Dial125's Offseason Plan
So the A’s have committed to a rebuild, one in which we’re already seeing the fruits of at the highest level. This suggests to me that the most natural direction is one of increased competitiveness in the bigs without compromising the talent level in the farm in a significant way. Based on current roster construction, there are three major holes in the team: Rotation, Bullpen (both quantity and quality), and Catcher. Regarding behind the dish, I really wanted Maxwell to work, but unfortunately there’s too many question marks there, which makes me think the team will cut him loose. Because of this, I will plan accordingly.
Arbitration Eligible Players
- Khris Davis - $11.1 million Tender
- Marcus Semien - $3.2 million Tender
- Kendall Graveman - $2.6 million Tender
- Blake Treinen - $2.3 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 Tender
Most of these are fairly obvious choices. I can see the idea to tender Smolinski as questionable, but I think any other alternative would either cost more money or cost something from the farm, and I’d rather not. In regards to Phegley and our catchers, I’m opting to basically go with a clean slate (except for Darneau as our 3rd catcher).
C AJ Ellis (1 year, $2MM) – A veteran presence that I think will be desperately needed. Ellis has proven to be a great leader in his time in the majors; he will be much appreciated to help build a young pitching staff (and train a young catcher too).
RHP Miles Mikolas (2 years, $10MM) – I feel like this is the low-risk, high-reward move the A’s need to make each offseason. Mikolas seems to be a legitimate back-end rotation piece that can hopefully provide quality innings in a rotation that had a hard time getting those in 2017.
LHSP Jason Vargas (1 year, $12MM) – Enter veteran presence for the rotation. A 2017 All-Star, I wouldn’t expect Vargas to repeat that level of performance again, but I think if his performance is a little less than 2017, it’ll be a good sign.
LHRP Ian Krol and LHRP Kevin Siegrist (Minor league deals with invite to Spring Training) – I felt that left-handed depth was a priority considering how depleted the bullpen was post-Doolittle. Krol is young and has proven to have a live arm (even if the command and ability to keep the ball in the yard has been less than ideal). Siegrist, meanwhile, has a proven track record but has seen the wheels fall of the wagon lately. I’m hoping if at least one of these pans out, we should have at best a solid bullpen piece or at worst a LOOGY.
LHRP Tony Watson (2 years, $12MM) – The first of two major reliever signings. At $6MM a year, Watson seems like a steal on what was a down (but still productive year). If he returns to something close to his vintage self, this will be a real bargain.
RHRP Juan Nicasio (3 years, $21MM) – One of the most underrated relievers should be in line for a decent payday, and I think Madson money seems to fit the bill for Nicasio based on his body of work as a reliever.
1B/3B Ryon Healy, 2B Joey Wendle to Tampa Bay Rays for LHP Jose Alvarado, RHP Ryne Stanek – Now I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t have the greatest nose for balanced trades, but it feels like a high upside bat and a scrappy (but MLB-inexperienced) middle infielder for two solid relievers feels fairly even (although it feels balanced until it gets ripped apart in the comments section). Healy fills the void left by Logan Morrison for a budget-conscious Rays team for five years, and Wendle gives them some needed middle-infield depth. Meanwhile, the A’s get two potential late-inning options for the pen. Alvarado and Stanek (lefty and righty, respectively) have each seen a couple dozen innings of MLB action, and they’ve displayed high-velocity arms with good strikeout numbers. If they continue to develop, each of them could be solid set-up men, possibly even a closer.
IF Franklin Barreto, RHP Santiago Casilla, RHP Jesse Hahn to STL for C Carson Kelly, LHP Austin Gomber – I did not want to get rid of Barreto, but I felt with the significant middle-infield depth that we have (shout-out to Schrock), I felt this was a worthwhile deal to fill the glaring hole behind the dish. I am a pretty big Carson Kelly fanboy and while I like the idea of someone with the current upside of Realmuto, I felt Kelly provided more long-term value. Casilla is essentially part-salary dump (but mostly I just didn’t want him on the roster), and Hahn a victim of poor performance and roster crunch/lack of options, but I felt the Casilla/Hahn combo should be able to net a mid-tier prospect, and Gomber provides what looks to be a projectable back-of-the-rotation workhorse in the future.
In short, I feel very strongly that this roster is not only young and should be around for a very long time, but already contains the recipe for a surprise contender for 2018. This should be a basic idea of the depth chart.
Rotation (with Depth): Manaea (1), Graveman (2), Vargas (3), Mikolas (4), Gomber (5), Cotton, Mengden, Gossett
Bullpen (with Depth): Treinen (CL), Watson (SU), Nicasio (SU), Alvarado(MRP), Stanek (MRP), Montas (MRP), Alcantara (LRP), Triggs, Hendriks, Dull, Bassitt, Coulombe, Wahl, Krol, Siegrist
Lineup v: RHP: Powell (RF), Joyce (LF), Lowrie (2B), Davis (DH), Olson (1B), Chapman (3B), Fowler (CF), Semien (SS), Kelly (C)
Bench v. RHP: Ellis (C), Pinder (2B, 3B, SS, OF), Nunez (1B, 3B, LF), Smolinski (OF)
Lineup v. LHP: Semien (SS), Pinder (RF), Lowrie (2B), Davis (DH), Chapman (3B), Olson (1B), Nunez (LF), Fowler (CF), Kelly (C)
Bench v. RHP: Ellis (C), Matt Joyce (LF, RF), Boog Powell (OF), Smolinski (OF)
Reserves in AAA
C: Dustin Garneau
IF: Jorge Mateo, Yairo Munoz
OF: Jaycob Brugman, Mark Canha
I’m very interested to get all of your takes on this plan, so please fire away. Thanks!