2023 SB Nation Offseason Sim — Oakland A’s SUMMARY

After two and a half whirlwind days, I’ve just completed the SB Nation Offseason Sim — my first time participating (thanks to grover, who stepped in for the White Sox this year and allowed me a spot in the A’s front office). I’ve always been intrigued what this experience was like, and I can tell you that it was as fun if not more fun than I imagined. With (almost) every GM of each team working constantly over the course of a couple days to improve their team, it’s a mad scramble to get what you need, balance deals and play leverage against competing needs in twelve dimensions at once. But from the chaos, the 2024 Oakland A’s have been forged in fire. And if this team isn’t considerably better and way more fun than what we went through in 2023, I’ll eat my hat.

So without further ado, I’ll lead you through the moves I made, the motives, and take a look at compiling an objective summary of the total value coming and going across this offseason.

* * *

First, my priorities / ideas for what I wanted going into 2024:

I’ll start with position of need — looking at the team as it’s currently constructed, I think that 3B is our biggest hole, with no clear near term, mid term, or long term solution. I say that as someone who doesn’t think Brett Harris is likely to hit in the Majors, though I realize there’s a world in which he’s an answer there. But 3B was my top priority going in, and I wanted to not just block a hole, but to solve the problem for a long time.

The next biggest problem for this team is the bullpen. The 2023 bullpen was one of the worst I’ve ever seen — honestly not just one of the worst bullpens I’ve ever seen, but probably one of the worst things I’ve ever seen of all the things in the universe. Under no circumstances was I going to allow the weary fans in Oakland to endure another season like that, so remaking the bullpen was a top priority. It’s also one of the easiest places to improve by spending a little money in free agency. I should say here something about payroll: I adhered to a payroll model which saw the A’s with the lowest payroll in all of the MLB (with my suggested spending cap at $59,000,000 — by the way, I went over by ~$1.5M, figuring that since that number doesn’t factor in the increased revenue sharing coming to the A’s in 2024, I’d probably be able to convince John Fisher to spend a tiny bit more; but also think part of the fun of the sim is trying to make things work in the realistic (and challenging) framework of the actual team)… But even still, there was some money to spend, since there are virtually no payroll commitments on the books to the 2024 team.

Then, there are two other spots without a clear answer going into 2024, and those are CF where the A’s have Ruiz and Butler, both of whom played center in 2023 but both of whom are likely better in the corners (LF and RF, respectively IMO). And then there’s SS, with no clear answer in the near term on the team, but with the possibility of Hernaiz waiting in the wings (if you think he can stick at SS, about which I’m somewhat undecided), and perhaps Jacob Wilson a bit further down the line (who I do think can stick at SS).

So I went in knowing I needed to sort out 3B long term, give the bullpen a complete makeover, and provide some sort of answers at SS and CF.

Interestingly, what stood out immediately is that SP is not on that list. And that’s a rare thing for a MLB team. And I knew pretty quickly that the depth of talented starting pitching that this team has was going to be its best asset for trading, as just about every other team in baseball is desperate for controllable young starting pitchers. It’s strange to come out of a season with such terrible pitching to be in that position, but here we are.

* * *

Next, I identified a couple ways that I wanted to approach the offseason. Particularly in this situation where every GM had access to more or less the same public information about all the teams (there’s no proprietary data or scouting from David Forst that was given to me ahead of the beginning of the sim, strangely), I knew I had to come up with a few different ways / patterns of looking at players and prognostication which would allow me to come away from trades / signings with more value than others might see.

The oldest way of finding more value in trades than what might look objectively even is good old-fashioned leverage. Dealing from the starting pitching on the current A’s team worked well in that way, with everyone interested in pitchers.

