FanPost

From Total Rebuild to Little More

I was going full on snooze and my original off season plan was to fill in the short term gaps that most have targeted namely catcher, starting pitcher, late inning setup guys and outfield defense. But the A’s farm system that has grown by leaps and bounds is still weak on outfielders. At the same time it’s deep enough to weather some losses. So instead of boring I’m going with a relatively big trade.

But first the tenders:

Khris Davis - $11.1 million,TENDER

Marcus Semien - $3.2 million, TENDER

Kendall Graveman - $2.6 million TENDER

Chris Hatcher - $2.2 million, NON TENDER

Liam Hendriks - $1.9 million, TENDER

Josh Phegley - $1.1 million, NON TENDER

Jake Smolinski - $700k, NON TENDER

The Trade! Drum roll please...

A’s get: Christian Yelich, Dan Straily, Kyle Barraclough

Marlins get: Ryon Healy, Franklin Barreto, Lazaros Armenteros, Grant Holmes, Logan Shore, Jesse Hahn, Wandisson Charles

I tried to figure out how to keep Armenteros but alas I think multiple top prospects is a must to get the deal done.

A’s get long term solution for outfield and A’s need long term outfield solutions, a #4 type starter under club control for 3 years and a potential late inning reliever. It saves money A’s might have spent for free agent starting pitcher and righty late inning reliever freeing up money for serious upgrade at catcher (see Free Agent signings below). It also resolves the Healy/Davis DH conundrum while giving A’s serious defensive upgrade in LF.

No question it’s a hit to the farm system. It’s especially risky on the starter front as pitchers by their nature are long shots. More numbers better odds. But there’s still lots of talent. Many of which will be ready in 2018 and 2019. Mateo, Puk and Neuse top my list.

Free Agent signings

  1. Jake McGee 3 YR $21 Million
  2. Wellington’s Castillo 2 YR $17 Million
  3. Tyson Ross 1 YR $1 Million (incentives that translate 30 starts to $7 million) - essentially zero risk.

Some would prefer Lucroy for 1 year but do we know if he’ll bounce back or it’s a true decline. McGee might require 3 yr/$24 Million. Ross deal just seems like something Beane/Forst would do.

2018 Opening Day Roster

Rotation:

  1. Manaea
  2. Straily
  3. Graveman
  4. Mentgen?
  5. Cotton?

? Blackburn, Gossett, Bassitt in the mix. And super long shot Ross.

Not a rotation to fear but neither was the 2012 rotation.

Bullpen

  1. Treinen
  2. McGee
  3. Barraclough
  4. Hendriks
  5. Coulombe
  6. Dull
  7. Cassilla
  8. Bassitt

In a non big trade scenario I was going to sign Brandon Morrow. But I decided to spend the money on a catcher. And how can you resist a pitcher with last name pronounced Bear Claw?

Catchers

Castillo

Garneau

Provides above average offensive catcher and at least treads water defensively. Sean Murphy should be ready 2020 if not mid 2019. What can I say I like Garneau.

Infield

1B Olson

2B Lowrie

SS Semien

3B Chapman

Some think Olson as slam dunk as every day first baseman. I’m not ready to write his name down in ink. But if he’s anywhere close to what he did last year. Yahoo!

Outfield:

LF Yelich

CF Fowler

RF Joyce

DH Davis

Upgrade for sure. Joyce is a defensive liability but he won’t be out there every day and can be substituted late in games.

Bench:

Pinder (IF/OF)

Nunez (IF/OF)

Getting rid of Healy and replacing him with even worst defender in Nunez is somewhat non sensical but there he is. At least to start the season.

If Fowler isn’t ready then Powell or perhaps Canha would start the season on 25 man roster.

That by my calculation is on the field payroll of ~ $73 Million in 2018 and ~ $80 Million in 2019 (assuming K Davis, Semien aren’t traded).

Vs Righty Starter

  1. SS Semien
  2. 2B Lowrie#
  3. LF Yelich*
  4. DH Davis
  5. 1B Olson*
  6. C Castillo
  7. RF Joyce*
  8. 3B Chapman
  9. CF Fowler*

* lefty bat

* switch hitter

Vs Lefty Starter

  1. Semien
  2. Lowrie#
  3. Yelich* (CF)
  4. Davis
  5. Castillo
  6. Olson*
  7. Chapman
  8. Pinder (RF)
  9. Nunez (LF)

All batters are 15+ HR bats. It still has a couple defensive holes but it’s still best A’s defensive team in ages. Too many strikeouts still an issue but A’s were top 5 in AL for OBA second half of 2017. So perhaps things are trending up in that department.

I think this a team that can compete in 2018 and still has Puk, Mateo, Murphy among others knocking on the door.

Go A’s!