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Storylines: Athletics unload another All-Star

Storylines: Athletics unload another All-Star
Oakland Athletics' Derek Norris reacts after hitting a two-run home run off San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Michael Kickham during the second inning of a baseball game Tuesday, May 28, 2013. (AP Photo)
December 19, 2014
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In this MLB News and Notes segment, I will be giving occasional reports on the latest news and rumors throughout the MLB. I also will try to tweet news and rumors as I see them, so feel free to follow me on Twitter: @AndrewIBI.

Here are the stories from Thursday, Dec. 18. 

Top Stories:

  • The Padres and Athletics continued their busy offseasons with a multiplayer deal that sent catcher Derek Norris to San Diego, Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News reported. The full trade is Norris, right-hander Seth Streich and an international signing slot to the Padres with right-handers Jesse Hahn and R.J. Alvarez going to Oakland, Yahoo Sports' Jeff Passan reported. Norris, 25, hit .270/.361/.403 with 10 homers in 442 plate appearances with the A's last season, earning his first All-Star appearance in the process. The right-handed hitting Norris did much of his damage against lefty pitching (.863 OPS vs. LHP, .699 OPS vs. RHP) and in the first half of the season, as he hit only .240/.324/.335 after the All-Star break. Norris is still a year away from arbitration eligibility and he's under team control through the 2018 season.

News and Notes:

  • The Royals announced that they signed right-hander Kris Medlen to a two-year deal that contains a mutual option for the 2017 season. Medlen reportedly receives an $8.5 million guarantee. He'll earn $2 million in 2015 and $5.5 million in 2016. His mutual option is worth $10 million and contains a $1 million buyout that is guaranteed regardless of which side declines. Medlen, 29, was one of the Braves' best starters for much of 2012-13, but he fell victim to his second Tommy John surgery this past spring and wound up being non-tendered as a result. Medlen earned $5.8 million in 2014 and stood to earn something similar in 2015, although the Braves could technically have reduced his salary to about $4.65 million.
  • The Red Sox are in active trade talks with at least one club regarding first baseman/outfielder Allen Craig, according to Jon Morosi of FOX Sports. Craig is said to be fully recovered from a painful Lisfranc fracture suffered in his left foot in August, Morosi added.
  • Nick Markakis underwent fusion surgery to repair a herniated disk in his neck on Wednesday, but the Braves expect their new right fielder to be 100 percent by Opening Day,'s Mark Bowman wrote. President of baseball operations John Hart spoke with surgeon Steve Wray, who performed the procedure, and came away with the impression that aside from some possible disruption of his pre-Spring Training routine, Markakis would be fine. He's expected to be cleared for physical activity within a month's time and to be fully agile in six weeks.
  • The St. Petersburg City Council rejected an agreement that would've allowed the Rays to explore sites for a new stadium within the greater St. Petersburg area, Stephen Nohlgren, Charlie Frago and Kameel Stanley of the Tampa Bay Times wrote. In a media release, Rays president Brian Auld said, "We are obviously disappointed. Our goal was to begin a collaborative, exploratory process in our region to determine the best location for a next generation ballpark. The council has instead decided that the status quo is what is in the best interest of the citizens of St. Petersburg." Needless to say, this development will lead to renewed speculation about the Rays' long-term future in the Tampa area, as owner Stuart Sternberg has threatened to sell the team rather than continue at Tropicana Field.
  • The Orioles are still hunting for outfield help, and Delmon Young is "absolutely" still in play, agent Joel Wolfe told's Roch Kubatko. Wolfe said that all discussions with the O's have been "very positive," though Kubatko wrote that Young's preference is a multiyear deal, whereas the Orioles are more comfortable signing Young to a one-year deal, perhaps with an option.
  • The Padres and Josh Johnson are on the verge of completing a one-year deal, according to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports. The contract contains significant incentives for games started, but details are still being worked out, Passan added. The base value of Johnson's deal is worth slightly under $2 million, but with incentives that could raise the total value to $8 million, CBS Sports' Jon Heyman reported. However, a source told Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune that Johnson's deal is "closer to $1 million" in base salary. The incentives could make the contract worth somewhere in the $7-8 million range.
  • The Yankees may not be done adding bullpen pieces, but they're apparently not interested in righty Jason Grilli, George A. King III of the New York Post reported. Gary Sheffield, Grilli's agent, told King that, "We talked to Cash [Brian Cashman], and he said 'not at the moment.' We will sit back with the offers we have and wait."
  • In another piece from George A. King III, Yankees president Randy Levine seemed to rule out the possibility that his team will sign Max Scherzer, without mentioning the free agent righty by name. "We are out there looking [for pitching], but it has to be tempered by the reality of the organization. Looking at our pitching staff, for example, we have two guys with a lot of money and we have to build around that," Levine said. "The chances of us bringing in a guy for six [years] and $25 million [per year] or over in my opinion is virtually none. At the end of the day, you have to be realistic in any organization." While James Shields, another top-tier free agent ace, isn't expected to receive a deal in the six-year/$25 million average annual value range, King thinks Shields could also be out of the Yankees' price range.
  • The White Sox reached an agreement with veteran catcher George Kottaras on a minor league contract, according to SB Nation's Chris Cotillo. Jon Heyman of CBS Sports first tweeted that the Sox were nearing a deal with him.

User Comments

December 20, 2014 - 2:39 AM EST
The A's sold high on Norris, there's a lot of Shoppach in his game.
December 19, 2014 - 3:49 PM EST
The Padres have Clint Barmes at SS, that should scream in need of an upgrade. Preller is changing the face of the Padres overnight. Plus, they have sign Morrow, and are / were close on Josh Johnson last I've heard.