Two other trends I decided to focus on were:

1) putting more stock than others in smaller samples of xwOBA. Generally, when evaluating players statistically, a bigger sample size will always be better. But there are a few statistical areas where we can make some representative observations in smaller samples, and other teams with more money/resources might be more conservative, figuring they can afford to pay players who have shown that they’re great over long periods of time. But for the A’s, if we can use that slightly conservative angle of other teams to jump in and bring in players who have been great in small samples — and who may just keep it up — then, that’s a valuable way of perhaps adding players of a caliber that would not otherwise be available to this team. And xwOBA is something that stabilizes relatively quickly (my memory is Jeff Zimmerman saying it was ~70 BIP, though I can’t find the source at the moment). There are other stats that stabilize even quicker — max velocity, for instance (for a pitcher or exit velo for a hitter) are stable after literally a single event… if you throw a pitch 105 mph, you can throw a pitch 105mph. But in any case, I wanted to find players who had shown that they could be great hitters in what looked to be a stable xwoba sample, but who would be overlooked by other teams waiting for larger samples.

Now, most of the hitters who fit that description are already great players and everybody knows it. Mike Trout is not a diamond in the rough. But I identified a few targets who might go under the radar as some of the best hitters in baseball in 2023 in smaller-but-potentially-stable samples of xwOBA:

Wilyer Abreu (Red Sox): .355 xWOBA

Sean Bouchard (Rockies): .372 xWOBA + .360 xWOBA in 2022 (combined for a reasonable sample)

Nelson Velasquez (Royals): .378 xWOBA

Matt Wallner (Twins): .376 xWOBA

2) We’ve seen a trend over the last year that hitters are starting to adjust to high-spin high four-seam fastballs, the pitch which has really dominated the game over the last several years. Eno Sarris had a great article about this in the Athletic recently — the gist of which is that work hitters have been putting in to be able to deal with riding high fastballs has begun to pay off, and their advantage is somewhat lessening. A great high fastball can of course still be a great pitch, but there’s a long-term adjustment being made.

So, with that in mind, and knowing that trend is likely to continue — and knowing that part of that trend is hitters developing flatter swings (at least for approaching high pitches) in order to counteract the ride of the pitch — I wanted to focus on bringing in pitchers who deal with sink. Pitchers who have great downward movement on their pitches. Because for anybody working on their flat swing, a great sinker is going to give them real trouble. Now, I also wanted to find sinkerballets who had had some success in 2023, because it’s still true that there are lots of hitters out there with upward-launching swings, which are ideal against the sinker. So I wanted to make sure that despite that, anybody I was bringing in was able to have shown success.

Players I targeted here were:

Jake Bird, Andrew Saalfrank, Andre Pallante, John King, Jose Soriano, Jordan Hicks, Trevor Gott, Tanner Houck

I should say also that I didn’t target ONLY sinkerballers — good pitchers are still good pitchers, and having a diverse array of possible angles in the bullpen I think is a good idea to match up with different styles of hitters (even if I don’t have a lot of faith in Kotsay to understand any of this). But wanted to emphasize that downward movement in my restructured pitching staff.

3) The last thing I wanted to consider was that if I was bringing in more groundball-heavy pitchers, I also wanted to make sure that the 3B and SS of the future on this team were good defenders, as they’ll end up with more chances.

4) I want to contend. Even though it’s probably a pipe dream for 2024, I don’t want to go into the year already knowing that there’s no chance — even in the best case scenario — that the A’s make the playoffs. So I wanted to give the team a chance, even a very very small one. And go in with the attitude that it does in fact matter to win more games in 2024. That said, I also wanted to make sure that players I was targeting would have the possibility of real trade value at the deadline if things don’t work out. This was a big consideration with my free agent targets, where I’ve seen that position players except at the elite level just don’t seem to bring back much at the trade deadline compared to pitchers. And so bringing in pitchers who could help, but then also provide potentially high relative value to their cost in a trade was important to me. Again, which led me to focus free agent money on the bullpen.

