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The Oakland A’s Payroll In 2015 + Going Forward: Beane Counting

The A's GM has done a masterful job putting together a World Series worthy rotation without breaking the bank to do it. Even for the 2015 season, the staff will not cost much more money than this campaign, with the highest monies going to Kazmir ($13 MIL) and Samardija (about the same in Arbitration), the Bullpen doesn't make much money, while only losing Gregerson, and most of the SP are on entry-level deals or 1st year Arbitration. The A's payroll is slated to be right around $80 MIL in 2015, and the club should still be competitive, and if not, they have plenty of assets to trade near the deadline and reload for another run of success. The Oakland GM knows how to turnover a roster, developing a young nucleus for 3 year intervals. The A's have made the playoffs three straight years - but struggled down the stretch in 2014 - before dropping the Wild Card in spectacular fashion, after holding a 7 - 3 in the 8th inning.     The A's GM has done a masterful job putting together a World Series worthy rotation without breaking the bank to do it. Even for the 2015 season, the staff will not cost much more money than this campaign, with the highest monies going to Kazmir ($13 MIL) the Bullpen doesn't make much money, while only losing Gregerson, and most of the SP are on entry-level deals or 1st year Arbitration. The A's payroll is slated to be right around $80 MIL in 2015, and the club should still be competitive, and if not, they have plenty of assets to trade near the deadline and reload for another run of success. The Oakland GM knows how to turnover a roster, developing a young nucleus for 3 year intervals. The A's have made the playoffs three straight years - but struggled down the stretch in 2014 - before dropping the Wild Card in spectacular fashion, after holding a 7 - 3 in the 8th inning.

For the 2015 season, the staff will not cost much more money than this campaign, with the highest monies going to Kazmir ($13 MIL) the Bullpen doesn’t make much money, while only losing Gregerson, and most of the SP are on entry-level deals or 1st year Arbitration. The A’s payroll is slated to be right around $80 MIL in 2015 (down about $10 MIL from 2014), and the club should still be competitive, and if not, they have plenty of assets to trade near the deadline and reload for another run of success.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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MoneyBall 1..MoneyBall 2… So we all have seen the movie or at least read the book – or heard about somebody referencing it all the time on the Baseball airwaves.  Beane does it a different way, and he keeps the rest of the landscape second guessing.

This website has been one of the frontrunners of dissecting his moves over the last few years, and have accurately predicted a lot of what would happen with the terms of the club.

As much as the MLB Reports has loved the movements the team has done, we have not picked them to advance in the postseason in any prognostications, but we have continuously marveled on how the GM keeps wheeling and dealing.

Chuck Booth likened him to a “Baseball Rounder”, using a nice analogy from the world of poker.

The A’s GM is the best at creating value to his team but exercising all of the freebies in the league, coupled with knowing how to maneuver when the time is right.

Trading Josh Donaldson may come back to haunt him, but he did receive a plethora of young talented throwers, and perhaps Brett Lawrie will emerge into his talent after all.

Being a “Baseball Rounder” is being the smartest guy in the room, and knowing your opponents moves before even they do.

For a Year to Year Breakdown For all of the A’s players salaries please visit here

The Oakland GM knows how to turnover a roster, developing a young nucleus for 3 year intervals. The A's have made the playoffs three straight years - but struggled down the stretch in 2014 - before dropping the Wild Card in spectacular fashion, after holding a 7 - 3 in the 8th inning.

The Oakland GM knows how to turnover a roster, developing a young nucleus for 3 year intervals. The A’s have made the playoffs three straight years – but struggled down the stretch in 2014 – before dropping the Wild Card in spectacular fashion, after holding a 7 – 3 in the 8th inning.  The results made Beane start the cycle of rebuilding his team on the fly.  Contrary to popular belief though, he expects his club to be better in the long run for it.  If Oakand is sniffing around the periphery of the playoffs in mid season, the club could also add payroll like it did last year.  The team has plenty of prospects to dangle now as a result of several trades conducted since the end of 2014.

