The Oakland A’s began the process of trimming down their roster this week with an eye toward 2017, and the first step included removing 12 players from the 40-man roster and 60-day DL — one lost on waivers, 11 outrighted to Triple-A. Of those 11 sent down, six of them have elected free agency rather than accepting the assignment, according to Bill Moriarity of Athletics Farm.
A quick word on each player:
Eric Sogard, 2B: Bittersweet. The days of the Keebler Elf, #nerdpower, and the Face Of MLB are now in the past. Sogard was a big fan favorite and he will be missed. He couldn’t really hit, he had no power, and he really only played one position well, but if you don’t have some fond memories of Sogard then I think you’re doing it wrong.
Jarrod Parker, RHP: Life isn’t fair sometimes, and Parker is a prime example. Everyone is rooting for the guy after multiple Tommy John surgeries and horrifying annual setbacks. Whatever direction he chooses to go from here, he has the eternal love, respect, and support of A’s fans.
Fernando Rodriguez, RHP: I’m a bit surprised by this one, both that he was outrighted and that he chose to leave, because Rodriguez played well here and belongs in an MLB bullpen. But he’ll turn 33 next summer and he’s racking up the major surgeries at a rapid pace, so perhaps Oakland just isn’t the best fit at this point.
Felix Doubront, LHP: His chance to shine was this year, with a starting spot gift-wrapped for him in a weak rotation, but Tommy John surgery ended that. The A’s have better options now which also happen to cost less.
Matt McBride, C: He was going to play in Japan this year until the A’s called him up, and then he only got 44 plate appearances in Oakland. He was decent in his role but it’s not a surprise to see the 31-year-old opt for a better opportunity, abroad or otherwise.
Henderson Alvarez, RHP: He was a worthy injury flyer, but those don’t always work out. He never made it to Oakland and his season ended with another surgery in September, so it was time for everyone to move on.
(Note: This list doesn’t include Sam Fuld and Ross Detwiler, who will both become free agents after the World Series when their contracts expire.)
There is still technically the possibility that any of these players could be re-signed on cheaper minor league contracts, but it seems unlikely on all counts and for now they are out of the picture.
With the departures of Sogard and Parker, plus the trades of Reddick and Coco earlier this summer, Sean Doolittle is now the last remaining member of the magical 2012 team and the longest-tenured Oakland Athletic.
Farewell to the six free agents, and best of luck at your next stops!