* * *

So — with all that in mind, I went into the Sim. Here is everything I did:

First, dealing with team options and arbitration decisions was a fairly simple beginning — I did not offer Tony Kemp a QO (he ended up signing with the Dodgers, by the way); I declined Drew Rucinski’s option; I tendered Paul Blackburn and Seth Brown, I tendered Sean Newcomb (he had impressive GB numbers in AAA last year with a new sinker), and I non-tendered Kaprielian, Perez, and Pruitt.

Then, here are all the trades I made, in order. I’m putting BTV values next to them, as I think people are likely to be curious. Was interesting to see that some users were clearly thinking about BTV, some weren’t. I had assumed going in that probably everybody would be checking BTV for all moves and therefore I would need to target players whom I thought were undervalued by BTV. But I think there was enough conversation that didn’t involve any BTV numbers that that didn’t seem to be the case. And while there were players I valued wildly different than BTV (honestly, I think Joe Boyle is one of the biggest assets in this organization, and I shut down any trade that suggested him), I still figured it was best to try and make sure trades were coming out at least close to even on BTV for me, if nothing else to add extra value even when I thought something was already worth it. Anyways, considering what we’ve seen with Forst’s moves, I thought I might as well share the BTV values of each trade.


  1. Seth Brown to the Padres for Eguy Rosario and Trent Grisham

Grisham is a player I’ve always really liked to watch, and this was a scenario where the Padres GM immediately reached out with interest in Brown and I was able to use that leverage to get what I saw as a really good deal. I’m not a big fan of Rosario, but he has some value on the infield and was happy to get him back. Grisham is a real CF-er and offensively has real bounce-back upside. I think he solves the near-term CF problem.

BTV: Brown (1.1) for Rosario (1.9) and Grisham (13.6)

In: 15.5

Out: 1.1

2) Paul Blackburn to the Diamondbacks for Andrew Saalfrank, Ivan Melendez, and Jorge Barrosa

I had determined that trading Blackburn was probably going to be a good idea, considering the leverage I had on trading starting pitching. And was excited about this deal. I had already targeted Saalfrank as an extreme groundballing lefty for the bullpen, and Melendez is a fun-to-watch slugger with huge exit velocities and some serious strikeout problems. Barrosa is a very fast outfielder whose profile is very similar to a lot of other players in the Arizona system, making him available. But in our system, he could be the heir to Grisham in CF if Clarke flames out. Here are Keith Law write-ups on Melendez and Barrosa from before the ’23 season:

Jorge Barrosa:

"Barrosa is a center fielder with excellent instincts in the outfield, able to predict where balls hit to him are likely to land, putting his head down and running to catch them. He’s an above-average runner and strong for his size, with excellent plate discipline, although a good bit of the power he showed last season was because he played in hitter-friendly Amarillo. He doesn’t chase, and he doesn’t whiff. With his defense and contact skill, he’s one of the highest probability guys in the system, and I think he ends up a solid regular in center … maybe for another organization."

Ivan Melendez:

"The Hispanic Titanic won the Golden Spikes Award in 2022 off a season when he led Division 1 with 32 home runs, after which Arizona drafted him in the second round. He’s power over hit, although there is some feel for the barrel here, with a preference for fastballs. The Diamondbacks played him half at first and half at third, which feels like a stretch, but they think he’s athletic enough to pull it off despite his size. He’s already 23, though, so he’s old for High A and there’s some pressure on him to move quickly."

BTV: Blackburn (6.2) for Barrosa (4.2) and Melendez (8.0) and Saalfrank (3.1)

In: 15.3

Out: 6.2

3) Jordan Diaz to the Nationals for Joan Adon

I don’t think Jordan Diaz really has a spot on this team. His only possible positions I think are 2B, 1B, and DH, and I doubt he hits enough for DH or 1B and 2B is full. I had made him available early, and Adon is a pitcher who threw a decent number of innings in 2023 and has some stuff upside, particularly if he gets moved to the bullpen. I liked him enough to be a part of that pitching depth, giving me even more flexibility for future trades.

