When your payroll is lower than your revenue sharing check, yet 29 owners are willing to look the other way, and when you attract free agents like my aunt Bertha attracts men (hint: she doesn’t), weeks like the one upcoming are crucial.
Tuesday, the A’s will learn where fate, in the form of allegedly impartial lottery balls, have chosen Oakland to draft in 2024. The draft is one of the few places stars can be gotten cheap and even forced to choose your team, and so the #1 overall pick — once assured the team with MLB’s worst record — could help jump start the rebuild. Statistically the A’s have an 18.3% chance of getting the #1 pick which, while low, is still twice the odds of John Fisher being able to pay for a stadium in Las Vegas so there’s that.
There is an 81.7% chance that there will be at least some measure of teeth gnashing following the lottery, but it’s also worth remembering that the indignity only extends to the very first pick. The A’s will still be assured, no matter what, of the first pick in each round following just as they were second in line each round from 2 on last year.
That would be more reassuring if the A’s second and third overall picks, Myles Naylor and Ryan Lasko, hadn’t stunk it up in their brief time in the pros but in fairness Naylor is only 18 and Lasko “enjoyed” just 26 at bats before succumbing to injury.
Wednesday, the Rule 5 draft offers the A’s first chance at a talented-yet-unprotected player whose price tag is only 5 digits. Last year’s second pick netted Ryan Noda, who has already become one of the A’s better players on a rebuilding team. Hudson Haskin (CF, Orioles), Cole Wilcox (SP, Rays), Troy Johnston (1B/DH, Marlins), Aaron Schunk (2B/3B, Rockies), and Rafael Lantigua (OF, Bluejays) are among those who have been suggested recently on AN.
In any event, this is a quick post since nothing meaningful has actually happened yet, but it might also make a good landing spot for those who want to recommend a Rule 5 pick and explain why their choice is better than the other options. All have risks, warts, and upside to offer making this both a difficult, and potentially crucial, decision for the A’s brass.
Make your case, and for all you know a key A’s scout may see it and be swayed. After all, when your budget is $999 and one meal at Fatapple’s, you do tend to scour the internet for the wisdom of others.