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With the Oakland Athletics rebuilding, the Chicago White Sox should take advantage of the opportunity and bring back one of their own in right-hander Chris Bassitt.

The Chicago White Sox deal with the Oakland Athletics involving Chris Bassitt has aged horribly.

The South Siders made a GOB Bluth huge mistake by sending Bassitt to Oakland in the 2015 blockbuster deal involving the likes of Marcus Semien going to the A’s and Jeff Samardzija going to the Sox.

Semien and Bassitt rose to prominence in Oakland, while Samardzija left Chicago after one season to go play for the San Francisco Giants. Maybe the White Sox can right a wrong here?

With the Athletics about to have a Tobias Fünke fire sale, why would the White Sox not capitalize?

Chicago White Sox should trade for Chris Bassitt with the Oakland Athletics

Bassitt might be on the wrong side of 30 and coming off a career-year, but he has been one of the A’s better pitchers over the last three seasons. Since 2019, Bassitt is 27-11 in 63 starts over 66 games for Oakland. He has a 3.26 ERA and a 1.128 WHIP, averaging 33 starts per a 162-game average. With him being on the final year of his contract and the White Sox in contention, why not?

Chicago is one of a handful of teams that can win the AL pennant. The White Sox should be favored to repeat in the AL Central. However, anything short of an ALCS berth will be seen as a massive disappointment for this contending team. By adding Bassitt to the rotation, it can help get the White Sox into the final four conversation in baseball. They need to go be all-in right now.

If Oakland is planning on dumping salary again, the White Sox need to do some bargain shopping.

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Oakland school district reaches agreement with teachers union on COVID safety, avoiding a strike

The Oakland Unified School District reached an agreement on COVID-19 safety measures Monday night with the teachers union, averting a possible strike amid a student boycott and after a series of teacher “sickouts.”

OUSD said it reached its 10th agreement with the Oakland Education Association since the beginning of the pandemic, according to a Tuesday news release. The agreement is scheduled to be voted on by OEA members before being ratified by the Board of Education.

The union said in an email to members that it was “happy” to announce the agreement Tuesday and that it was “made possible by the breathtaking activism of students, families and members.”

The district said the “main sticking points” to coming to an agreement was the availability of COVID testing, high-quality masks and covered eating spaces for nutrition breaks. OUSD said it will provide COVID testing every week for all students and staff and during limited supply periods, priority for tests will be given to people with known exposure.

Oakland school leaders also said the district would expand evening hours for testing hubs across the district and provide COVID testing for all students and staff before they return from spring break. Covered eating spaces, including tables and umbrellas, will be provided for all school sites and in the event of delivery problems due to supply chain issues, OUSD will notify the union, according to the district.

Large gatherings, including assemblies, will take place outside when possible and ventilation and air purification, in addition to open windows if possible, will be provided in every indoor space, district officials said. Masks, including KN95s, will continue to be distributed to all students and staff.

The union said the district will assign non-classroom staff and administrators to cover teacher absences not filled by a substitute, if possible, and will meet with OEA to discuss covering absences. Special education classes and schools with the “highest need” will also be prioritized.

OEA president Keith Brown said last Wednesday that he had given the district 48 hours to reach an agreement with the union on COVID safety or he would move forward with an all-member formal strike authorization. Brown said that 72 percent of OEA members voted yes to participate in a strike if their bargaining demands weren’t met. The union said it continued to bargain with the district through the weekend.

Brown previously said there had been progress in recent weeks with better access to masks and outdoor covered eating spaces, in addition to extended COVID leave for employees, but the district didn’t provide weekly testing, even after the union had asked for it in their initial proposal during the fall semester. He also said the OEA was pushing the district to address the staffing at schools amid a nationwide teacher and substitute shortage “by making sure there’s an adult covering every classroom vacancy.”

“The progress was slow,” Brown said. “The district did not have a sense of urgency around the negotiations and it’s unfortunate that it took an omicron surge and it took student protests and grassroots teacher activism to push the district to meet with us and also bring an agreement around COVID leave.”

The agreement comes after students across the district have been boycotting classes for a week straight and have refused to come back to school until the district moves in-person learning to online and provides PCR and rapid testing twice a week, KN95 and N95 masks for every students and more outdoor eating spaces.

On Jan. 5, MetWest High School sophomores Ayleen Serrano, Ximena Santana and Benjamin Rendon created a petition, which has been signed by more than 1,200 students as of Tuesday, after a surge in positive cases at their school after winter break. They also said they didn’t receive any of the around 41,000 testing kits the district said it sent out to students before winter break.

“It’s just us telling the district to give us what they are saying they have been giving us because we haven’t received it,” Serrano said.

District officials previously said that 200,000 KN95 masks were given to students last week and they were installing more covered outdoor eating spaces and had a “robust” COVID testing system, including 10 testing hubs, bi-weekly testing for secondary schools and weekly pooled testing at elementary schools.

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