BTV: Diaz (1.7) for Adon (2.7)

In: 2.7

Out: 1.7

4) Cole Miller and Gunnar Hoglund to the Angels for Jose Soriano

Soriano was one of my primary targets for the bullpen. He throws 99 with sink (51% GB rate this year and a 3.97 FIP in his rookie season), and he’s controllable for a long time. I’m very pessimistic about Hoglund — maybe his velo will just come back, but if it doesn’t he’s Jason Windsor at best, and hoping his velo comes back is more a wish than a projection. I like Miller as a draft pick, but didn’t feel bad about using him in this deal.

BTV: Miller (1.7) and Hoglund (2.1) for Soriano (4.4)

In: 4.4

Out: 3.8

5) Drew Conover to the Mets for Trevor Gott

Continuing my mission of acquiring my targets and filling out this bullpen, the Mets were looking to clear Gott from the roster, and the A’s 11th round pick in the ’23 draft seemed like a fine price. Gott used to be a very different pitcher, but he’s recently become a very effect sinkerballer, and fits the profile I was looking for.

BTV: Conovoer (not listed, so I’ll assume it’s essentially 0) for Gott (3.4)

In: 3.4

Out: 0

6) Max Muncy to the Pirates for Jared Triolo

Triolo was one of my targets for 3B. I had been trying hard to make a deal happen for Curtis Mead with the Rays, potentially involving Tyler Soderstrom, but it didn’t go through. And then came close to trading for Ronny Mauricio from the Mets in that slot, in a deal that would involve J.P. Sears, but the Mets ended up trading him to the Marlins in a huge trade which netted Max Meyer and Braxton Garrett. So I found myself looking at Triolo, who I knew I could get without much fanfare, but who — with a weird offensive profile — had posted a very decent xwOBA (.323) over 209 PAs in his rookie year, along with fantastic defense at 3B, which is his calling card. He strikes out a lot for how little power he’s shown, but he hits the ball on the sweet spot a lot, and has always had high BABIPs. He showed that it could work in the major leagues in a not-insignificant sample, and the fact is that his defense is so good, that he doesn’t have to hit much to be a good player. And if he does hit… he could be really good. He put up 1.7 fWAR in 209 PAs in his rookie year, which is borderline all star production over a full year. Worth a shot, IMO, as an under-the-radar target. I like Muncy, but this was worth it.

Keith Law on Triolo (from ’22, but still relevant):

"Triolo is a plus defensive third baseman who does a little of everything as a hitter, perhaps not enough of any one thing to become a star, but with enough feel to hit, work the count and hit for some power to be a solid regular at the hot corner. He hit .304/.369/.480 with just a 20 percent strikeout rate as a 23-year-old in High A, while also stealing 25 bags in 31 attempts. The Pirates have worked with Triolo to get him to pick his spots to try to pull the ball for more power, which would boost him from a probable regular to an occasional All-Star."

BTV: Muncy (not listed, for some reason, but would assume he has to be somewhere between Ryan Lasko (3.3) and Darrell Hernaiz (8), so I’ll give him a best guess of 6) for Triolo (11.5)

In: 11.5

Out: 6

7) Luis Medina to the Red Sox for Wilyer Abreu and Tanner Houck

Alright, now I started really being able to leverage our starting pitching trove for the players I wanted. I really like Abreu. He’s fun to watch, and he was really good in his first chance with the Red Sox this year. He hits the ball hard and has extremely impressive plate coverage, able to adjust his swing for radically different pitches.

This was Keith Law on Abreu when he was traded to Boston in the ’22 trade deadline (from Houston):

"He has an unorthodox swing and rolls his front leg almost completely around through contact, with great bat speed and much-improved contact in the past two years after a swing adjustment during the pandemic. He’s hitting .249/.399/.459 for Double-A Corpus Christi, with a 19 percent walk rate and 26 percent strikeout rate, and he’s had consistently strong line-drive rates even back to 2019. He’s more raw power than game power but could probably get to one more gear, especially if he can stay more closed through contact. Abreu is a plus defender in right with at least a 70 arm, so even if he settles in at 15 to 20 homers a year but with a lot of walks and doubles, he could be a strong regular."

And then Tanner Houck is one of the most extreme groundballing pitchers around, particularly who can start. He wasn’t quite as good this year as the previous years, but still put up 1.2 fWAR in ~100 innings. I think he should be a solid bet for average production in the rotation for years to come, with some real upside if he can repeat his numbers from two years ago, and he fits the profile that I think will become more and more valuable. I’m iffy on Medina — could go either way on him, but he was definitely worth Abreu and Houck, IMO.

BTV: Medina (4.5) for Abreu (3.4) and Houck (19.5)

In: 22.9

Out: 4.5

8) J.P. Sears and Freddy Tarnok to the Tigers for Colt Keith

Sears was probably the player I had the most external interest in throughout the sim. And I felt like he was a perfect asset, because I’m not sure he’s as good as he seems — he’s got years of control, and could be a decent starting pitcher certainly. But I think he also could fall apart. If he loses a mph of velocity, or hitters continue to improve against his high fastball, I think there’s more risk than meets the eye with Sears. So as I fielded offers for him, I tried to use him to leverage the biggest impact player, hopefully fitting an area of need, for the A’s future. And that all came together here with the trade for Colt Keith. Tarnok is another example of a very-high-spin high fastball pitcher, and I’m just not sure he has any secondaries that will make him a big leaguer, though I do like the changeup. But the Tigers really liked both of them, and I was able to package them for Colt Keith, who I love, and is now the A’s third baseman of the mid-to-long-term future. Keith is an amazing hitter, who reached AAA last year, and could really be a star. Defense is a question, but for now he’s good enough-ish at third, and he’ll find a spot with his bat. Plus, my brother’s name is Keith, so it all works out perfectly.

Keith Law on Keith, whom he ranked No 33 on his most-recent prospect list:

"Keith was the Tigers’ fifth-round and final pick in the 2020 draft, signing rather than going to Arizona State, and after two injury-shortened seasons in his first two full years in pro ball, he’s been healthy and very productive all of 2023, hitting .325/.391/.585 for D-A Erie before a promotion at the beginning of July to triple A. He’s already set a career high with 16 homers in 71 games, and does it with a compact swing that allows him to make contact at well-above-average rates, while consistently walking about 10% of his PA. Keith is a third baseman now and is a fringy defender there who might end up at first base when it’s all said and done, although before that the Tigers should at least try him at second. Wherever he plays, the bat will make him among the best at his position; if he stays at third or can handle the keystone, he’ll be a star."

BTV: Sears (9.9) and Tarnok (3.8) for Keith (32.4)

In: 32.4

Out: 13.7

9) Kyle Muller to the Marlins for Matt Pushard

I had initially planned to keep Muller, out of options, in the bullpen and see if he could swing it there. But it had become clear at this point that I was going to get some of the relievers I wanted on the free agent market (more on the free agents after the trades), and there wasn’t going to be a spot for him. The Marlins came calling on Sears, but he was already gone, then on Medina, but he was already gone, so they settled for a small deal for Kyle Muller. I tried to trade him at one point to the Nationals, whose GM said "tbh, I’m a Braves fan in real life, so I know how bad he is." Alas. Pushard is a small piece, but had very good numbers as a reliever in High A and a velo bump this year, and figured he was worth a flier when really I just wanted to move Muller for anything of any value.

BTV: Muller (0) for Pushard (0.7)

In: 0.7

Out: 0

10) Joey Estes to the White Sox for Jacob Gonzalez and Ky Bush

This trade was the result of a fairly lengthy conversation with former A’s general manager, grover, who had been poached by the White Sox for presumably a much much higher salary. I hadn’t been planning to trade Estes, feeling like I had probably dealt enough from my depth of starting pitchers at this point, and uncertain if I would be able to afford any starting pitchers on the open market to keep my rotation deep (I had some offers out, but things were starting to heat up — I had checked in about a deal of 1/$5M for James Paxton, maybe a good Rich-Hill-style deal for someone who pitched well last year, has lots of talent, but hasn’t stayed on the mound… and then heard back he was already looking at 2/$20M. Sean Manaea went for 4/$75M and Yamamoto went for… 13/$480M. So spending on free agent starters was getting scary, which is why my starting pitchers were so valuable in trades. But somehow, my primary free agent target fell through the cracks (we’ll get there), and I could make this deal.

