clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Oakland A's free agent reliever targets: AN offseason plan project roundup

New, 40 comments

Trevor Cahill is incredibly popular among the Athletics Nation commentariat, but at what cost?

Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

Quite a few of you have submitted offseason plans, and that's enough to start a sort of crowdsourcing of the maximum offers the Athletics Nation crowd would make to a number of players. You can still submit an offseason plan of your own by following the instructions found after clicking on this hyperlinked text. First, let's take a look at which relievers kept popping up in the plans submitted.

A reliever earned a "vote" if they were mentioned as a possible free agent target for the A's in an individual plan even if no particular maximum offer was mentioned. I have ignored club and mutual options for this summary table:

FA RPs considered in AN offseason plans (min. 2 votes through Nov. 21)
Trevor
Cahill
Antonio
Bastardo
Joaquim
Soria
Darren
O'Day
Matt
Albers
Jerry
Blevins
Mark
Lowe
Joe
Blanton
10 votes 4 votes 3 votes 2 votes 2 votes 2 votes 2 votes 2 votes
2/$10MM 3/$21MM 3/$30MM 3/$20MM 2/$12MM 2/$8MM 1/$5MM 1/$2MM
2/$9MM 2/$15MM 2/$19MM 2/$5MM 1/$2MM 1/$4MM 1/$2MM
2/$6MM 3/$12MM 3/$16MM
1/$3MM
1/$2.5MM
2/$2.5MM
2/$1.5MM
1/$1MM

Let's take a quick look at the three most frequent names brought up in our offseason plans and compare our offers to those crowdsourced at FanGraphs, what the SB Nation offseason sim ended up doing, and how Tim Dierkes of MLB Trade Rumors ranked them in his top 50 free agents list.

#1 Trevor Cahill

  • Highest max offer: 2 years, $10 million
  • Median max offer: 1 year, $2.75 million
  • Lowest max offer: 1 year, $1 million
  • FanGraphs crowdsource median: 1 year, $5 million (#71)
  • SB Nation offseason sim: To Oakland for 1 year, $4.5 million + $6 million club option for 2017 ($1.5MM buyout)
Trevor Cahill, career statistics from Baseball Reference
Year Age Tm W L ERA G GS GF IP HR BB SO HBP ERA+ FIP WHIP H9 HR9 BB9 SO9 SO/W
2009 21 OAK 10 13 4.63 32 32 0 178.2 27 72 90 4 95 5.33 1.438 9.3 1.4 3.6 4.5 1.25
2010 22 OAK 18 8 2.97 30 30 0 196.2 19 63 118 6 138 4.19 1.108 7.1 0.9 2.9 5.4 1.87
2011 23 OAK 12 14 4.16 34 34 0 207.2 19 82 147 8 96 4.10 1.425 9.3 0.8 3.6 6.4 1.79
2012 24 ARI 13 12 3.78 32 32 0 200.0 16 74 156 11 108 3.85 1.290 8.3 0.7 3.3 7.0 2.11
2013 25 ARI 8 10 3.99 26 25 1 146.2 13 65 102 6 97 4.26 1.418 8.8 0.8 4.0 6.3 1.57
2014 26 ARI 3 12 5.61 32 17 8 110.2 9 55 105 4 67 3.89 1.608 10.0 0.7 4.5 8.5 1.91
2015 27 ATL 0 3 7.52 15 3 6 26.1 2 11 14 1 51 4.43 1.785 12.3 0.7 3.8 4.8 1.27
2015 27 CHC 1 0 2.12 11 0 0 17.0 2 5 22 1 189 3.13 0.765 4.2 1.1 2.6 11.6 4.40
7 yrs 4 teams 65 72 4.13 212 173 15 1083.2 107 427 754 41 98 4.27 1.361 8.7 0.9 3.5 6.3 1.77

Trevor Cahill is far and away the favorite cheap reliever among our planners, though I wonder if that tune will change if his price is closer to the FanGraphs median of $5 million. Only one contract was considered at that average annual value, and for two years.

Cahill's resurgence as a reliever did not hit until he reached the Chicago Cubs. Cahill started the year in the Atlanta Braves rotation and quickly fell out of it after allowing 11 runs in 12 1/3 innings. In relief for Atlanta Cahill had a 7.07 ERA before his release from the Braves. After a minor league stint with the Dodgers, Cahill went to the Chicago Cubs and got his changeup to work again. Cahill's coming out party was the 2015 postseason, where he appeared in six games and struck out eight in 5 1/3 innings.

