Athletics Notes: Payroll, Barton, Stadium

Let's discuss the latest on the Athletics, with some help from Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle

  • The A's haven't set their budget yet.  Slusser expects payroll flexibility to be created by the team letting Ben Sheets leave, declining Eric Chavez's club option, and non-tendering Jack Cust and Gabe Gross.  We looked at the team's 12 arbitration eligible players a week ago and suggested that Jeremy Hermida, Conor Jackson, Kevin Kouzmanoff, and Travis Buck may also be cut.
  • More uncertainty comes in the form of club options for Mark Ellis ($6MM with a $500K buyout) and Coco Crisp ($5.75MM with a $500K buyout).  Slusser writes that GM Billy Beane expects to have conversations about that next week.
  • Wrote Slusser: "Beane emphasized that he doesn't want to add power at the expense of defense, noting in particular that the team has no intention of moving Daric Barton from first base."  The A's could look at a slew of DH options beyond Cust.  But perhaps Beane's statement rules out a Carlos Pena reunion.
  • Beane is optimistic about getting approval for a new stadium, but it's only a gut feeling.  He believes MLB's blue-ribbon panel will issue its report soon.


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23 Comments on "Athletics Notes: Payroll, Barton, Stadium"


sacu
4 years 9 months ago

I hope I’m wrong but I keep thinking the A’s will get Prince Fielder this offseason in exchange for pitching.

4 years 9 months ago

Just getting Sheets and Chavez off payroll clears a lot of space. Dead weight can’t be tolerated by small market teams. Chavez is understandable but you kind of have to hold it against Beane having two bad contracts eating up so much space. Sheets was a good gamble but not at that price, especially for a team like the A’s. They should have gotten him cheaper or let him go somewhere else. Heck, Harden only got $7 million and he was (realatively) healthy in 2009. If GM’s were smart Sheets wouldn’t get more than a couple million with incentives this off season.

alxn
4 years 9 months ago

Beane has the payroll so well managed that he could afford to take that risk. I’m pretty sure the A’s were still under budget even with the Sheets contract. They have money to spend but nobody has been willing to take it yet (other than Sheets).

coachofall
4 years 9 months ago

People fail to realize that Beane and a lot of other GM’s have money to spend from Revenue Sharing. That Sheets gamble was made after the other free-agents turned down the chance to play there. MLB players association didnt like the fact that the Marlins werent putting the revenue sharing money back into the product. A’s always throw their portion of “free Cash” out there so that will never be an issue. Essentially Sheets was paid for by the MLB system

4 years 9 months ago

I am so tired of hearing that Cust will be cut. He better not be. He was our best hitter. If we get a bat or two and Cust becomes a complimentary player (like he should be), he will post huge numbers.

TwinsVet
4 years 9 months ago

Oakland and Toronto should on top of alot of lists this winter for darkhorse AL playoff contenders.

The_Porcupine
4 years 9 months ago

I agree with you on the Oakland thought. They have the pitching in place to make a serious run at contention like they did back in the Hudson, Zito, Mulder days. They just need to find a way to build a decent offense. Beane will have to be creative with trades because the free agent market is slim.

TwinsVet
4 years 9 months ago

DH may be his best option. Last year, guys like Vlad, Thome, and Matsui all went very cheap but would have been quite useful. Even a Dye reunion might have been a worthwhile experiment.

There’s probably going to be some of those type names available, and the market will remain thin for them. Berkman, Lee, and Nady are all names that come to mind as a potential DH fit who could be relatively cheap and still pretty potent.

The_Porcupine
4 years 9 months ago

They need more than just one bat. They need at least 2, if not 3. Get some power in the outfield is a must.

TwinsVet
4 years 9 months ago

What about that carter kid? Terrible debut but isn’t he a monster prospect?

alxn
4 years 9 months ago

I don’t think he’s considered a can’t miss prospect or anything. A lot of people question if he will pan out. He does have “monster” power.

4 years 9 months ago

Cue the same sentiments from someone every year

The_Porcupine
4 years 9 months ago

I know I will get destroyed by pro-Cust fans, but I think Magglio Ordonez would look really good as a DH.

