morning afternoon, Athletics Nation!
The Oakland A’s offseason is actually turning out alright in the end, as the team was able to get creative enough to address it’s major needs without spending any extra money in 2021. As usual, the front office came through regardless of the constraints they had to work with.
But that doesn’t mean fans have forgotten how disappointed we are in club owner John Fisher and his longtime pattern of cheapness. As you might expect, we aren’t the only ones with gripes about him.
On Sunday, Alex Coffey of The Athletic shared the opinions of four anonymous player agents, on a wide range of topics regarding the A’s. You’ll need a subscription to read the whole thing, but suffice to say they don’t speak highly of Fisher either.
On the issue of the team’s reported revenue loss, one agent speculated, “I don’t buy that. I know they didn’t make all their profits, but I’m not so sure how they could have lost as much money as they claim, because they’re not a team that relies on the gate. ... The ownership group, the billionaire that owns the Gap, if he wants to be a small market, that’s his choice.”
Another agent, talking about Fisher: “He’s the classic dude who ends up on third base and thought he hit a triple. I don’t know why he still owns the team.” The same agent called the team’s lack of spending this winter “embarrassing.”
Of course, agents should be expected to have some bias against cheap team owners who won’t pay their clients as much, and they have a vested interest in calling that out in the media. But that doesn’t mean they’re necessarily wrong in this case.
While the agents have plenty of criticism for Fisher, they mostly praise the front office. There’s some curiosity about the secrecy behind which Billy Beane and David Forst operate when making moves, but otherwise mostly positive feedback, especially for assistant GM Dan Feinstein.
Click the link to read all the details!
- AN: A’s re-sign reliever Yusmeiro Petit
- AN: A’s sign reliever Sergio Romo to one-year contract
- Coffey: Anonymous agent survey: A’s offseason, financial claims, front office perception ($$$)
- A’s plus podcast: Host Matt Kawahara joined by A’s pitching coach Scott Emerson
- Shea: Former A’s ‘designated runner’ Herb Washington to sue McDonald’s ($)
- Didion: A’s farm director identifies pair of prospects to watch
- Nico: “Now Leading Off For Oakland...”
- AN: Who plays DH for the A’s with Khris Davis gone?
- AN: Who will go to make room for Yusmeiro Petit and Sergio Romo on 40-man roster?
MLB News & Interest
- McDaniel (FanGraph): The Way Out (a story about mental health)
- McCullough: Workload woes: Increased innings for pitchers in 2021 present dilemma for GMs ($$$)
- Fegan: The things he carried: A.J. Pierzynski on playing 19 years with an edge ($$$)
- Dierkes: Trading A Cy Young-Caliber Starting Pitcher
- Dierkes: The Luxury Tax Boogeyman
- Today in Baseball History
After years of being buried behind Matt Chapman in Oakland, Sheldon Neuse spent less than 36 hours not being blocked at 3B in his new organization ... and then the Dodgers brought back their star third baseman on a new free agent deal
Justin Turner deal with Dodgers, per source: Two years, $34M, with club option for third season. Includes $8M signing bonus.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) February 14, 2021
Paxton will look for a bounce-back in his old stomping grounds, after a rough 2020 for the Yankees
Left-handed James Paxton and the Seattle Mariners are in agreement on a one-year deal for $8.5 million. Has some reachable bonuses that could take it to $10 million.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) February 14, 2021
Mets found the CF defender they’d been looking for
Kevin Pillar’s deal with the Mets is structured as follows, per source:— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) February 16, 2021
$2.9M player option (no buyout)
$6.4M club option ($1.4M buyout)
So Pillar either gets 1/$5M, 2/$6.5M or 2/$10M depending on the option. Mets’ CBT hit this year will be $3.25M.
The lefty had a solid year for the Giants in 2020
Per source, Tyler Anderson's deal with the Pirates is for $2.5 million. Pending physical, of course.— Jason Mackey (@JMackeyPG) February 16, 2021
You know what else comes in twins? Shoes. The only more appropriate destination for Shoemaker would be either the Red Sox or White Sox.
Right-hander Matt Shoemaker and the Minnesota Twins are in agreement on a one-year, $2 million deal, pending physical, sources tell ESPN. Shoemaker, 34, can earn another $250,000 in performance bonuses.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) February 15, 2021
Looks like Brett Anderson won’t be re-joining the party in Oakland after all
Left-hander Brett Anderson and the Milwaukee Brewers are in agreement on a one-year, $2.5 million contract, pending physical, a source familiar with the deal tells ESPN. Anderson, 33, returns to Brewers and can make an addition $1M in incentives. @Ken_Rosenthal first linked them.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) February 16, 2021
... Another former A’s lefty finds a new home
Source: Free-agent reliever TJ McFarland going to the Nationals on a minor-league deal.— Chris Cotillo (@ChrisCotillo) February 16, 2021
... and also a former A’s catcher
Confirmed: Bruce will bounce back and hit at least 30 homers this year (he hit 26 in just 98 games in 2019)
Free-agent outfielder Jay Bruce in agreement with Yankees on minor-league deal, source tells @TheAthletic.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) February 13, 2021
... Although this should be even scarier for A’s fans, given Chirinos has hit more homers against Oakland (13) than any other opponent
Free-agent catcher Robinson Chirinos in agreement with Yankees on minor-league deal, sources tell @TheAthletic.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) February 16, 2021
Mathis surged to a 50 wRC+ last year, his highest mark since 2017
Jeff Mathis agrees to Phillies minors deal. $1.8M if one majors.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) February 16, 2021
The A’s bullpen is looking pretty full now, but let’s still keep an eye on the remaining reliever market
The Dodgers have traded Josh Sborz to the Rangers, per source. Sborz was designated for assignment last week.— Jorge Castillo (@jorgecastillo) February 16, 2021
The Mets signed lefthander Mike Montgomery and righthander Tommy Hunter to minor-league contracts. They will be in major-league spring training.— Tim Healey (@timbhealey) February 14, 2021
The Mets’ camp roster is up to 70 (out of a maximum of 75).
Sources: RHP Brad Boxberger has a minor league deal with the Milwaukee Brewers that includes a spring training invite.— Kiley McDaniel (@kileymcd) February 15, 2021
Keone Kela in agreement on Padres deal, pending physical/intake— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) February 15, 2021
Blake Parker is signing a non-roster deal with the Indians. Close to $2.5M if all incentives are hit. Had an MLB offer buyouts chose the Tribe.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) February 16, 2021
Also keeping an eye on any last-minute potential lefty 2B options
Atlanta here we come! Excited to join the Braves organization this season! pic.twitter.com/3btCYpt3Fx— Jason Kipnis (@TheJK_Kid) February 15, 2021
#BlueJays traded Derek Fisher to the Brewers. Cash and a PTBNL come back per team— Ben Nicholson-Smith (@bnicholsonsmith) February 16, 2021
It’s not with the A’s, but at least Bartolo is still going to pitch in 2021
Best of Twitter
Reminder that sometimes there’s some intangible value to simply keeping a couple of your own free agents instead of turning over the roster every year or two