Our friends at South Side Sox are engaged in a super thoughtful and high participation discussion about the Chicago White Sox offseason plan, so we thought we'd do the same thing here at Athletics Nation. I'm going to post their template, converted to use for the Oakland Athletics, for the 2015-16 offseason that you can copy and paste into a FanPost.
If you're new to FanPosts, you can find the link on the right side of the home page (CTRL-F "Write a FanPost") once you're logged in. Here's a good example of what the finished product might look like if you were a Chicago White Sox fan during the 2014-15 offseason.
The template starts with tying up loose ends on the A's roster. After that, you have the entire league and the free agent market at your disposal.
A couple of guidelines:
- Cot's Baseball Contracts has the A's payroll obligations. Try to keep total payroll under $100 million.
- MLB Trade Rumors has a list of 2015-16 MLB free agents. Note the players with options, and exercise logic in whether the team will exercise those options.
Start here and have fun:
- - - - - - - - - - - [cut along the perforated line] - - - - - - - - - - -
[Insert your name]'s Offseason Plan
Arbitration-eligible (with projected salaries from MLBTR):
Write "tender" or "non-tender" after each of the following names (note: you can trade before or after tendering a contract):
- Ike Davis, $3.8MM
- Sam Fuld, $2.0MM
- Jesse Chavez, $4.7MM
- Josh Reddick, $7.0MM
- Craig Gentry, $1.6MM
- Danny Valencia, $3.4MM
- Fernando Abad, $1.5MM
- Eric Sogard, $1.7MM
- Brett Lawrie, $3.9MM
- Felix Doubront, $2.5MM
- Fernando Rodriguez, $1.3MM
- Jarrod Parker, $850K
- A.J. Griffin, $508K (league minimum)
- Evan Scribner, $700K
Explain the toughest calls if necessary:
Impending free agents (re-sign, let go, or qualifying offer?):
- Edward Mujica: Made $4.75MM in 2015
Elaborate if needed:
Peruse the list of potential free agents and name two (or more) you would pursue, the max offer you would extend to them, and a brief explainer. A good-bad example from, hypothetically, the 2014-15 offseason:
No. 1: Billy Butler (3 years, $30MM). Billy Butler had a down year in Kansas City but he's had a history of good performance in the past. The A's really need to improve at the DH position after giving a billion DH plate appearances to Alberto Callaspo in 2014, and Butler is a good value to do it.
Trades (or player releases)
Propose two (or more) trades that you think sound reasonable for both sides or player releases, and the rationale behind them. A good-bad example:
No. 1: Sonny Gray for Kyle Schwarber. The A's really need to improve at the DH position after giving a billion DH plate appearances to Billy Butler in 2015, and Schwarber also owns an outfielder's glove. The A's can find their great starting pitchers elsewhere, and Sonny has shown signs of tiring in last season games lately, a worrying signal of his future health.
It may be hard to completely filter out the homer or fantasy baseball player in you, but try your best to keep the suggestions sane.
If you end up with a concrete 25-man roster, feel free to list it. What's more important is describing how you resolved key positions, whether they're ones we know (left field, bullpen, rotation) or previously stable areas you altered on your own with a shocking trade.
For some, part of the game might be trying to guess as much of the 2016 roster as possible. But really, you don't need to be a comprehensive roster architect to participate, because you might have one idea that gets people talking, and that's just as worth it. The point of this project is to survey the community and consider as many realistic names and angles as possible before the A's start making the moves that count.