4 years 9 months ago

I highly doubt that the 7 cust fans actually out there read MLBTR.

sf55forlife
4 years 9 months ago

I don’t think you understand the whole Sheets situation. By the time the A’s signed Sheets the free agent market was absolutely bare. Sheets and Bedard were the only pitchers on the top 50 free agent list available the day he signed with the A’s.

You see the A’s were counting on signing Adrian Beltre the entire offseason. In fact they gave Beltre a larger contract than the Red Sox did. Beltre signed in early January when most of the bigger name pitching free agents had already signed. So really the A’s had a bunch of money saved up and had almost nobody to spend it on. They decided to take a chance on Ben Sheets, who unfortunately did not work out for them. I can’t blame the A’s in that situation at all, I would take the risk instead of settling for someone like Doug Davis.

sf55forlife
4 years 9 months ago

Also since it was a one year deal it didn’t really eat up any space whatsoever.

dshires4
4 years 9 months ago

Actually, Pena would make perfect sense. He’s a power bat, and he plays good defense for a first baseman. So adding his power wouldn’t be hurting defense, because he and Barton really aren’t all that different on defense, especially since it’s first base, where defense is almost a non-factor.

So adding Pena actually makes a ton of sense since it could make the roster even more flexible…

4 years 9 months ago

I agree with you that Pena would be a great fit, but I highly disagree that D is a non-factor at first base, especially in the coliseum.

kimofromkauai
4 years 9 months ago

The A;s will have money available this winter and need power. Yet, Beane says he is fine with Barton’s 10 HR and .405 slugging avg at 1B. There is also some discussion about bringing back Cust at DH with his .438 slugging. Oakland also wants to try Carter and/or Taylor at corner OF. Crisp is almost certainly back in CF.

So where do they add power? Ellis at 2B will probably be back so that leave Beltre for a possible 3B opening. Not many options for the A’s this winter with the team imposed limitations, especially since Beltre turned them down last winter.

4 years 9 months ago

I would be fine with Barton too, sure he doesn’t have proto-typical homerun power. But look at this line: .273/.393/.405 : the man knows how to get on base, I mean hell he lead the AL in walks and was only behind Prince Fielder in the MLB and I think it was by 4. And chances are those 110 walks were all on his ability to see pitches.

Beside the point the Barton has steadily improved since 2008, minus a small dip in the slugging and he’s only 24. I think his power will come but again probably not the typical 1B mold that everyone is use to.

I think the A’s need to focus on 2nd (if Ellis isn’t back), 3rd and Right Field. Assuming that Carter will be the left fielder of the future. I mean if they say…get Adrian Beltre for 3rd and Adam Dunn for Right..that’s 2 bats but man that OF defense is kind of bad.. But most of the A’s pitchers induce a good amount of ground balls, and their IF defense is good.

4 years 9 months ago

I would be fine with Barton too, sure he doesn’t have proto-typical homerun power. But look at this line: .273/.393/.405 : the man knows how to get on base, I mean hell he lead the AL in walks and was only behind Prince Fielder in the MLB and I think it was by 4. And chances are those 110 walks were all on his ability to see pitches.

Beside the point the Barton has steadily improved since 2008, minus a small dip in the slugging and he’s only 24. I think his power will come but again probably not the typical 1B mold that everyone is use to.

I think the A’s need to focus on 2nd (if Ellis isn’t back), 3rd and Right Field. Assuming that Carter will be the left fielder of the future. I mean if they say…get Adrian Beltre for 3rd and Adam Dunn for Right..that’s 2 bats but man that OF defense is kind of bad.. But most of the A’s pitchers induce a good amount of ground balls, and their IF defense is good.

corey23
4 years 9 months ago

You can’t forget Ryan Sweeney though, he was one of the more consistent hitters on the team. A’s always have too many outfielders to give ample playing time. I’d like to see carter in left, taylor in right and sweeney in center, with crisp in there next year as well. I like rajai davis but we just don’t have room for him.

Keithpitch
4 years 9 months ago

Mentoring the young staff has imeasurable effects. Pitching is more mental than most people know.