I remember doing those plans in condenting seasons, it was the time we were all getting creative, and looking for updates. After 2022 we have to figure, that 2023 will be another rebuild season, so this will not be the most thrilling offseason plan. Still, I think that enough can be done to build a contender for 2024.
First, I would let Pinder walk, and keep all the arbitration eligible players maybe with the exeption of Guerra.
Trades: I'm on board with trading Murphy, this is the best shot of improving multiple positions. Sean's value will probably not get any higher, and the demand for a top quality catcher should be high this offseason. Ramon Laureano and Paul Blackburn could still raise their values, so my idea would be to wait until the deadline to trade them. Seth Brown is a tricky one. He still has 4 years of control, but is already 30 years old. I'm thinking that he could be getting old while the A's get good. I'm not shopping him actively, but if adding him to a Murphy trade for example makes Cleveland pull the trigger to offer Valera as the frontpiece, I'm for it. Rays and Brewers could also help us strenghen the outfield and infield. I'm not that into dealing with St.Louis, they would have to offer both Winn and Gorman for me to consider it. I'm going to come up with multiple ideas, write a couple of sentence about each one, leave you chose your pick in the pcomments section. I'm going with BTV for values. I would like a CF for the future, at least one more infielder and I woudn't mind another starter, but don't want to build a trade around them. The outfield depth is weak, there is a chance that Nick Allen will only be an unitily, and from the 3B options I'm not sold on Smith or Harris, so I would take one more good option. Here are my trades:
1. Sean Murphy (51.3) and Seth Brown (4.9) to Guardians for George Valera (29.6), Tyler Bidee (10.9), George Arias (7.8), Will Brennan (4.3) and Angel Martinez (7.2)
This trade is my favorite, it could help Oakland solve a lot of their problems, especially in the outfield and infield, which I'm kind of looking for in the trade. I'm not sure Cleveland would say yes, but I'm willing to include Brown to make it work. It's an offseason plan, let's be optimistic and make it happen!
2. Sean Murphy (51.3) and Seth Brown (4.9) to the Rays for Carson Williams (16.3), Jonathan Aranda (18.2), Josh Lowe (13.8) and Mason Montgomery (5).
Another trade that I like, although I'm not sure about Lowe. He was considered a really good prospect, but last year they were not willing to give him many chances, and seems like they are not that high on him anymore, I don't wan't another Pache situation.
3. Sean Murphy to Cardinals for Masyn Winn, Nolan Gorman and Moises Gomez
Their prospects are not as suited, but if they sign one of the 4 top FA shortstops to a long term contract, maybe Mozeliak agrees to that trade. Cardinals seem more desperate than Cleveland or Tampa, but the prospect fit is not as good.
4. Sean Murphy (51.3) and Seth Brown (4.9) to Milwaukee for OF Sal Frelick (22.8), INF Brice Turang (17.3), OF Joey Wiemer (13.6) and P Ethan Small (3.9).
Definitely the team can improve the outfield with that trade. Milwaukee might not be that agressive, but this is a team that made the big trade for Yelich not that long time ago. They definitely need a new catcher, so I added them to the mix.
5. Sean Murphy to Yankees for OF Jasson Dominguez (26.5), INF Oswald Peraza (27.8) and P Luis Gil (2.6).
Like suggested in The Athletic, NYY would probably have to part with Dominguez and Peraza to make that deal happen. For me it doesn't make sence for the Yankees, because they need young hitters like Peraza to step up, but if they decide differently, it is not our issue. Gil is a throw in, maybe there is still some future for him in the bullpen.
6. Sean Murphy (51.3) to Red Sox for 2B Nick Yorke (12.1), OF Ceddanne Rafaela (15.1), OF Miguel Bleis (13.6), P Wikelman Gonzalez (6.6), INF Matthew Lugo (5.6)
I don't see it happening, not a good fit for me. Even if the Red Sox offer a top prospect like Bello or Casas, the overall package would not be that good in my opinion.
7. Sean Murphy (51.3) to White Sox for INF Colsom Montgomery (33.8), OF Oscar Colas (15.6) and INF Lenyn Sosa (5.6)
Chicago's farm is not that deep, so they have to offer their best chips and hope it works, if they really want Murphy. I could make a similar trade for San Diego, but I think 7 ideas is enough for now. Cubs, Tigers and Marlins could all be dark horse candidates to acquire our catcher.
In conclusion, I'm picking Cleveland, but there can be a lot of interesting options to choose from. I'm curious to see which ideas do you like the most, which ones the least. I think this deal defines the whole offseason, there is not going to be much more happening. Maybe Tony Kemp gets traded, there is more talk about it after the A's got Wade and Hernandez. I would probably keep him as the leader of the offense, and move him at the deadline when Gelof is ready.
I expect to see more minor league deals, I'm adding 2 buy low relievers for 1 year deals.
1. Trevor May 1yr/4mln
He did not have a good season, but still has stuff to be a back-end option. He seems the perfect kind of guy to sign and trade at the deadline.
Corey Knebel 1yr/6mln
He was injured and inconsistent last year, so I expect him to cost less compared to last season. Another
I don't have any hitters or starters to aim at, I would focus on the youth movement. Looking at spending, I set the max for myself at 50 mln, but I don't think there is a need to spend this much in a rebuilding season. Let's look at who will earn more than the league minimum with the projected arbitration numbers from MLB Trade Rumors:
Rosenthal (deferred contract) 5
That is it. That gives us around 25 mln. Add the league minimum players, 21×0,7=14.7. That should be below 40mln, and that is not even including the fact, that all 5 names seem likely to get traded at the deadline. By August 2023 A's might have 26 players earning league minimum.
This is my potencial Opening Day lineup, rotation, and main relievers:
1. 2B Tony Kemp
2. DH Jordan Diaz
3. RF Ramon Laureano
4. 1B Dermis Garcia
5. C Shea Langeliers
6. 3B Gabriel Arias
7. LF Conner Capel
8. SS Nick Allen
9. CF Cristian Pache
1. Irvin 2. Blackburn 3. Kaprielian 4. Waldichuk 5. Sears
RP Knebel, May, Jimenez, Jackson, Puk, Cyr, Moll...
Of course I'd rotate positions with Diaz and Garcia throughout the season. I am hoping the roster at the end of 2023 could look something like that:
1. CF Will Brennan
2. 2B Zack Gelof
3. 1B Tyler Soderstrom
4. LF George Valera
5. DH Jordan Diaz
6. C Shea Langeliers
7. 3B Gabriel Arias
8. RF Conner Capel
9. SS Nick Allen
1. Waldichuk 2. Miller 3. Bidee 4. Irvin 5. Sears
RP Jimenez, Kaprielian, Puk, Jackson....
Hopefully other guys could emerge like Kevin Smith, Brett Harris, Ernie Clement, Cody Thomas, Angel Martinez, Jeff Criswell or Hogan Harris. I'm going with Conner Capel as the one guy, who is going to work out, and turn into a really solid player. The last two times, when the A's had good runs of making the Postseason there were a couple of guys unexpectedly becoming key MLB players like Moss, Canha or Laureano. I'm calling Capel will be that guy, with the current outfield situation being weak I think it would be more beneficial if he broke out compared to Dermis.
Of course a lot will change this time next year, but I expect the team to make a big step forward in the 23/24 offseason. Team should be able to afford a couple of solid free agents, probably then the team will sign their closer, maybe get an arm to the rotation or add a bat to a weak spot. Of course it depends on how the current players turn out. I expect a lot of movement on the 40 man roster throughout the year, but after that the team will hopefully have a solid core.