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)|
|10 votes||4 votes||3 votes||2 votes||2 votes||2 votes||2 votes||2 votes|
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|
|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|
|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|
|2012||28||Did not pitch -- injured|
|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.