Oakland A’s State Of The Union – Trust In Billy Beane To Find A Gem This Winter – Just Not Cruz!
By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner): Follow @chuckbooth3024
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Nelson Cruz is a sought after Free Agent for power, but it is my humble opinion that the A’s will just not fork out that type of money required to land his services.
Already, the club is projected to give out contracts that will estimate to in the $50 – $55 MIL range once some of their guys head to Arbitration like Seth Smith, Josh Reddick, Brandon Moss, Jed Lowrie, Jerry Blevins and John Jaso.
Cespedes 2013 Highights
The franchise just doesn’t have $16 – $20 MIL to pay one player of Nelson Cruz’ ilk. It is also not the Beane way.
Yoenis Cespedes and Coco Crisp reaching for contracts in $35 – $40 MIL total over 4 – 5 years range is the highest the MoneyBall GM likes to spend on any Free Agents.
Jermaine Dye was the last big coveted Free Agent the team signed other than those guys. That move didn’t exactly work out for the A’s that well, although he was still decent.
The A’s win because of their depth.
The philosophy is always to have guys that Walk on Offense, and have a lot of power, while the Pitching Staff is assembled with power pitching – that can fan guys, but also don’t yield that many free bases up either.
The truth is that Beane really doesn’t have to make many moves this offseason – and his team will be ultra competitive next campaign.
Look for Yoenis Cespedes to take the next step, and you can bet Coco Crisp will have a big season in a contract year.
I would also think that Jed Lowrie and Josh Donaldson could repeat nice seasons from 2013.
Josh Reddick had a poor 2013 showing, but he could rebound in 2014 too.
Brandon Moss is really solidifying his numbers in a big league uniform.
Under the radar, is Alberto Callaspo, who came over and did an admirable job – with a .270/.350/.759 3 Slash Line out of the 2nd base position, added with 5 HRs and 22 RBI 50 Games.
Like Lowrie, Callaspo is also in a contract year.
John Jaso – and his .390 OBP over the last 2 years, will also come back to pick up some serious AB in 2014 – after having an injury plagued year in 2013.
You mix in a little Brett Anderson for depth, and maybe a cheap veteran, and you are talking about a strength of the club.
A guy like that could potentially make about $3 – 6 MIL for a 1 YR deal.
As for position players on the market. Don’t be surprised to see the club go after Jason Kubel. This is the type o guy that is perfect for the team.
A LHB, with some pop, a decent RBI guy, plus someone who could Walk. Kubel has a Career 3 Slash of .264/.330/.715 – even though he had a down year split between the D’Backs and Indians.
I wouldn’t be surprised if Beane ends up breaking free from Seth Smith before or after his Arbitration hearing.
Another thing to think about is what the team will do with Hiroyuki Nakajima? He is over from the NPB league, and will begin his 2nd year in North America.
Can he take over the SS position at any point? If he can play, perhaps Jed Lowrie is a candidate to be traded. Based on his great 2013 year, and that he is a Free Agent in 2015, Beane could sell high on this asset.
it is better for Beane to start the 2014 with more money to save for the Trade Deadline type of deals.
Just like last year when they were able to pick up Kurt Suzuki and Alberto Callaspo based on team needs, they only had to pay the pro-rated portion of their salaries for the year.
With extra Starting Pitching in the hopper, there are possibilities to make deals into the season. Beane knows how to surf the waiver wire too.
In the course of every year, the guy makes plenty of transactions. There have been some great stories on players that work out for him – despite not parting with any significant assets in return.
Nobody is better at pick-pocketing other franchises 25th or 26th guys on the Roster like Beane does.
You can count on an unexpected move for the better, or a player that you never thought possible for the club to pick up, will come over to Oakland on a deal.
Meanwhile the team will keep trucking along, post nearly 95 wins, keep proving skeptics wrong, and they will win the wins per $ of Team Payroll yet again.
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Chuck Booth - Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner and author of the Fastest 30 Ballgames: To learn more about my “The Fastest 30 Ballgames Book” and how to purchase it, click here .
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Posted on November 28, 2013, in MLB Teams State Of the Unions and tagged A.J. Griffin, bartolo colon, billy beane, brandon moss, brett anderson, coco crisp, Dan Otero, dan straily, david aardsma, derek norris, evan scribner, fernando rodney, francisco rodriguez, grant balfour, hiroyuki nakajima, jarrod parker, jason kubel, jed lowrie, jermaine dye, jerry blevins, john jaso, josh donaldson, josh reddick, kurt suzuki, nelson cruz, oakland athletics, ryan cook, sean doolittle, seth smith, sonny gray, tommy milone, yoenis cespedes. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.