Why new A's reliever May saw Oakland as perfect landing spot


As Trevor May introduced himself to local media on Monday, it quickly became clear that the Athletics’ newest addition to their pitching staff should find himself right at home in the Bay.

About “a dozen to 15” teams inquired about the right-handed reliever in free agency, May said, but he ultimately agreed to a reported one-year, $7 million contract with Oakland because he felt strongly about the area.

“I’m very happy that I was able to stick to my guns a little bit and really go for a place that I felt that I was going to be valued and that was going to be a lot of fun to play,” May said via Zoom.

And already, it seems like a perfect fit.

May grew up a fan of the Bay Area’s hyphy movement, listening to favorite rappers and groups like Keak Da Sneak, E-40, Too Short, The Federation and The Team, to name a few. His father has been an A’s fan since age 18, and May always wanted to attend Stanford University as a kid.

Even the Coliseum has a special place in May’s heart, he added, as that’s where the 33-year-old made his MLB debut against the A’s in 2014.

All of these things resulted in May’s “special attachment” to the Bay. And now, he looks forward to being part of an A’s team looking to rebound from its 100-loss 2022 campaign.

“We’re the team that’s in rebuilding mode and [has] a lot of young guys, so many young guys, that there’s so much opportunity here and so much potential for those guys to kind of take a step forward,” May said.

“I’ve been on two 100-win teams and one 100-loss team in my career, and I know what it’s like to be in all of those situations and how quickly things can change, and what a group of young, hungry guys all trying to make a name for themselves in a league can do.

“That’s really exciting. That’s something I want to be a part of.”

May said he spoke with former Mets teammates Chris Bassitt and Mark Canha about their time with Oakland in order to get a feel for the organization, and both A’s alumni provided him with glowing reviews.

After six seasons with the Minnesota Twins and two with the New York Mets, where he compiled a 4.35 ERA in both starter and reliever roles over the years, May made it clear he’s ready to have fun playing baseball again after facing sky-high expectations -- specifically on the East Coast.

Anyone who has seen May’s YouTube channel or watched one of his many Twitch streams knows he has quite the personality. Now, he’s excited to show it on the field in front of an Oakland fanbase that embraces eccentricity.

For starters, he’s currently in the process of growing his first beard, and A’s fans can expect him to rock the iconic striped socks on game day as he leans “into the character of playing baseball.”

“I would argue [having fun] is one of the most important things,” May said. “... It was tough at times when I was in New York, but I just think that the nature of every place is different.

“... That’s something I’ve always loved about whenever I see A’s guys on ‘Intentional Talk’ or whatever, they’re always secure … I just think there’s lots of space to be yourself and be crazy.”

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May said he even surprised himself with how badly he wanted to play in Oakland as he sifted through his free-agency options.

But although he has yet to throw a single pitch in an A’s uniform, it’s evident that May belongs in The Town.

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