A potential court trial for A's catcher Bruce Maxwell has been scheduled for April, which would take Maxwell away from the team during the regular season if his felony case in Arizona makes it that far.
There remains a strong possibility, however, that Maxwell agrees to a plea deal and avoids a trial for his October arrest on charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and disorderly conduct in Scottsdale.
Maxwell's initial pretrial conference took place Thursday morning in Maricopa County Superior Court. According to a court spokesperson, there was discussion of a possible settlement conference in the near future in the hopes of avoiding a trial.
Maxwell's next court appearance is scheduled for Jan. 29. His pretrial conference would be April 3 with the actual trial date April 10. There's no indication of when the potential settlement conference would take place, but a plea deal can happen anytime leading up to the trial.
Maxwell allegedly pointed a gun at a food delivery driver who arrived at his home with an order on Oct. 28.
The A's report to spring training in mid-February and open the regular season March 29 at home against the Los Angeles Angels.
They don't appear poised to add any catching help as insurance. General manager David Forst has expressed confidence that Maxwell will be with the team when spring camp begins.
"We're expecting Bruce to be ready to go the first day of spring training and to be with us," Forst said during the winter meetings. "I'm not getting involved in the legal side of this, but no one has said anything to me that makes me believe he won't be ready to go."
The A's have two other catchers besides Maxwell, Dustin Garneau and Josh Phegley, on their 40-man roster. They also have a highly regarded prospect behind the plate in Sean Murphy, though he has yet to play above Double-A ball.