Tommy Milone declines to comment on report he requested a trade from A’s

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Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reported yesterday that A’s left-hander Tommy Milone has requested a trade after being demoted to Triple-A despite plenty of success in the big leagues.

Several beat reporters covering the A’s expressed surprise over the report, saying Milone doesn’t seem like the type of guy to make that request or at least make that request and then go public with it.

And then last night Milone’s wife posted the following on Twitter:

Last night Joe Stiglich of CSNBayArea.com asked Milone about the Rosenthal report and Milone declined to make any comment, which clearly won’t do much to end the speculation.

At the time of the demotion Milone had gone 6-0 with a 2.55 ERA in his previous 11 starts, so it obviously wasn’t performance based and instead was due directly to the A’s acquiring a pair of starters via trade in Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel. They’ll need Milone again at some point, but as a 27-year-old with a 3.84 ERA in nearly 500 career innings he’s certainly right to feel that he doesn’t belong in the minors.

2017 Preview: The American League Central

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For the past few weeks we’ve been previewing the 2017 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the American League Central

Do the Indians have a weakness? Do the Tigers and Royals have one more playoff push in them or do they have to start contemplating rebuilds? The White Sox and Twins are rebuilding, but do either of them have a chance to be remotely competitive?

As we sit here in March, the answers are “not really,” “possibly,” and “not a chance.” There are no games that count this March, however, so they’re just guesses. But educated ones! Here are the links to our guesses and our education for all of the clubs of the AL Central:

Cleveland Indians
Detroit Tigers
Kansas City Royals
Chicago White Sox
Minnesota Twins

2017 Preview: The National League East

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For the past few weeks we’ve been previewing the 2017 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the National League East

The Washington Nationals crave a playoff run that doesn’t end at the division series. The Mets crave a season in which they don’t have a press conference about an injured pitcher. The Marlins are trying to put the nightmare of the end of the 2016 behind them. The Phillies and Braves are hoping to move on from the “lose tons of games” phase of their rebuilds and move on to the “hey, these kids can play!” phase.

There is a ton of star power in the NL East — Harper, Scherzer, Cespedes, Syndergaard, Stanton, Freeman — some great young talent on ever roster and, in Ichiro and Bartolo, the two oldest players in the game. Maybe the division can’t lay claim to the best team in baseball, but there will certainly be some interesting baseball in the division.

Here’s how each team breaks down:

Washington Nationals
New York Mets
Miami Marlins
Philadelphia Phillies
Atlanta Braves