07/30/10 11:11 PM ET
A's announce agreement with Choice
By Jane Lee / MLB.com
Choice's agent, Jeff Frye, initially confirmed the deal -- which includes a $2 million signing bonus -- on Wednesday. And on Friday, via a conference call, the 20-year-old outfielder was able to speak with reporters about the agreement.
"It's a great feeling," Choice said from Arizona, where he recently reported to the A's training facility.
Choice, taken out of the University of Texas at Arlington as the 10th-overall selection, represents just the second player out of this year's top 10 picks to reach a deal -- the other being Christian Colon, drafted fourth overall by the Royals. The new A's player is expected to soon join the club's short-season Class A affiliate in Vancouver.
"I think it's huge to get out there and get firsthand experience and get exposed for the first time," Choice said. "It's one of hardest parts, and then you kind of go from there."
Choice currently has no timetable on when he'd like to make his big league debut, only saying that his "main focus is to get acclimated to the organization and let the organization judge when that will be."
The A's expect Choice's bat power to nicely complement his impressive abilities in center field, where he hopes to remain as his professional career begins. The 6-foot, 215-pound right-handed hitter owns the all-time home run record at Arlington, where he averaged a long ball every 17.8 at-bats and was subsequently named a junior All-American.
In 60 games for the Mavericks this year, he hit .383 to go along with a .568 on-base percentage and .704 slugging mark. He struck out just 54 times while managing 76 walks.
The A's have now signed or agreed to terms with 28 of their Draft picks. The organization's second, third and fourth selections remain unsigned, and the organization has until Aug. 16 to complete all deals.
A's not likely to deal Breslow
CHICAGO -- Craig Breslow's already pitched for five teams in as many seasons in the Majors, so hearing his name involved in trade rumors doesn't really shake him.
At the same time, being sought after as an entrée -- rather than as a side dish -- has the A's lefty realizing just how far he's come.
"I've heard rumblings just because a lot of contending teams are close to my home, and so a lot of publications tend to pick up some of those, so I have friends telling me I might go here, I might go there," said Breslow, a Connecticut native. "I've never been on this side of trade rumors. I've always been the guy getting designated or released. I guess just being the coveted piece is a nice change."
Despite the heated rumor mill, set to keep spinning until Saturday's non-waiver Trade Deadline at 1 p.m. PT, the A's have no plans of moving Breslow, or any bullpen member.
"The fact of the matter is that Craig has pitched well all season," assistant general manager David Forst said Friday. "It wasn't surprising to us the amount of interest we've received in him. But as we've said before, with the team we have now, we really like where we are considering the injury situation. The guys that have been out there have earned the right to keep that momentum going.
"There's been an interest in a number of our guys, but at this point, yes, we would like to keep going with the guys we have."
That's just fine by Breslow, who has been targeted by a handful of teams, among them the Red Sox -- whom he played for in 2006, going 0-2 with a 3.75 ERA in 13 games.
"It's weird in the sense that I've already been there, but I have a lot of respect for those guys," he said. "They're very well managed and very well run. It's a really difficult place to establish your career. It's one of those places where, if you maybe make a name for yourself elsewhere, it might be a great place to go to.
"I like it here, though. I like the guys, I like the team. I think it's a good time to be in this organization."
It's one that gave him quite the opportunity after being claimed off waivers in May of last year, at which time he had posted a 6.28 ERA in 17 appearances for the Twins. With Oakland, he garnered a 7-5 record with a 2.60 ERA in 60 games and, this season, has held opponents to a .186 average while offering the A's a dependable lefty in the 'pen.
"I feel like I've done a lot to prove my value, but only because of the opportunity to prove my value," Breslow said. "I don't feel like I'm any different as a pitcher here. The difference is that I was given the ball over and over again. They gave me the chance to pitch here, and after that, it was up to me."
Travis Buck was reinstated from the 60-day disabled list Friday and optioned to Triple-A Sacramento, while Ryan Sweeney -- who underwent season-ending knee surgery Friday -- was transferred from the 15-day to the 60-day DL. ... There is still no timetable for a rehab stint for Conor Jackson, who has been out for nearly a month with a strained right hamstring. ... Musician Kid Rock drove around the diamond at U.S. Cellular Field before Friday's contest between the A's and White Sox. He served as the opening act for Bon Jovi at Soldier Field later in the evening.
Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.