A’s rule out Brett Anderson for regular season

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It was a given that Brett Anderson would miss at least one start after suffering a strained right oblique during his outing Wednesday, but manager Bob Melvin dropped the bad news Thursday that the left-hander was done for at least the regular season.

Anderson entered Wednesday’s outing 4-1 with a 1.93 ERA in five starts since returning from Tommy John surgery. He’d be the third member of the A’s projected postseason rotation to be lost for the year, joining the suspended Bartolo Colon and the injured Brandon McCarthy. The team has also been without left-hander Dallas Braden all season long.

If Anderson can’t make it back, the A’s would be looking at a top four of Jarrod Parker, Tommy Milone, A.J. Griffin and probably Daniel Straily in the postseason. Everyone in that group is a rookie.

The A’s beat the Tigers 12-4 today, leaving them four games up on the Angels for the second wild card with the Halos playing later tonight. They’re 3 1/2 games back of the Rangers for first place in the AL West.

Orioles sign Alcides Escobar

Alcides Escobar
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The Orioles have inked shortstop Alcides Escobar to a minor league contract, MLB.com’s Joe Trezza reported Saturday. The deal comes with an invitation to spring training and will allow Escobar to earn $700,000 in the majors if he breaks camp with the team (via Jon Heyman of MLB Network). The team has yet to formally announce the agreement.

Escobar, 32, completed an eight-year run with the Royals in 2018. No longer the .280-average, 3.0-fWAR player of seasons past, he hit several career lows after batting .231/.279/.313 with four home runs, eight stolen bases (in 10 chances), and a .593 OPS through 531 plate appearances last year. His defensive ratings also took a hit, and FanGraphs pegged him as the fourth-worst shortstop in the majors after he accumulated -12 DRS over the course of the season, only slightly higher than the Orioles/Dodgers’ Manny Machado, Mets’ Amed Rosario, and Red Sox’ Xander Bogaerts.

Still, Heyman holds that Escobar is being considered for the starting gig this spring and could yet prove an upgrade over top prospects and infield candidates Richie Martin and Drew Jackson. At the very least, the veteran shortstop figures to stabilize the position given Martin and Jackson’s relative inexperience, as both infielders played to varying results in Double-A Tulsa last year and have yet to break into the majors. Should either player earn consideration for the position in camp, however, Escobar might still work his way onto the Opening Day roster in a utility role as he saw some time at third base, second base, and center field in 2018.