A's would need 'a compelling offer' to trade Ben Sheets

3 Comments

Ben Sheets has been a disappointment for Oakland, going 2-7 with a 4.95 ERA in 15 starts after signing a one-year, $10 million deal this winter, but Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that “the A’s do not plan to trade Sheets unless they receive a compelling offer.”
Obviously the definition of “a compelling offer” is up for debate and as Rosenthal notes “the team is not under financial pressure to move” Sheets’ contract, but not cashing him in for whatever value is available would be odd given the A’s situation.
Not only are they 9.5 games back in the AL West at 34-39, the A’s won’t get compensation for letting Sheets walk as a free agent because as Tim Dierkes of MLB Trade Rumors calculated he wouldn’t qualify for Type A or Type B status after missing all of last season. In other words, if the A’s aren’t willing to accept a less-than-compelling offer for Sheets he’ll pitch the second half for them as they likely fall out of the playoff picture and then leave for nothing as a free agent.
Rosenthal also reports that the A’s “will need to be motivated to move” Coco Crisp at the trading deadline, but unlike with Sheets they at least hold a $5.75 million option on him for next season and presumably might be interested in bringing him back. Still, to me it would certainly make sense for the A’s to get whatever they can for either player at this point.

Video: Angels use eight pitchers in spring training no-hitter

Getty Images
1 Comment

Who says no-hitters can’t be just as fun when they happen during spring training?

Angels’ right-hander Bud Norris delivered two perfect innings on Friday night, paving the way for an eight-pitcher no-hitter against the Mariners at Tempe Diablo Stadium. Jose Alvarez, Cam Bedrosian, Andrew Bailey, Austin Adams, Drew Gagnon and Justin Anderson each filed a hitless inning of their own, leaving right-hander Abel De Los Santos to close out the ninth inning with just three pitches — and three game-saving plays by the defense.

Of course, it didn’t hurt that the Angels were facing a bevy of Mariners’ backups, rather than their starting lineup. In fact, Seattle’s lineup featured just two starting players — outfielder Leonys Martin and shortstop Jean Segura — while the majority of their everyday position players took on the Royals in a 4-3 win elsewhere in the Cactus League. The Mariners managed to reach base twice, first on catcher interference in the fourth inning, then on a four-pitch walk in the sixth, spoiling the Angels’ chances of turning their combined no-hitter into a combined perfect game.

Still, whether it’s executed in spring training or the regular season, against an All-Star lineup or one comprised of minor leaguers, a no-hitter is a no-hitter. The team’s eight-pitcher effort marked the first spring training no-no the Angels had completed since 1996, when they took on the Giants in a 15-0 showdown. Unfortunately for the 1996 squad, their regular season ended with a 70-91 record, good for last place in the AL West. Perhaps this no-hitter will prove a better omen for the coming season.

Tanner Scheppers leaves Cactus League game with lower core injury

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Rangers’ bullpen candidate Tanner Scheppers left Friday’s Cactus League game with pain in his “lower half,” according to reports by Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. The specifics of the right-hander’s injury have yet to be determined, but he was accompanied by the athletic trainer when he exited the game and is scheduled to undergo an MRI on Saturday.

Scheppers, 30, has a long history of elbow and knee injuries. He missed all but 8 2/3 innings of the 2016 season after undergoing a procedure to repair torn articular cartilage in his left knee. While he appeared healthy enough through his first seven appearances this spring, he failed to impress with three runs, five walks and six strikeouts over 7 2/3 innings with the club.

Should Scheppers find himself on the disabled list for another lengthy stay, MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan speculates that his absence could clear some room in the bullpen for Rule 5 draft pick and fellow righty Mike Hauschild. Hauschild, 27, has dealt seven runs, five walks and 15 strikeouts through 17 1/3 innings in camp.