Report: The A’s may hire Ron Washington to help with their atrocious defense

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Scott Hatteberg: First base? But I’ve only ever played catcher.

Billy Beane: It’s not that hard, Scott. Tell him, Wash.

Ron Washington: It’s incredibly hard.

That’s the best scene in “Moneyball,” and while if it’s not 100% true to how it all went down in real life — my guess is that Billy Beane knows that playing first base is hard — the truth underlying that scene is that Ron Washington knows what he’s doing with defense.

Also, Ron Washington is currently unemployed and his old team, the A’s, are playing godawful defense. Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that these two things may go together, and that the Athletics are considering hiring Washington, who was their longtime infield coach.

There currently isn’t an opening on the A’s staff, so it may be more of a coordinator position. But really, the A’s could use all the help they can get. And Washington — who lamented his inability to find his way back into the game after resigning as the Rangers’ manager last season — would likely jump at the opportunity.

Kyle Gibson, Orioles finalize $10M, 1-year contract

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
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SAN DIEGO – Right-hander Kyle Gibson and the Baltimore Orioles finalized a $10 million, one-year contract on Monday.

The 35-year-old would receive a $150,000 assignment bonus if traded, payable by the receiving team. He also can earn a $25,000 bonus if he is elected or selected for the All-Star team. Gibson was an All-Star in 2021.

Gibson was 10-8 with a 5.05 ERA in 31 starts for Philadelphia last season. He also pitched 2 1/3 scoreless innings in two relief appearances in the postseason for the NL champions.

Baltimore gained another experienced arm as it looks to build on its surprising season. After losing 110 games the previous year, the Orioles contended for an AL wild card for much of the summer before finishing 83-79 for the franchise’s first winning record since 2016.

Gibson was an AL All-Star in 2021, going 6-3 with a 2.87 ERA in 19 starts for Texas. He was traded to Philadelphia that July, and he went 4-6 with a 5.09 ERA in 12 appearances for the Phillies down the stretch.

The 6-foot-6 Gibson was selected by Minnesota in the first round of the 2009 amateur draft. He made his big league debut with the Twins in 2013.

He spent his first first seven seasons with Minnesota, going 67-68 with a 4.52 ERA in 193 games, including 188 starts. He had his best year in 2018, finishing with a career-low 3.62 ERA in a career-best 196 2/3 innings.

Gibson, who signed a $28 million, three-year contract with Texas in December 2019, is 89-91 with a 4.52 ERA in 267 major league games.