Why it works in today’s MLB game is because of the decreased emphasis on power due to the loss of PED/Amphetamine use leveling the playing field, and for other General Managers getting in their own way – by overpaying guys.

Last year, the A’s lost A.J. Griffin and Jarrod Parker to injury, yet had one of the deepest Starting Rotations by the time the year was concluded.  It is a systemic movement in acquiring more players over the years, and cashing out at precisely the right time.

In the winter of 2013 going into 2014, Beane assembled most of his Relief Core, with next nothing in return heading back the other way to other franchises.  The net result was one of the more consistent Bullpens in the game of baseball.

When teams suffer injuries to core players like Yu Darvish and Hunter Pence, it can cripple a club because of the high dollars that are paid for their services.  When the A’s suffer injuries, the next guy up is in likeness and talent to the guy who just went down being hurt.

First off, Beane never pays his own Starting Pitchers contracts past their service time for Free Agency.  You can look to Barry Zito, Tim Hudson and Mark Mulder as the classic examples of why not to do that.  In the last few rounds of the competency, he won’t even allow them to make huge cash in Arbitration.

Henceforth pitchers like Gio Gonzalez, Andrew Bailey and Trevor Cahill, all of whom pretty much performed better in an Oakland uniform than abroad in the last few years (except for Gonzalez’s 1st campaign in Washington).

If Beane is going to pay a pitcher, it will be a guy on the open market, without a compensation draft pick, just like he did when Scott Kazmir was available,

Losing an MVP caliber type of player is definitely a tough think to endure, but it is the mantra of the club for the last 15 years.  They received 4 players back for Donaldson, and could acquire a few more for the same money it will take to keep paying the productive 3B.  Donaldson will have 3 more years of Arbitration after this seasons $5.4 MIL contract.  After this year, he will likely reel in big money from 2015 - 2017.

Losing an MVP caliber type of player is definitely a tough think to endure, but it is the mantra of the club for the last 15 years. They received 4 players back for Donaldson, and could acquire a few more for the same money it will take to keep paying the productive 3B. Donaldson will have 3 more years of Arbitration after this seasons $4.3 MIL contract. After this year, he will likely reel in big money from 2015 – 2017, probably raking in north of $35 MIL for the last 3 campaigns of the contract.

The MoneyBall GM realized his team was regressing slightly after in 2014, and traded their best 2 players away in Donaldson and Brandon Moss.

He is the subject of high scrutiny for doing so, as Donaldson is a perennial MVP candidate, and to sign him as a Free Agent as of now, he would make so much more than he will pocket in his next 4 years ($35 – 40 MIL) in Arbitration.  But it is just not how the A’s GM operates, and conceivably the net value of the assets brought back will hold down 4 roster spots as early as 2016 (and possibly 3 players this year.)

Just so people don’t think he is crazy for signing Billy Butler, this domino fell so he could orchestrate the Moss and Donaldson moves next.

The franchise needed a new SS and 2B after Jed Lowrie moved on through Free Agency, and Alberto Callaspo wasn’t retained.  He moved Jeff Samardzija to shore up the Infield depth with Marcus Semien, who can play all 3 infield positions besides 1B.  Semien has proven he can walk in the Minors, has some pop, also with some speed.

Franklin Barreto, was obtained in the Donaldson deal, which could give them a stalwart Short Stop for several seasons.

Brett Lawrie is a perfect candidate to have his career resurrected in an A’s uniform.   I think he is capable of being a 25+ HR guy a year, and provide adequate fielding.

When talking about Ike Davis, he is par for the course with Oakland.  I said in my bold predictions, I think either Davis or Lawrie will have a stellar year and make Beane look smart.  I am leaning more towards Lawrie, but at least the A’s can spot Butler at 1B if the former Met and Pirates slugger struggles.

All of the guys are just starting Arbitration, or barely have started their service clock.

2015 may see the team hover near the .500 clip, but I expect Beane will also deal Josh Reddick and Kazmir at the Deadline if he doesn’t think his club can go far this season.  The next positions to address will be the OF.

i love looking at the future salary for their Starting Pitchers every year, because there is hardly any money tied up.  I

Oh.. If the A’s overachieve in the 1st half, which they are capable of, Beane also has enough assets to trade for another veteran starter for the playoff push.  Maybe a guy like Yovani Gallardo or Ian Kennedy.

The highest paid player on the upcoming campaign is Scott Kazmir at $13 MIL, and on the last year of his 2 YR/$22 MIL pact.  He is the 1st guy to be tradebait if the season goes bad.

Billy Butler is the leader for overall contract dollars left to be paid at $30 MIL.

Coco Crisp is the only other player to make north of $10 MIL this season, – and he has the 2016 year which he will make another $11 MIL.

Ben Zobrist, their new super Utility Infielder only brings in $7.5 MIL in 2015, and he could be the 2nd piece traded out by Beane.

Eric O’Flaherty‘s deal last year represents more of what we are talking about.  The A’s GM gave him a 2 YR deal worth $7.5 MIL, knowing full well he wasn’t going to pitch for the squad until late in 2014.  What they received from him was a 2.25 ERA in 21 Appearances in his time during 2014, almost paralleling his 2009 – 2013 stint with the Braves – where he had a remarkable 1.99 ERA.

The LHP Reliever is even more important with the shoulder issues of A’s Closer Sean Doolittle acting up.  Speaking of the bearded fellow, that contract signing is pure genius.

Doolittle is just starting a team friendly 5 Year/$10.5 MIL deal (2014 – 2018) with a couple of Vesting Options.  The A’s closer of last year., possesses a lifetime WHIP of 0.916 and an ERA  of 2.97.  The big Lefty fanned 89 hitters and walked just 8 last season.  He does have a shoulder injury currently, yet the team has backup guys in Ryan Cook and Tyler Clippard.

Speaking of the former Nationals pitcher, he has been perennial Holds Leader in the league, and will earn $8.3 MIL this season.  Again, if the year goes awry, there will be a bevy of ballclubs looking for his services at the Deadline, offering up prime prospects for the stretch drive.  Clippard is a Free Agent after this campaign.

The rest of the roster is under team control beyond 2015. 

Josh Reddick makes $4.1 MIL this season, which is about right for a guy who would hit 20 HRs for the year, with an OPS of .730.

Ike Davis was a low risk buy, with just cash compensation going back to the Pirates for his talents.  The lanky 1B is a perfect candidate to be in Oakland.  He has raw power (hit 32 HRs in 2012, including 20 past the ALL – Star Break), plays decent defense and knows how to draw a walk.  The man has one year more of Arbitration before hitting Free Agnecy.

Billy Butler can spell him at 1B against lefties, or they can use 6 FT 7 behemoth Nate Freiman and Butler to carry out the First Base/DH duties when southpaws are on the mound.

What has kept the payroll down for so many years is not paying the pitching staff at all.  it doesn’t mean they don’t add veterans.  it just means out of the 12 – 13 guys who comprise the staff, maybe 2 – 3 of them are Free Agents, and the rest of them are either on entry-level contracts or their 1st years of Arbitration.

You still have the talent there with a Sonny Gray, and they have also resurrected the paths of Drew Pomeranz and Jesse Chavez, and you were able to add Jesse Hahn for trading away Derek Norris.  Essentially gaining more years of team control for a player that may have overachieved – on a club deep at Catchers depth.

Billy Butler will be a key piece of the club in the next 3 years from the right side of the plate.  Signing "Country Breakfast" enabled the club to trade Brandon Moss to the Indians for another Infield prospect.  Butler is a professional hitter, and I believe he is somewhere between his 2014 OPS of .702 - and his career mark of .808.  Butler is still just 28.

Billy Butler will be a key piece of the club in the next 3 years from the right side of the plate. Signing “Country Breakfast” enabled the club to trade Brandon Moss to the Indians for another Infield prospect. Butler is a professional hitter, and I believe he is somewhere between his 2014 OPS of .702 – and his career mark of .808. Butler is still just 28.

*** The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com and their partners***

A Big thanks goes out to our chief writer Hunter Stokes for preparing today’s feature post.

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Posted on March 13, 2015, in MLB Payroll and Contracts and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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