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Elephant Rumblings: Tigers sign Robbie Grossman to two-year contract

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MLB: AUG 16 Athletics at Giants
Farewell, Robbie!
Photo by Cody Glenn/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Good morning afternoon evening, Athletics Nation!

The Oakland A’s had 10 free agents come off their roster at the end of the 2020 season, and one of them officially found a new home this week. The Detroit Tigers signed outfielder Robbie Grossman to a two-year, $10 million contract, reported by Cody Stavenhagen of The Athletic and later confirmed by the team.

Grossman spent the last two seasons on the A’s, and built a promising resume on both sides of the ball. In 2019 he was a finalist for the Gold Glove in LF, and in 2020 he enjoyed a breakout at the plate that included a 126 wRC+ and a career-high .482 slugging percentage. He’ll need to prove the strong hitting wasn’t a short-season fluke, but it’s no surprise to see him earn a multi-year deal — and just two winters after being non-tendered by the Twins.

While it’s always a bummer to see one of our players sign elsewhere, especially after his excellent performance last season, this was one free agent with whom a 2021 reunion never made sense for Oakland anyway. The A’s have a ton of quality in-house options to cover left field, and they’d be wise to spend whatever modicum of cash they have on other areas of the roster. The deal Grossman landed is for exactly what his production is worth, and that would have been an unwise allocation of resources for a club that still needs to figure out a new shortstop, second baseman, multiple late-inning relievers, and maybe a starting pitcher.

Over at SB Nation site Bless You Boys, Brandon Day is quietly positive about the Tigers’ first multi-year signing since their rebuild began in 2017.

Grossman is the second of the 10 free agents to come off the board. Here’s the full list.

  • RHP Mike Fiers
  • RHP Liam Hendriks
  • RHP Yusmeiro Petit
  • RHP Joakim Soria
  • LHP T.J. McFarland
  • LHP Mike Minor (KCR, 2/$18m)
  • 2B Tommy La Stella
  • SS Marcus Semien
  • 3B Jake Lamb
  • OF Robbie Grossman (DET, 2/$10m)

Another blast from the A’s past signed a contract on Tuesday, as reliever Blake Treinen re-upped with the Los Angeles Dodgers for 2yr/$17.5m with a 2023 club option for $8 million, reports Jeff Passan of ESPN.

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Just call him Thumbs Merrifield

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