The Oakland A’s State Of The Union For 2016: Beane Counting Or Picking?
Chuck Booth (Owner/Lead Analyst) Follow @chuckbooth3024
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It used to be that Billy Beane would wait until a player was about to hit Free Agency until he would trade that player for the next round of guys. Now he doesn’t even like his ALL – Stars to hit higher levels of Arbitration.
After last years all in effort to make a run at the postseason, Beane started the dismantle process of his squad. Perhaps the most controversial move was to flip Josh Donaldson for a package of four players.
A lot of people are still upset about that deal considering Donaldson is going to be a perennial MVP candidate, however he was that already for the A’s, and it failed to result in a placement beyond the 1st round.
That trade will be dissected for the next 10 – 15 years, however Beane also dealt Jeff Samardzija away, and then took the net profits of a few other deals (Ben Zobrist and Tyler Clippard) for yet another few Minor League Starters in Sean Manea and Casey Miesner.
These are usual maneuvers for Beane. The club lost more than 88 games for the 1st time in 18 years over this past year. Oddly enough, it was a bizarre campaign for a team that only won 68 games but had a Pythagorean W-L record of 77 – 85 suggesting they are actually about 10 wins better than their record indicates.
It was the second straight season in which the team fell 10 wins under they were supposed to have under the Pythagorean. Bob Melvin should be watching over his shoulder this year based on that.
This franchise has a ton of payroll flexibility with just 3 players under contract for actual dollars – with the rest being all under team control.
Coco Crisp and Billy Butler (who both performed under expectations – are on the books for $21.7 MIL in combined 2016 salary), while 2015 oft-injured Closer Sean Doolittle reeling in the other $1.7 MIL.
Even with Beane stepping up to a more executive role and promoting David Frost, you have to know he is still involved in the majority of the ball club decisions.
Josh Reddick is the only guy the team will lose after this season that may hurt the team going forward. Other veterans like Jesse Chavez, Ike Davis, Sam Fuld and Craig Gentry should be considered expendable, and the last 3 are bench players at best.
Jesse Hahn and Jesse Chavez are capable Major League Starters. The team should also see Jarrod Parker and A.J. Griffin back in 2016, Parker is trying to recover from his 2nd Tommy John Surgery – and Griffin hasn’t toed the hill since 2013 ended.
I would love to see the A’s tinker with a couple of Veteran Starting Pitchers on the open market.
They really need to spend some money there to bridge the gap to the next wave they have coming in Sean Manea, Casey Meisner, Sean Nolin and Aaron Brooks. All guys they acquired via trade through players Tyler Clippard, Ben Zobrist and Josh Donaldson.
I also like the idea of moving Brett Lawrie to 2nd Base permanently as he provides better value at that position than at 3rd. Danny Valencia showed enough to warrant a shot next season.
Free Agent possibilities:
We put on our top 50 Free Agent list that we could see Yoenis Cespedes actually coming back to Oakland. This would be so Billy Beane. Although the problem with that is committing a 9 figure salary to any one player.
If ever the franchise needed a superstar it is right now. The team has a bunch of average positional players and their prospects like Franklin Barreto and Matt Olson are a couple of years away from making an impact.
Cespedes may be a player the fan base can rally around.
Pearce can play a number of positions. De Aza can fill in at any of the OF positions and could step right in for Crisp if injured. Coco Crisp may have to ride the pine next year because of his neck, which may force him to retire.
The pending question will be on Josh Reddick. Oakland fans love this guy, but lets remember he has a career .312 OBP with the club. I am not sure he will be extended for a bunch of years and heavy payday based on this.
Reddick is the type of player you can return a nice haul at the Trade Deadline for.
The club definitely needs a pile of Relievers to come in for the 2016 year. They traded away Tyler Clippard, Ryan Cook, Eric O’Flaherty at the end of the season – and Pat Venditte was claimed off waivers recently.
Certainly the club could see a couple of the Starters that are left off the depth chart fill a couple of slots, but it would behoove the squad to go the Free Agency route for a couple of more.
*** 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***
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Posted on November 16, 2015, in MLB Teams State Of the Unions and tagged 2015 AL MVP, A.J. Griffin, Aaron Brooks, alejandro de aza, ben zobrist, billy beane, Bob Melvin, Bobby Parnell, brett lawrie, Casey Meisner, chris young, coco crisp, craig gentry, David Frost, doug fister, drew pomeranz, fernando abad, fernando rodriguez, Franklin Barreto, ike davis, jarrod parker, jeff samardzija, jesse chavez, josh donaldson, josh reddick, Kendall Graveman, kyle lohse, Marcus Semien, mat latos, matt olson, o.co coliseum, Oakland A's roster in 2016, pat venditte, sam fuld, sean doolittle, sean manea, Sean Nolin, sonny gray, stephen vogt, steve pearce, tommy hunter, Tommy John Surgery, toronto blue jays, tyler clippard, yoenis cespedes. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.