and made three postseason starts in 2015. He's also topped 200 innings in three of the last four years (albeit the last one coming for the Astros).

Mike Leake, RHP, Reds, 2009 (No. 8 overall)
Leake spent exactly zero days in the Minor Leagues between getting drafted and his Major League debut, breaking with the Reds' rotation on Opening Day in 2010. He's compiled more WAR than any Reds first-rounder in the last 10 years (15.6) and his trade to the Giants in 2015 netted them Adam Duvall (two years of 30-plus homers) and Keury Mella, who should contribute to the pitching staff in '19.

NL West

A.J. Pollock, OF, D-backs, 2009 (No. 17 overall)
When Pollock was coming out of Notre Dame, he was a solid college performer, but one who didn't have a plus tool, so some thought he might end up a bit of a tweener. There have been some injuries, but there's also been an All-Star appearance and a Gold Glove as an everyday center fielder, one who is currently coveted on the free-agent market.

Corey Seager, SS, Dodgers, 2012 (No. 18 overall)
After taking pitchers with their previous six first-round choices -- landing Clayton Kershaw and five non-impact big leaguers -- the Dodgers changed course and went for Seager, who was one of the better all-around high school bats but also came with some signability concerns in the first Draft with bonus-pool rules. He signed for $2.35 million ($400,000 above the assigned value at No. 18) and proved well worth it, earning the NL Rookie of the Year Award in 2016 and All-Star recognition in each of his two full big league seasons.

Zack Wheeler, RHP, Giants, 2009 (No. 6 overall)
He wasn't a cornerstone of World Series championships like Giants 2006-08 first-rounders Tim Lincecum, Madison Bumgarner and Buster Posey, but the guy who followed them has been a quality big league starter when healthy. Wheeler didn't last long with San Francisco, however, going to the Mets in a 2011 trade for Carlos Beltran.

Trea Turner, SS, Padres, 2014 (No. 13 overall)
Turner played the first half of his pro debut on borrowed time, as he'd already been dealt to the Nationals as part of a three-team trade with Tampa Bay (that netted the Padres Wil Myers) by the time the 2015 season began. He's emerged as one of the more impactful young players with the Nats.

Video: Draft 2014: Padres draft SS Trea Turner No. 13

Kyle Freeland, LHP, Rockies, 2014 (No. 8 overall)
The Rockies hoped for Kyle Schwarber or Nola, but the Cubs and Phillies foiled those plans and led them to Freeland, whose elbow worried some clubs because he had arthroscopic surgery as a Denver high schooler. He had bone chips removed from his elbow in 2015 but has been otherwise healthy, winning 11 games as a rookie in '17 and finishing fourth in NL Cy Young Award voting last season.

Jim Callis is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow @jimcallisMLB on Twitter. Listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast.

Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLB Pipeline. Follow him on Twitter @JonathanMayo and Facebook, and listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast.

Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero.