The Oakland Athletics brought in Jesus Aguilar in hopes that he would provide some veteran leadership and some power for their lineup. While Aguilar held up his end in the leadership department, it was clear early that the A’s were better served going with their younger options at first base and DH.
Oakland signed Aguilar to a one-year, $3 million deal in late January. He was released on June 4.
What were the expectations?
Aguilar was one of the veterans that the Athletics opted to bring in during last offseason in hopes that he would provide some power production at first base and DH while also taking on a leadership role in the dugout.
Aguilar put together a monster season back in 2018 when he was with Milwaukee. He was around league average in 2021, but then struggled in 2022 and was eventually released by the Miami Marlins. He latched on with Baltimore to end the season, but was again looking for work. The A’s gambled on a bounce back at the plate, but that didn’t happen as he hit just .221/.281/.385 with five homers and an 81 wRC+ in just 115 plate appearances. The desire to play Ryan Noda every day at first base and plenty of other options available for DH, the A’s decided to cut bait on June 4. Aguilar then signed a minor league deal with the Braves and hit .271/.373/.379 with just five homers in 241 plate appearances for their Triple A affiliate.
What went right? What went wrong?
Not much went right for Aguilar beyond landing a major league deal with the A’s for another opportunity at a bounce back campaign. However, his continued struggles at the plate, combined with a lack of power forced the A’s to move on rather quickly.
Aguilar will be entering his age-34 season in 2024. He has a 105 wRC+ for his career, but hasn’t produced at a league average level since 2021. The Universal DH along with his good clubhouse reputation might help him work his way back into another opportunity, but the end appears to be near.