#2 Antonio Bastardo

  • Highest max offer: 3 years, $21 million
  • Median max offer: 2 years, $15 million
  • Lowest max offer: 3 years, $12 million
  • FanGraphs crowdsource median: 2 years, $8 million (#59)
  • Tim Dierkes, MLB Trade Rumors: 3 years, $15 million (#41)
  • SB Nation offseason sim: To Washington for 2 years, $9.5 million
Antonio Bastardo, career statistics from Baseball Reference
Year Age Tm W L ERA G GS GF IP HR BB SO HBP WP ERA+ FIP WHIP H9 HR9 BB9 SO9 SO/W
2009 23 PHI 2 3 6.46 6 5 0 23.2 4 9 19 2 0 66 5.08 1.479 9.9 1.5 3.4 7.2 2.11
2010 24 PHI 2 0 4.34 25 0 2 18.2 1 9 26 2 0 96 2.76 1.500 9.2 0.5 4.3 12.5 2.89
2011 25 PHI 6 1 2.64 64 0 15 58.0 6 26 70 0 4 146 3.30 0.931 4.3 0.9 4.0 10.9 2.69
2012 26 PHI 2 5 4.33 65 0 10 52.0 7 26 81 2 5 94 3.34 1.269 6.9 1.2 4.5 14.0 3.12
2013 27 PHI 3 2 2.32 48 0 15 42.2 2 21 47 1 4 163 3.00 1.266 7.0 0.4 4.4 9.9 2.24
2014 28 PHI 5 7 3.94 67 0 17 64.0 4 34 81 2 5 95 3.10 1.203 6.0 0.6 4.8 11.4 2.38
2015 29 PIT 4 1 2.98 66 0 18 57.1 4 26 64 3 8 129 3.33 1.134 6.1 0.6 4.1 10.0 2.46
7 Yrs 2 teams 24 19 3.58 341 5 77 316.1 28 151 388 12 26 109 3.33 1.198 6.5 0.8 4.3 11 2.57

The three plans that offered specific terms to Antonio Bastardo offered deals well in excess of the two years and $8 million crowdsourced at FanGraphs. Bastardo has been a fly ball pitcher for his career; in 2015, he had the fourth-lowest GB/FB ratio in baseball among 137 qualified relievers at 0.61, and had the highest IFFB% (IFFB/FB) among relievers in the bottom 10 GB/FB ratios (15.3%).

#3 Joakim Soria

  • Highest max offer: 3 years, $30 million
  • Median max offer: 2 years, $19 million
  • Lowest max offer: 3 years, $16 million
  • FanGraphs crowdsource median: 2 years, $14 million (#41)
  • Tim Dierkes, MLB Trade Rumors: 3 years, $18 million (#34)
  • SB Nation offseason sim: To Boston for 3 years, $33 million
Joaquim Soria, career statistics from Baseball Reference
Year Age Tm W L ERA G GS GF SV IP HR BB IBB SO HBP WP ERA+ FIP WHIP H9 HR9 BB9 SO9 SO/W
2007 23 KCR 2 3 2.48 62 0 38 17 69.0 3 19 3 75 1 2 185 2.50 0.942 6.0 0.4 2.5 9.8 3.95
2008 24 KCR 2 3 1.60 63 0 57 42 67.1 5 19 1 66 6 1 270 3.25 0.861 5.2 0.7 2.5 8.8 3.47
2009 25 KCR 3 2 2.21 47 0 41 30 53.0 5 16 1 69 2 3 202 2.74 1.132 7.5 0.8 2.7 11.7 4.31
2010 26 KCR 1 2 1.78 66 0 56 43 65.2 4 16 1 71 2 3 236 2.53 1.051 7.3 0.5 2.2 9.7 4.44
2011 27 KCR 5 5 4.03 60 0 47 28 60.1 7 17 0 60 2 1 102 3.49 1.276 9.0 1.0 2.5 9.0 3.53
2012 28 Did not pitch -- injured
2013 29 TEX 1 0 3.80 26 0 9 0 23.2 2 14 2 28 1 2 110 3.68 1.352 6.8 0.8 5.3 10.6 2.00
2014 30 TEX 1 3 2.70 35 0 32 17 33.1 0 4 1 42 1 0 149 1.06 0.870 6.8 0.0 1.1 11.3 10.50
2014 30 DET 1 1 4.91 13 0 5 1 11.0 2 2 1 6 1 1 81 5.22 1.364 10.6 1.6 1.6 4.9 3.00
2015 31 DET 3 1 2.85 43 0 35 23 41.0 8 11 1 36 2 0 139 4.87 1.049 7.0 1.8 2.4 7.9 3.27
2015 31 PIT 0 0 2.03 29 0 5 1 26.2 0 8 0 28 0 5 192 1.93 1.163 7.8 0.0 2.7 9.5 3.50
8 Yrs 4 teams 19 20 2.57 444 0 325 202 451 36 126 11 481 18 18 165 2.98 1.062 7.0 0.7 2.5 9.6 3.82

Darren O'Day will probably set the market for relievers this year, and he is reportedly seeking a four-year contract in the range of $28 to $36 million. Soria should fall in line just behind whatever O'Day earns, at least in term of average annual value. However, in the SB Nation offseason sim, Soria earned a higher AAV than Darren O'Day, who not only signed for 4 years and $29 million but tacked on a club option as well. Perhaps it was Soria's PROVEN CLOSER cred.

Actually, it's Soria's proven closer cred that may keep Soria from Oakland, as he's probably looking for a closer job once again after putting up 23 in Detroit in pace of the injured Joe Nathan. I suppose it's not impossible that Sean Doolittle would be moved out of the closer role, but I haven't heard even a whisper of that happening.

Others receiving votes

Bobby Parnell, Ernesto Frieri, Greg Holland, Joe Beimel, Ryan Madson, Ryan Webb, Seung-hwen Oh each earned a single mention in the plans submitted. Starters that might be converted to relievers were Tim Lincecum and Cliff Lee and got one vote each.