Athletics notes: McPherson, Beane, Desme

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athleticslogo.jpgAccording to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com, the Athletics have signed former top prospect Dallas McPherson to a minor league contract with an invite to spring training.



McPherson, 29, failed to make the
Marlins out of spring training last season, then underwent back surgery
in July after signing a minor league contract with the Giants.
McPherson was once a highly-touted prospect in the Angels’
organization, but he hasn’t done much on the major league level,
batting just .245/.298/.458 with 18 home runs and 45 RBI in parts of
four seasons while striking out 34 percent of the time.




Regardless, McPherson has walked
into a pretty good situation in Oakland. He is expected to compete for
a starting job in 2010, as Adam Kennedy and Bobby Crosby are free
agents and prospect Brett Wallace, who was acquired from St. Louis in the Matt Holliday trade, might not be ready for the jump to
the majors.




In other Athletics’ news, general manager Billy Beane was recently interviewed by John Sickels of Minor League Ball.
Beane would like top prospect Chris Carter to find a fit in the
outfield while he hopes Wallace can improve his defense at third base
in anticipation of a promotion to the major leagues. Finally, Beane has
some high praise for Grant Desme, who won the MVP of the Arizona Fall
League
, batting .315/.413/.667 with 11 home runs, 27 RBI and 30 runs
scored in 27 games. Though his strikeout rate is a concern, Beane
likens him to Jayson Werth of the Phillies.

Javier Baez, D.J. LeMahieu have disagreement about sign-stealing

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Fellow second basemen Javier Baez of the Cubs and D.J. LeMahieu of the Rockies got into a disagreement in the top of the third inning of Sunday’s game at Coors Field over sign-stealing.

LeMahieu reached on a fielder’s choice ground out, then advanced to second base on Charlie Blackmon‘s single. While Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story were batting, Baez was concerned that LeMahieu was relaying the Cubs’ signs to his teammates. Baez decided to stand in front of LeMahieu to block any information he might have been giving to Arenado and Story. LeMahieu got irritated and the two jawed at each other for a bit. Umpires Vic Carapazza and Greg Gibson had to intervene to tell Baez to knock it off.

There has always been a back-and-forth with alleged sign-stealing. As long as teams aren’t using technology to steal signs, it’s fair game for players to relay information to their teammates about the opposing team’s signs. Last year, MLB determined the Red Sox went against the rules and used technology — an Apple watch in this case — to steal signs from the Yankees. Other teams in the past have been accused of using binoculars from the bullpen to steal signs. In this particular case with Baez and LeMahieu, there was no foul play going on, just Baez trying to make the Rockies cede what he perceived to be their slight competitive advantage.

The Cubs went on to beat the Rockies 9-7 on Sunday.