Oakland Athletics General Manager David Forst joined MLB Network Radio's Power Alley with Jim Bowden and Mike Ferrin and talked about the trade deadline, Jarrod Parker, and Josh Reddick extension. While the full interview is not yet available from MLB Network's Soundcloud page, the network's twitter pulled some soundbytes to dig in to.
#Athletics Forst: "Not our plan" to trade any of the new relievers at the deadline.— MLB Network Radio (@MLBNetworkRadio) February 5, 2016
The A's should start the year with four new relievers in the bullpen, but the club had to acquire those pieces in the first place because the relievers the A's had in place were not getting the job done. On the 40-man roster behind Fernando Rodriguez and your pick of Sean Nolin or Felix Doubront for long man (thanks Roster Resource) are unproven players (Ryan Dull and J.B. Wendelken) or ones that have not turned their raw stuff into any semblance of control at the major league level (R.J. Alvarez).
Beyond the top prospects, the A's seem to be using this year's non-roster invitations to spring training as a tryout for the Nashville Sounds, going by Bill Moriarity's musings at Athletics Farm. Perhaps one or two will enjoy a breakout campaign like Ryan Dull did last year, but it's not enough to draw up an exit strategy that involves trading relievers at the trade deadline.
Then you might ask, do the A's ever have a specific strategy in case of a losing season? Well of course they do. Billy Beane always has an exit strategy for the A's to back away from their salary commitments if his front office has failed to put a team on the field that will draw the fans to spend money. In 2015, it was to trade away the three highest paid players entering their walk years. In 2011, it was to trade Mark Ellis in his walk year and gladly accept the last compensation picks available under the old Type A/B system for David DeJesus and Josh Willingham.
This year I believe the exit strategy---if the A's are not in a position to compete after the All-Star break---will be to sell the infielders to make way for the prospects banging on the door to the big leagues. If the A's don't get an extension with Josh Reddick done, he could also be on the July trading block to open the door to Matt Olson in right field. Rich Hill might also be a sell high candidate to open a spot for another starter, like Sean Manaea.
#Athletics Forst on Jarrod Parker: "we're optimistic, and we think stretching Jarrod out to start is possible"— MLB Network Radio (@MLBNetworkRadio) February 5, 2016
As far as Jarrod Parker's UCL is concerned, it's as good to go as any other pitcher that's undergone a second Tommy John surgery. The broken medial epicondyle (elbow) did not directly affect the ligament. Of course, the question will be how effective Parker will be after not pitching in the major leagues since the 2013 postseason. The A's have enough starting pitching depth in front of Parker that he will have every opportunity in Nashville to prove he can still throw quality innings.
Forst on Reddick wanting to stay: "We don't take it for granted when a player says he wants to be here & have talked to his agent"— MLB Network Radio (@MLBNetworkRadio) February 5, 2016
Until I hear the full interview, I don't know if Forst indicated if discussions have gone beyond what David Forst told me at Fanfest on January 24, that an extension was talked about in the course of coming to terms on Josh Reddick's arbitration settlement. Reddick has indicated to the San Francisco Chronicle's John Shea that "he's not keen on talks extending into the season because it could be a distraction for him and the team."
This post will be updated if the full interview or further quotes from the interview are made available from MLB Network Radio.