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Elephant Rumblings: Trading Laureano not a priority for A’s

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MLB: Oakland Athletics at Texas Rangers Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Friday, Athletics Nation!

The A’s avoided arbitration with Ramon Laureano last week, as the parties struck a deal that awards The Laser a $3.55 million dollar salary for the 2023 season. That’s not a lot of money for an everyday big leaguer, and if Laureano can return to his pre-pandemic form, the A’s will have struck quite a bargain.

It seems likely that Ramon will be sticking around to make his comeback bid in Oakland, according to Anthony Franco at MLB Trade Rumors. Franco cited The Athletic’s Dan Hayes’ story on the Carl Correa saga, in which Hayes reported that the A’s response to the Twins’ inquiries on Laureano was rather lukewarm.

While it’s unlikely that the A’s would categorically refuse a strong offer on the 28-year-old outfielder, it makes sense to hang onto Laureano at a relatively low cost and hope that he finds his groove at the plate again. The A’s could consider a trade at this year’s deadline or next offseason for a much better return if Ramon hits like he did before the pandemic:

Laureano, MLB 2018-19: .288/.345/.508, 657 PA, 128 wRC+, 29 HR, 6.5% BB, 26.3% Ks, 6.2 fWAR

Laureano is also a capable—and sometimes brilliant, if inconsistent, defender in the outfield. My fondest memories of him involve plays like this jaw-dropper:

So we should expect to see Laureano mingling with fellow outfielders Esteury Ruiz, Seth Brown, Cristian Pache, Conner Capel, and Brent Rooker in 2023. To me, this feels like a perfect year for a Ramon-aissance. We’re pulling for you, Ramon. Make us proud!

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