The other thing I was waiting on was that all of a sudden the Royals GM decided that he wanted to blow everything up, and put Witt and Pasquantino on the block. He was extremely interested in Estes, and were working on a too-good-to-be-true deal that would send the Pasquatch to Oakland for Joey Estes (an extremely lopsided deal, IMO, good enough that I would just figure out what the hell to do with all my first-basemen and DHs afterwards). But it collapsed when he traded Witt to Seattle and decided that he had to keep at least one fan favorite. So Estes then went to the White Sox in this deal that I think brings back a good amount of value to Oakland, building out some of the broader organizational talent depth.

BTV: Estes (2.2) for Gonzalez (2.5) and Bush (3.2)

In: 5.7

Out: 2.2

11) Esteury Ruiz and Brett Harris to the Orioles for Joey Ortiz

At this point, the roster was starting to look how I wanted it to. I still wasn’t sure if I wanted to add a SS, with Hernaiz waiting close behind, but while Nick Allen and Kevin Smith were still on the team, it felt like an ideal world would have one more good SS option open. And I’m somewhat skeptical about Hernia’s ability to stick at the position, and Jacob Wilson’s still a bit away. So when the Orioles came calling about Esteury Ruiz, with an attitude that they thought it was a long shot I would be willing to trade him and that they really really wanted to bring steals back into their system after trading some of their faster players (e.g. Mullins), I decided to use that interest to pry away Joey Ortiz.

Ortiz is a very good prospect, a fantastic defender at SS who can really hit though he doesn’t have that much pop. He was No. 36 on Law’s mid-season prospect list (more below), and someone who deserves a shot at becoming a mainstay at the position for years to come. At this point, my outfield was shaping up, and while Ruiz was going to be playing as the 4th outfielder / platoon LF vs LHP, I had an idea of someone I wanted even more in that role, so I had no problem parting with Ruiz. And Harris had become redundant after adding Triolo, IMO.

Keith Law on Joey Ortiz:

"Free Joey Ortiz? He's hopelessly blocked at this point with Gunnar Henderson and Jordan Westburg ahead of him, and Jackson Holliday coming up like a bullet train behind him, but Ortiz could be someone's everyday shortstop right now. He's certainly done his part, hitting .337/.394/.553 in 47 Triple A games around a couple of brief call-ups to the majors, where he's barely gotten off the pine. He's a plus defender at short who reworked his swing during the pandemic to improve both his contact quality and bat path for more power. I wrote in the offseason that I thought he would "hit for a high average with 30-40 doubles and 10 homers" as a big-leaguer, and I still think that applies. Add plus defense at shortstop to that and you have a very good regular — and someone ready right now, too."

BTV: Ruiz (10.4) and Harris (1.7) for Ortiz (13.8)

In: 13.8

Out: 12.1

12) Joan Adon and Ryan Cusick to the Royals for Nelson Velasquez

And finally, I got all the pieces to fall into place here. Velasquez had been one of my primary targets, but I had to wait a long time to get him. And he made the most sense with either Ruiz or Rooker being moved, and while I talked to a lot of teams about Rooker, there didn’t end up being anything that made sense. And then Adon’s purpose was finally fulfilled, as the Royals came calling for pitching depth, and everything came together.

Velasquez is a strange player, in that he wasn’t even particularly good in AAA, but boy did he dominate in nearly 200 PAs this year in the MLB. He has insane power, and he was legitimately one of the best hitters in baseball this year, and that .378 xwOBA definitely means something over 179 PAs. He looks to me like a player with huge tools finally putting it together, and that’s worth a bet as the 4th OF / platoon LF to start the year. If you like Rooker’s defense better, you can put Rooker out in LF while Velasquez DHs, as well.

