morning afternoon evening, Athletics Nation!
Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations Billy Beane will likely be back with the Oakland A’s in 2021 after all, reports Susan Slusser of the S.F. Chronicle, along with the rest of the club’s top front-office execs.
The offseason began with a rumor that Beane may leave the A’s and the baseball world entirely, and move on to other ventures including European soccer, all as part of a large business deal that also involves Boston Red Sox team owner John Henry. However, Slusser reports that the deal “has yet to go through,” so Beane is probably sticking around in Oakland for now.
Meanwhile, assistant general manager Billy Owens was in the running for two different GM jobs this winter (Angels and Mets) but was not selected for either, while GM David Forst was also mentioned in connection with the Mets job. Slusser reports that both are currently expected to be back with the A’s in 2021.
Hot take: It’s nice that the front office is staying. But does it really matter? The A’s have clearly stated that they’re not going to do anything this winter, and instead simply give up right in the middle of a prime window of contention whilst armed with a core of young stars, because of one bad financial year. There may be a couple token moves, and they’ll literally field a team next summer, but there’s not going to be any serious attempt to win in 2021. Who cares who the GM is if there is no directive from ownership to actually compete?
- Slusser: A’s Melvin confident Beane and top execs will return, but free-agent losses ‘not ideal’ ($)
- Gallegos: Melvin chats bullpen, Puk, Chapman, Beane
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Whenever that might end up being
Bob Melvin says Matt Chapman “is full speed ahead,” will be a full go for spring training.— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) December 17, 2020
Bob Melvin says Jake Diekman is the likely candidate to close if Hendriks is gone, though they could choose to use him earlier in games for high-leverage situations. Also mentioned Lou Trivino as an option.— Martín Gallegos (@MartinJGallegos) December 17, 2020
Good to know we were just the warmup act
Melvin on potential of Beane leaving: “At some point he’s going to do something bigger and better.” Expects at this point everyone in front office will be back this year, which is also what I have been hearing.— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) December 17, 2020
So it sounds like we can say for sure that the plan is for Puk to be a pitcher of some sort, likely a left-handed one
If you listen to the A's Plus podcast, you know I've been pushing A.J. Puk as a potential closer at some point. Today Melvin said of Puk, "I think right now the thought is to build him up as a starter but he could be a bullpen piece for us as well." ‼️‼️‼️— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) December 17, 2020
Former A’s reliever finds a new home