Thus, my suggestion Erik Gonzalez for Rymer Liriano. Yes, he's depth, but he's tradeable depth.
December 19, 2014 - 2:16 PM EST
What a crazy crazy crazy crazy Winter...and its not even Winter yet. Marlins & Padres all in. Yankees doing God knows what. TB and Oakland doing highly suspect things. Braves tearing down. Dodgers probably doing brilliant things that wont prove to be brilliant until next August. Washington somehow making their organization better without giving up a whole lot. The freaking Indians have perhaps the best rotation in baseball????

I've never been so engaged in other teams offseason moves as I am right now.
December 19, 2014 - 12:15 PM EST
Padres also signed catcher David Ross
December 19, 2014 - 11:24 AM EST

FWIW, I've heard more Myers to CF than 1B talk. Now that's a scary thought....but who cares, if I was a fan of them I'd just be ecstatic at the aggressiveness they've shown.
December 19, 2014 - 11:17 AM EST
Bourn for Quentin. I'm in

Looking at the trade, the Padres were able to keep their best prospects. For the Indians, they would have been asked for at least one of JRam or Urshela.
Frazier/EGonz/Anderson/Naquin would have been my last offer. On paper, this should beat the Padres offer. Considering the QO 1st rounder coming back, this would have been a trade I would have made, but put JRam or Urshela in it, and I don't
December 19, 2014 - 11:02 AM EST
X-mas shopping on streoids. Padres rumored in trading Hanigan to the Red Sox for Middlebrooks.

December 19, 2014 - 10:50 AM EST
Was some talk that Myers could be used at 1st with Upton and Kemp manning left and right field.

So then Yonder Alonzo is blocked and Derrek Norris is a terrible catcher that's been mentioned for 1st base in the past.

Maybe San Diego doesn't plan on playing defense?
December 19, 2014 - 10:43 AM EST
Yeah I don't see how all of Upton, Myers and Kemp fit in the outfield unless they seriously are going to have Kemp in CF. I can't see that. Perhaps we see Kemp move some to 1B. Might help keep him healthier.
December 19, 2014 - 10:36 AM EST
Current CF for the Padres Maybin and Venable?Where are Padres going to play Myers since Upton, Kemp and Myers are corner OF?

GM A. J Peller must be Santa Claus. He's checking his list...Checking it twice...going to see who he is going to keep and going to trade. Christmas shopping in full swing in San Diego.

December 19, 2014 - 10:25 AM EST
I just say Liriano since he is younger and right handed.

I don't know their system well but they do seem light on middle infielders, although they seem to be going for more established types with varying degrees of big league experience.
December 19, 2014 - 10:21 AM EST
Question: Why would the Padres deal Liriano? Kind of the perfect depth option and could use time in AAA this year. Plus no sure thing for Upton to stick after this season. Upton allows time for Liriano to finish off his development and be ready for 2016 if Upton is not retained.

Anyway, the Padres need a CF. How about Bourn?
December 19, 2014 - 10:15 AM EST
So if I'm CA I get on the phone and see what it takes to get Rymer Liriano. Id move Erik Gonzalez straight up. Liriano, 23, has a strong throwing arm and some RH pop, he had TJ in 2013, and does K at a high rate, but RH power is rare and he's a legit RF prospect.

Have to think Padres will move some of....
and Liriano
December 19, 2014 - 9:51 AM EST
San Diego stikes again. Upton. Wow.

So Rymer Liriano is a little blocked...and as brought up before Quentin. Good Lordy....
December 19, 2014 - 9:32 AM EST
Looking like my guess on Oakland is wrong.

Btw, the Angels have not been mentioned, but they (and Astros) are AL West clubs. Maybe Heaney for Upton?

Might be the Padres (probably?) in on Upton, obviously not an AL West club, but they've expressed interest. One of the names attached to the Braves has been Hunter Renfroe earlier this offseason.

If young pitching is involved have to think Matt Wisler.
December 19, 2014 - 9:23 AM EST
Padres are cleaning up - they'll at least be watchable this year.
December 19, 2014 - 9:22 AM EST
Texas is reportedly not in on Justin Upton.

I'm guessing it is Oakland, classic, Billy Beane move flip some of the pitching he's gotten in deals this offseason for Upton. He maximizes Uptons value by flipping him at the trade deadline for prospects.

I would think Hahn and Alvarez acq. yesterday could go to ATL (essentially flipping them) or any of the pitching (include: Griffin and Parker as possibilities) the A's have acq. this offseason.
December 19, 2014 - 8:54 AM EST
Upton deal coming next...

Passan and McDaniel have him going to the AL West. Seattle or Oakland?

Crazy as Oakland sounds who knows with BB. Afterall, he has acq. Hahn, Graveman, Nolin, and Bassitt this offseason.

More likely it's Seattle with another big deal going down?
December 19, 2014 - 8:21 AM EST
Kang bid opening at 5:00 pm ET.. numbers expected still unusual and undetermined... We'll see...

Kemp hip arthritis saga.. continues.. why don't the Dodgers just pony up the additional cash and be done with the mess?..

The Chris Medlen signing...high reward.. high risk.. sad a young career can be so easily derailed..

Tampa Bay Rays Deal.. they got fleeced..
December 19, 2014 - 6:55 AM EST
Peavy gets 2/$24 M to return to SF.

Wouldn't have minded getting Norris' but don't know how he'd have fit the Tribe. Maybe backup C, 1b, and primary DH. Padres get some RH pop, but Hahn is a good young pitcher. Funny thing... A's got a better return for Norris than Shark, Donaldson, and Moss.

Should hear some news on Kang this weekend, possibly as early as this evening.

December 19, 2014 - 5:41 AM EST
Ken Rosenthal tweeted this morning that Jake Peavy has a deal to return to the Giants.

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