Beane assures fans that team has high expectations despite roster shakeup

“I can promise you, I don't wake up in the morning and go, how can I make everyone mad today?”
—Athletics general manager Billy Beane, on the flurry of moves the club has made this offseason, including trading away Josh Donaldson, Jeff Samardzija, and Brandon Moss. (Jane Lee,

“It’s tough to see a lot of the star players leave, a lot of guys you’ve played multiple years with, guys you believe in. Initially, when the trades are going on, you’re going, 'Come on, seriously? Another All-Star caliber player is leaving us?’ But as things progressed, I started to see things come together, and I understand it from a business standpoint and for the future. Some of the players we got have the potential to be great players and we have another team out to prove ourselves. I think it’s going to work out good.”
—Athletics outfielder Coco Crisp, on the roster turnover the club has undergone this offseason. (Susan Slusser, San Francisco Chronicle)

This is my 18th year here, and we've never just said, 'Hey, we're going to take five years and just stock the farm system.' We've tried to win every single game every single year I've been here. In our market, it would probably be pretty easy to do [a rebuild], but we've never done that. I'm too old to be on a five-year rebuild. Every game is precious in the Major Leagues, and we treat it that way. Sometimes we do it at the risk of trading some younger players, but I can tell you, we want to win every single game. I get cranky in Spring Training when we don't win games. So, the term 'rebuild,' we don't try to use that around here often.”

“I think it gives us an opportunity to maybe do things differently. Our makeup isn't going to be as station-to-station as it was. When Coco [Crisp] got hurt, then [Craig] Gentry was out, the speed dynamic of our team took its toll on us. I think this is maybe more of a group that maybe we try to run a little more, hit and run, do some things that we haven't in the past.”
—Manager Bob Melvin, on the different personnel he has at his disposal this season.

The Rest

“He had an off year with the Dodgers, but we're banking on him having enough pride to bounce back and perform. He had a couple (of other) opportunities but he wanted to come with us. Having guys that have (closing) ability is important. You hope somebody gets hot and takes control of it, but if he doesn't, you go to the next guy. (Perez) knows he's got to compete. He'd like to win that job and perform in that role. If he doesn't, he just wants to help the back end of the bullpen.”
—Brewers general manager Doug Melvin, on reliever Chris Perez, who the club recently signed to a minor-league deal (Tom Haudricourt, Journal Sentinel)

“I talked to Tony [La Russa] about that in the past with the Rays a bit when we played National League ball. There are some definite reasons why you would do something like that. More than anything, you want to feed into the beefy part of the batting order. How do you feed into the beefy part of a National League batting order better? I'm trying to find that out.”
—Cubs manager Joe Maddon, on the possibility of hitting the pitcher eighth in the batting order (Tony Andracki, CSN Chicago)

“I realize how fortunate I am and how blessed I am to be in this position. This was never about greed or I need more money per se, but it was about a business decision and trying to maximize what you're worth. And for me, I was in the position to take full advantage of that, and the Nationals came through and put a contract offer in front of me that … was jaw-dropping. It's the business part of the game. The business part of the game is ugly. I mean, look at it from the other side. I've seen so many of my friends get cut and released and all taken advantage of because at the end of the day, we say it's the business part of the game. I just took advantage of the business side of the game to benefit me.”
—Nationals pitcher Max Scherzer, on the seven-year, $210 million contract he signed this winter (Chris Johnson, MASN Sports)

“He's a potential 25-home-run guy, I think that's more of what we need than someone batting leadoff and trying to get on base. I'm excited to watch him. You always appreciate a player more when you get a chance to see him on a day-to-day basis. Obviously playing him six or seven times a year, you don't appreciate all the things he can do on the field. I think we're looking forward to seeing the things he brings to the table and I think he'll add a lot, both offensive and defensively and on the bases.”
—Cardinals outfielder Matt Holliday, on recent acquisition Jason Heyward (Tom Timmermann, St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

“Clearly, we'll have some ground to cover. We're looking forward to getting the best team on the field we possibly can, so we'll see… Obviously, there's things that need to come from him, if anything. He's been reintroduced back in; he's an active member of our club. From a baseball standpoint, we want the most we can get out of him. What that is going to be remains to be seen. I'm not here to give him advice on what he should or shouldn't be doing or when he should be doing it. … The bottom line is as GM, our manager, our ownership wants us to get everybody on the same page from a playing standpoint and try to get a good team that can compete on a daily basis for victory. That's what our focus is going to be.”
—Yankees general manager Brian Cashman, on how the team will handle Alex Rodriguez’s return to the team this spring (Bryan Hoch,

“The only piece of advice that I'm comfortable giving is that I think that everyone should keep in mind the difference between players who tested positive and were disciplined on the one hand, and players where somebody has surmised that they did something on the other. And I think, based on what you read in the media, sometimes those lines get blurred. And I think it gets really important to keep that distinction in mind… I think it's unfair for people to surmise that Player A did X, Y, or Z, absent a positive test, or proof that we produced in an investigation, or whatever. I just think it runs contrary to a very fundamental notion in our society, that you're innocent until somebody proves you're guilty.”
—Commissioner Rob Manfred, on the relationship between a player’s Hall of Fame candidacy and suspected use of performance-enhancing drugs. (Jayson Stark,

“We have had some tremendous success in the international market over the last two or three years, and I think you’ll see some other players like Rosario, like C Ali Sanchez, RHP Marcos Molina, but they weren’t necessarily this type of high-profile type. From my standpoint, it’s a little like the stock market. Do you want to go all in on Shake Shack? Or, do you want to invest in a mutual fund that gives you a little more diversity and a little more spread over time. I think our goal here is that we invest at least somewhat efficiently, but also spread it out so we give ourselves the best chance to succeed. The bottom line is that our farm system is one of the best in baseball. So, one of these days, maybe we will be in on a guy like Moncada, but my guess is that you’re going to find that teams that are in on him don’t have a Rosario at the bottom end of their system, and they’re doing it because of a real hole they have as opposed to dealing from strength.”
—Mets general manager Sandy Alderson, on why the team is unlikely to bid on Cuban prospect Yoan Moncada. (Matthew Cerone,

“If you have to go through this, it's good to have someone right there with you who's going through the same thing. It's been good to have him with me during the process.”
—Athletics starting pitcher A.J. Griffin, on being on a similar Tommy John surgery rehab schedule as teammate Jarrod Parker. If all goes well, both pitchers are expected to be back with the team in June. (Jane Lee,

“He was funny. He said, 'I want to take your record.’ I said, 'That’s OK. If that’s what you want to do, we’ve got a lot of work to do.’ I was excited he wanted to do it.”
Barry Bonds, on working with Yankees designated hitter Alex Rodriguez last month. (Jon Shea, San Francisco Chronicle)

“One of the things that I am going to try to do with All-Star Games is — and we'll make some announcements in the relatively short-term — I am looking to be in more of a competitive-bidding, Super Bowl-awarding-type mode, as opposed to [saying], `You know, I think Chicago is a good idea.’”
—Commissioner Rob Manfred, when asked if he would award the All-Star Game to Wrigley Field once renovations were completed. (Jayson Stark,

“I'm not real happy because we have the potential to lose one of the best hitters in the game.”
—Tigers manager Brad Ausmus, after it was announced that Victor Martinez had torn the meniscus in his left knee during a workout. (Anthony Fenech, USA TODAY)

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