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The Oakland A’s State Of The Union For 2016: Beane Counting Or Picking?

Billy Beane saw his A's have their worst record in 18 years in 2015. It was a rebuilding that included him trading away the AL MVP caliber player in Josh Donaldson for a list of 4 players. It will take a couple of seasons to see how bad this may have been. After that deal, it was business as usual, with the man acquiring 4 decent Starting Pitching prospects for players on the last year of their contract. The team doesn't have any real money committed, and their is a ton of flexibility.

Billy Beane saw his A’s have their worst record in 18 years in 2015 – and worst in his GM tenure. It was a rebuilding effort that included him trading away the AL MVP caliber player in Josh Donaldson for a list of 4 players. It will take a couple of seasons to see how bad this may have been. After that deal, it was business as usual, with the man acquiring 4 decent Starting Pitching prospects for players on the last year of their contract. The team doesn’t have any real money committed, and there is a ton of flexibility.  Whether they spend it is another matter.

Chuck Booth (Owner/Lead  Analyst) 

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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.

The A's stadium is a major problem for the franchise right now. There is also talk that Beane will keep the club down for a couple of years while the situation clears up on the ballpark front. Beane appointed David Forst the GM in early October.

The A’s stadium is a major problem for the franchise right now. There is also talk that Beane will keep the club down for a couple of years while the situation clears up on the ballpark front. Beane appointed David Forst the GM in early October.  A’s fans only topped 1.75 MIL after jumping over the 2 Million mark in the 2014 season.

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.

Decent seasons by rookie Billy Burns, and nice contributions from Stephen Vogt and Mark Canha shows there is some promise for the positional players in going forward.

In fact, Brett Lawrie and Marcus Semien didn’t fare that badly either as average players.

The Pitching is not that bad.  Sonny Gray had a nice season, and was in the AL Cy Young Voting for the 1st half before slowing a little in the second half.

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:

Starting Pitchers: Chris Young, J.A. Happ, John Lackey, Doug Fister. Mat Latos, Kyle Lohse all fit right into the window of a 1-2 year deal.

Relief help:  Bobby Parnell or Tommy Hunter would be a perfect signing to help Doolittle at the end of the games.

Whatever pitcher that the A’s sign- don’t look for them to offer more than 1 – 2 years.  That is the club motto.  Look to the recent signings of Scott Kazmir and Bartolo Colon.

Would it be unfathomable to see Yoenis Cespedes back in the green and gold? Beane has surprised us all before, and he club is certainly not seeing any superstars in their system presently. He could electrify the fan base. You could even see a deal where Cespedes can opt out after 2 - 3 years. A small market team like Oakland can afford to pay at least 1 player a $20+ MIL deal with the new revenue streams from TV Money. In Oakland's case, they also profit from a league subsidized program for teams with lesser revenue;s.

Would it be unfathomable to see Yoenis Cespedes back in the green and gold? Beane has surprised us all before, and he club is certainly not seeing any superstars in their system presently. He could electrify the fan base. You could even see a deal where Cespedes can opt out after 2 – 3 years. A small market team like Oakland can afford to pay at least 1 player a $20+ MIL deal with the new revenue streams from TV Money. In Oakland’s case, they also profit from a league subsidized program for teams with lesser revenue’s.

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.

If they don’t ink the former A’s star, players like OF Alejandro De Aza and Steve Pearce would fit right into the teams philosophy. 

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.

They could use 2 – 3 late inning arms to add in with Doolittle, Drew Pomeranz, Fernando Abad and Fernando Rodriguez.

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.

Josh Reddick is just going to be 29 when the 2016 season starts. He hit for a .781 OPS with 4p Extra Base Hits in 526 AB during the 2015 campaign. The LHB has also dramatically cut down his Strikeout rate as well. My gut feeling is he will be traded at the Deadline if he puts up a good 1st half. A lifetime .312 OBP doesn't fit well into a long term deal with the A's.

Josh Reddick is just going to be 29 when the 2016 season starts. He hit for a .781 OPS with 49 Extra Base Hits in 526 AB during the 2015 campaign. The LHB has also dramatically cut down his Strikeout rate as well. My gut feeling is he will be traded at the Deadline if he puts up a good 1st half. A lifetime .312 OBP doesn’t fit well into a long-term deal with the A’s.

*** 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***

I am happy to be back at the helm of the MLB Reports, after completing my record 224 Games in the MLB Trip in 2015.  It was the 4th time I have seen all 30 MLB Parks since 2008. 

During that time away I was fortunate to do 100 Media Interviews and be named the Baseball Blogger Alliance President.

Interview on CSN Philly during the month of July.

Interview on CSN Philly during the month of July.

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About chuckbooth3023

I played competitive baseball until 18 years old and had offers to play NCAA Division 1 University Baseball at Liberty University. Post-concussion symptoms from previous football and baseball head injuries forced me to retire by age 19. After two nearly made World Record Attempts in 2008, I set a New World Record by visiting all 30 MLB Parks (from 1st to last pitch) in only 24 Calendar Days in the summer 0f 2009. In April of 2012, I established yet another new GWR by visiting all 30 Parks in only 23 Calendar Days! You can see the full schedule at the page of the www.mlbreports.com/gwr-tracker . In 2015, I watched 224 MLB Games, spanning all 30 MLB Parks in 183 Days. Read about that World Record Journey at https://mlbreports.com/183in2015/229sked2015/

Posted on November 16, 2015, in MLB Teams State Of the Unions and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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