For each division, we will be doing an in-depth look at each team’s situations for the offseason and offer some insights to what would make sense.
I take a dive into the AL West… one of the most puzzling divisions in the entire MLB. The Astros are really good, we get that… but the A’s seem to compete every year, the Mariners decide to miss the playoffs every year, the Angels have no pitching every year, and the Rangers are just horrid.
- ~$8M (would return them to their 2017 levels)
Top FA Targets:
- Gio Gonzalez, SP
The A’s are losing 3 SPs to free agency and have limited funds to spend, per usual. Gio is probably the best SP they can get for their budget and a potential bounce-back candidate on a 1-2 year deal.
- Jason Hammel, SP
Again, they need starting pitching and love plucking other people’s trash and putting them in the rotation (i.e. Cahill, Anderson, and Jackson last year). Hammel won’t cost much, but has plenty of experience.
- Martin Maldonado, C
With them losing Lucroy, there is a need at catcher and the A’s prioritize defense over hitting. Maldonado is very good defensively, but can’t hit… putting him right in their price range.
- Carson Smith, RP
Carson Smith is the kind of buy-low pitcher that the A’s love to plug into their roster. If he can regain his old form, he would be well worth the investment.
- Martin Perez, SP
At only 27 years old, Perez reached free agency after the Rangers surprisingly declined his modest option. Although he was terrible in 2018, he was serviceable in years prior and could be the next reclamation project for Oakland.
Top 3 Trade Possibilities:
- Athletics trade SS Marcus Semien to the Yankees for SP Sonny Gray & prospect SP Domingo Acevedo (#4)
The A’s get their ace returned to Oakland like a package they shipped out via UPS that got run over by a semi-truck. The money equals out from both sides, but the Yankees get two years of team control of Semien, while Sonny Gray enters his final season under team control. The A’s can move Barreto to his natural home of SS and add an intriguing piece in Acevedo to help them in 2019. With Manaea, Cotton, Graveman, and Gossett all potentially missing the entire 2019 season… the A’s must get creative with their budget.
- Athletics trade LF/DH Khris Davis to the White Sox for C Wellington Castillo and SP Carlos Rodon
Trade the guy that hit 48 homers? … Yes. Davis is set to make roughly $14.5M in his last year of arbitration, and that is a number the A’s can’t really afford. Having ~20% of your payroll tied to one player, rarely helps the team win. In this trade, you add a catcher and a starting pitcher making a total of $10M in 2019 (Rodon has 3 years of team control left and Castillo has a 2020 option). You can use the ~$5M saved to address other needs and can find a comparable power bat for around that price at the end of the offseason (i.e. Moustakas & Carlos Gonzalez in 2018).
- Athletics trade SP Mike Fiers & a Low A prospect to the Brewers for 1B/OF Eric Thames & CF Keon Broxton
The pitcher best known for drilling Giancarlo Stanton in the face, quietly had a very solid 2018… and as a result, is set to make ~$8.5M in his last year of arbitration. While a manageable number, it’s still over 10% of their budget to one pitcher with very few stats to suggest he maintains his 2018 form at 34 years old. In return, the get a versatile power bat and a potential CF option if their unheralded internal options don’t pan out.
- Athletics trade SP Kendall Graveman prospects OF Kyler Murray (#4) & OF Lazaro Armenteros (#6) to the Marlins for C J.T. Realmuto & SP Dan Straily
The dark horse strikes again. The A’s with a need at C, enter the Realmuto sweepstakes with their surplus of OF prospects and entice the Marlins to part with their backstop. Graveman, likely out for the season recovering from Tommy John, heads to MIA for future consideration in their desolate rotation (and doesn’t help them win anything in 2019, which is clearly their goal). Additionally, they receive two highly-hyped OF prospects in current University of Oklahoma QB Kyler Murray (drafted 9th overall in 2018) and Cuban monster Lazaro Armenteros. Also headed back to Oakland is SP Dan Straily… nothing flashy but he eats innings and is under team control for two years.