clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Elephant Rumblings: Are there any 2023 free agents the A’s could be interested in?

MLB news roundup

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Los Angeles Angels v Oakland Athletics Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

It’s Tuesday, Athletics Nation!

The Athletics weren’t ones to focus on free agents last offseason, with the only non-trade acquisitions being the Jed Lowrie and Stephen Vogt reunion tour. With Lowrie already departed this week, there’s a question of what needs could be filled heading into 2023. The spendthrift A’s are more likely to want to use cheaper talent from the minors than sign a few flashy FAs. But even the last mini-rebuild had a couple signings, the much-maligned Billy Butler was a $30M addition to the 2015 team. Rebuild periods have also been fertile time for reclamation projects like 2015’s Scott Kazmir and 2016’s Rich Hill.

So who could the A’s look to for upcoming free agents in 2023? A look at the market can help suss out some options. The A’s have catching and a majority of infield talent set, though a signing could lock down 1B or 3B on an every day basis. There’s a pretty big gulf in talent when it comes to available corner infield talent, most worthwhile first base options will be out of the A’s idea price range, and the affordable options at third aren’t any different than slotting in Sheldon Neuse or Jonah Bride. The outfield seems similarly filled up with a lot of out-of-options talent like Pache, Barrera, and Bolt, but an aging DH who could fill in for a corner infield spot at times is well within the A’s predilections. Andrew McCutchen and Matt Carpenter both fit that profile, though they may not want to move down to a lower-profile team like the Athletics, if anyone else is calling their phones come-December.

The place that most makes sense for the A’s to pick up talent is on the mound, both for the rotation and in the pen. The Athletics love a bullpen signing, and Seth Lugo seems like a worthwhile target as he finishes up his final season with the Mets. Currently at a 0.8 bWAR and a 3.30 ERA on the season, he’s the kind of reliever the A’s could target with a two-to-three year contract and not break the bank on.

As much as I would like the A’s to enter the deGrom chase, or try and reunite with Sonny Gray or Sean Manaea, it doesn’t make a lot of sense for timeing. Instead, starter targets will have to be on the downswing and ready to surprise, and maybe even be turned into someone to trade at the 2023 deadline. While I don’t know if the Mets would run the $3M buyout on Carlos Carrasco, a year or two with the A’s could help continue his longevity as well as offer a move from the back of the rotation to the front. Same goes for the Padres’ Mike Clevinger, who has had a solid return from Tommy John surgery this year, but could make a big splash were he to help lead a team’s rotation.

Of course there’s always the chance the Athletics front office doesn’t pick up the phone when it comes to free agents, opting to try and trade a few remaining pieces to fill out the roster with longer-term talent on the cheap, or to pick up a salary dump player. But, there’s potential for the A’s to throw out some free agent offers this year even without blowing past 2022’s total payroll.

Roster Moves, Transactions, and Injuries

A’s Coverage

MLB News & Interest

Best of Twitter

Absolutely not

Luzardo didn’t mince words about being traded last year

2012 was something special

Your streak throwback for the day