BTV: Adon (2.7) and Cusick (1.8) for Velasquez (9.1)

In: 9.1

Out: 4.5


While all the above was going on, here’s what I did on the free agent market. Again, I was trying to target players — almost exclusively pitchers — who might fall through the cracks, but were going to be better than people expected. And who would likely have trade value if they played to potential and the A’s are selling at the deadline.

My primary target, the player I talked to throughout the entire sim until he finally accepted my offer — maybe others forgot about him or maybe he just liked my persistence… — was Mike Clevinger. Clevinger is someone who was a star before his injury, and while he put up OK numbers this year, at first glance they look very pedestrian compared to the pitcher he once was. But if you look more carefully, what happened is that it took him a long time to get his velocity back. And then as this season progressed, it finally came back. And he became dominant again. So his ok-looking numbers are really a combined bad-ish pitcher and a great pitcher — and while he could of course get hurt again, the pitcher he is now is the great pitcher.

Mike Clevinger: 2/$16M

Then I had offers out to a large number of free agent relievers. There are a lot of good ones in this market, which is great for the A’s who really need an all-new bullpen. I signed three relievers to the deals that provided the most value for the money I could spend, in the process getting one of the best sinkerballing relievers out there:

Jordan Hicks: 3/$25M

Ryan Brasier: 2/$12M

Robert Stephenson: 2/$14M

All three of those pitchers were extremely good last year, and I expect that they’re going to make this bullpen a strength going into 2024. That was it for my budget (no Yamamoto for us…). But I still had a few minor league deals to do.

First, I signed Adalberto Mondesi to a minor league deal. No idea what his injury status is, but if he’s healthy, he could have a chance to be part of this infield. Then Kyle Lewis was worth a flyer in case he finds his old self in spring training, Austin Adams has been a very effective reliever when healthy, Roberto Perez provides a little catching depth (I decided I’d rather not add a major league catcher because I think Kyle McCann deserves a shot as the second catcher, and I don’t want to block Soderstrom when he’s ready (even though he’s starting in AAA)). And then that’s right, baby, I signed Josh Donaldson to a minor league contract. We’re gettin the band back together.

Donaldson looks to me like one of the unluckiest hitters in baseball last year, with a .329 xwOBA and a .284 wOBA. And is somehow still putting up good defensive numbers at 3B. I think he’s still got something left, and if anything happens with Triolo, or Rooker or Velasquez, I think a spot opens up for JD. Can’t wait to see him hit the walk-off homer for the A’s in Game 7 of the World Series (over the Giants), while he hoists new just-hired A’s bench coach Sean Doolittle into the air after crossing home plate.

So, over 5,000 words later, we have a new A’s team. Here’s my projected 26-man roster below, though I’m expecting there’ll probably be some injuries and some of the depth you’ve seen along the way will end up with the team.


Shea Langeliers


Mike Clevinger


Ryan Noda


Mason Miller


Zack Gelof


Tanner Houck


Joey Ortiz


Joe Boyle


Jared Triolo


Ken Waldichuk


Wilyer Abreu


Trent Grisham


Jordan Hicks


Lawrence Butler


Robert Stephenson


Brent Rooker


Ryan Brasier


Trevor Gott


Kyle McCann


Jose Soriano


Kevin Smith


Andrew Saalfrank


Nelson Velasquez


Lucas Erceg


JJ Bleday


Sean Newcomb

In case you’re wondering, I released Aledmys Diaz, and Allen, Bride, and Soderstrom are in AAA. I still think Smith might have something left, so he’s here for one last chance since he’s out of options, but then Allen can have a future role as a defending backup.

Final BTV numbers in trades:

IN: 137.4

OUT: 55.8

Now I just wish I got to actually watch this team play for Oakland in 2024!

Let me know what you think!