The Athletics are trying to trade for Chone Figgins

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The A’s have been making all kinds of upgrades this offseason. They’ve improved the offense and have made their bullpen into one of the best in the game.  They may not be done either. From the Contra Costa Times:

A source with knowledge of the situation said the A’s are trying to trade for Seattle infielder Chone Figgins, and that current A’s third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff and perhaps a pitcher could be shipped to the Mariners in return.

Figgins was lost in 2010, having been moved to second base and having struggled at the plate.  He still figures to be an above average defensive third baseman, however, and even if he doesn’t draw 100 walks like he did in 2009, he is an offensive upgrade over Kouzmanoff, who has some pop but struggles to get on base.

For the Mariners, this would be a salary-shedding move, as Figgins is owed $26 million over the next three years.  Normally you don’t see the A’s taking on that kind of obligation, but given that they offered Adrian Beltre serious cash, they are clearly comfortable spending some money to upgrade at third.

Report: Welington Castillo to be suspended 80 games for violating Joint Drug Agreement

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Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic confirms a report from journalist Américo Celado that White Sox catcher Welington Castillo will be suspended 80 games for violating baseball’s Joint Drug Agreement. Castillo was believed to have used a steroid, but according to Rosenthal, the substance was not a steroid. More details should come on Thursday.

Castillo, 31, entered Wednesday’s action batting .270/.314/.477 with six home runs and 15 RBI in 118 plate appearances. He has gotten the bulk of the work behind the plate, backed up by Omar Narváez.

Castillo’s absence will likely prompt the White Sox to call up Kevan Smith from Triple-A Charlotte. Smith battled an ankle injury in March and April, so he got a late start to the season. In 102 PA at Triple-A, he has hit .283/.343/.457.