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Contract Dump Thought Experiment

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Seattle Mariners v Oakland Athletics
Mitch Haniger would be a big addition, but at what cost?
Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

The 2019 Oakland A’s will desperately need starting pitching. Things really do not look in that department as of now and appear worse than where they ended in 2018. The A’s also would do well to add another above average player to the lineup, either in a corner outfield spot or at second base. Perhaps they could do both?

We all know the A’s won’t crack $100MM with their payroll. But they get close. My question to you, the fans, is that if the A’s were to approach the century mark by absorbing a bad contract in an effort to shore up the rotation and/or acquire yet another high-end offensive contributor, would you do it? And what would the deal look like?

The Options

We two coming out of the Pacific Northwest. The good folks up here in the Seattle suburbs are not happy with their offseason and I’m quite enjoying it. There isn’t a reason the A’s shouldn’t also get in on the fun. Mitch Haniger would be the ultimate prize in a swap with the Seattle Mariners and the price tag would be reasonably high. Unless Haniger came hitched to the albatross contract of Kyle Seager. Or perhaps Mike Leake could slot into the Oakland rotation.

Haniger/Seager Comparison

Name wOBA wRC+ WAR $ Owed
Name wOBA wRC+ WAR $ Owed
Mitch Haniger 0.367 138 4.6 $550K
Kyle Seager 0.288 84 1.6 $56mm
Fangraphs.com

Or

Haniger/Leake Comparison

Name wOBA/ERA wRC+/FIP WAR $ Owed
Name wOBA/ERA wRC+/FIP WAR $ Owed
Mitch Haniger 0.367 138 4.6 $550K
Mike Leake 4.36 4.14 2.3 $31mm
Fangraphs.com

The Arizona Diamondbacks, with the trade of Paul Goldschmidt, have signaled a rebuild of sorts. It is no secret that the snakes would love to shed Zack Greinke and the $100mm+ left on his deal. Would the A’s add him to the fold if he came with, say David Peralta?

Peralta/Greinke Comparison

Name wOBA/ERA wRC+/FIP WAR $ Owed
Name wOBA/ERA wRC+/FIP WAR $ Owed
David Peralta 0.368 130 3.8 ARB 2
Zack Greinke 3.21 3.71 3.5 $103.2mm
Fangraphs.com

Our road trip next takes us to Cleveland. Francisco Lindor and Jose Ramirez have really emerged as bonafide star infielders, whereas Jason Kipnis has turned the wrong way. Kipnis is owed more than $30mm for the next two seasons. Were the A’s to acquire him might he be packaged with an ace such as Trevor Bauer or Corey Kluber?

Kipnis/Bauer Comparison

Name wOBA/ERA wRC+/FIP WAR $ Owed
Name wOBA/ERA wRC+/FIP WAR $ Owed
Jason Kipnis 0.308 89 2.1 $14.5mm
Trevor Bauer 2.21 2.44 6.1 ARB 2
Fangraphs.com

Or

Kipnis/Kluber Comparison

Name wOBA/ERA wRC+/FIP WAR $ Owed
Name wOBA/ERA wRC+/FIP WAR $ Owed
Jason Kipnis 0.308 89 2.1 $14.5mm
Corey Kluber 2.89 3.12 5.6 $13mm
Fangraphs.com

What Could Oakland Offer?

Oakland boasts a quality farm system. I’d guess than any of the team’s top-5 prospects would be off limits. Might Lazaro Armenteros, Jorge Mateo, James Kaprielian or Sheldon Neuse suffice? Even that seems steep if the A’s were to take on a significant payroll burden. Maybe a team would get their pick of two of Gregg Deichmann, Daulton Jefferies, Grant Holmes, and Nick Allen.

Conclusion

It’s certainly an interesting notion, to be able to buy a valuable and useful player in exchange for taking of seemingly dead money, or just a bloated contract. There may be other options out there that I’m just not considering. I’m relying on you to make suggestions in the comments. With the offseason just underway and the hot stove merely warming up we’re free to speculate as much as we desire. If you could have it your way, which of these options above would you pick?

Poll

Which of these pairs would you acquire?

This poll is closed

  • 5%
    Haniger/Seager
    (30 votes)
  • 14%
    Haniger/Leake
    (84 votes)
  • 17%
    Peralta/Greinke
    (98 votes)
  • 15%
    Bauer/Kipnis
    (89 votes)
  • 20%
    Kluber/Kipnis
    (115 votes)
  • 26%
    None - bad idea!
    (153 votes)
  • 0%
    Other (Answer in comments)
    (5 votes)
574 votes total Vote Now