UPDATE: Slusser just posted a few tweets walking back her report about Dunn meeting with the A’s yesterday, including: “I’m told much to my horror that the Chronicle’s report of earlier today that the Athletics met with Dunn is not accurate.”
She stands by the information about the A’s being “in the mix” for Dunn, but the meeting never took place and, as I wrote initially, it’s hard to take Oakland as a realistic landing spot for him either way.
A’s representatives traveled to Houston yesterday to meet with Lance Berkman and while in Texas they also had a separate meeting with Adam Dunn, according to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle.
I’m sure Billy Beane and company had extensive sales pitches prepared for both players, but I prefer to imagine the A’s ringing Dunn’s doorbell and shouting “hey, we were in the neighborhood, so we decided to stop by!” as he answers the door wearing pajamas, slippers, and bed-head.
Dunn signing with Oakland seems highly unlikely given his reported asking price, but the A’s have been linked to Berkman repeatedly throughout the offseason and are clearly looking at various veteran designated hitter options following reports that they may non-tender Jack Cust.
Every now and then, The Players’ Tribune runs a “five toughest” feature. In 2015, David Ortiz listed the five toughest pitchers he ever faced. Last month, Christian Yelich wrote up the five toughest pitchers in the NL East. Now, it’s Ian Kinsler‘s turn with the five toughest pitchers in the AL Central.
Kinsler goes into detail explaining why each pitcher is difficult to face, so hop over to The Players’ Tribune for his reasoning. His list
Presumably, Kinsler intentionally omitted his Tiger teammates from the list. He has faced Justin Verlander a fair amount earlier in his career, and he has only a .176/.333/.235 batting line in 42 plate appearances against the right-hander. Verlander’s stuff is often described as tough to hit in one phrase or another. Kinsler has also struggled against Indians starter Carlos Carrasco (.590 OPS), but one can understand why he would be omitted from a list of five given who was already listed.
Angels first baseman C.J. Cron hit a grand slam against the Mets on Sunday, but it wasn’t enough to keep his spot on the major league roster as the club announced his demotion to Triple-A Salt Lake on Monday. Infielder Nolan Fantana has been promoted from Salt Lake.
Cron, 27, was hitting a disappointing .232/.281/.305 with one home run and RBI in 90 plate appearances. I guess you can say that wasn’t the kind of Cron job the Angels were expecting. Cron was an above-average hitter in each of his first three seasons, finishing with an OPS+, or adjusted OPS, of 111, 106, and 115 (100 is average).
While Cron is figuring things out in the minors, Luis Valbuena, Jefry Marte, and Albert Pujols could each see some time at first base.