2013 Contract Issues: Oakland Athletics

The Athletics are next in MLBTR’s 2013 Contract Issues series:

Eligible For Free Agency (4)

  • Brandon McCarthy - McCarthy, now on the disabled list, figures to be in high demand this offseason. If the right-hander returns from the DL on schedule and the A's are out of contention by the end of July, he could be traded.
  • Brandon Inge - Scott Sizemore should return in 2013, eliminating the Athletics' need for a second everyday third baseman. Note that Inge signed a new one-year contract with the Athletics and that the 2013 option on his previous deal with the Tigers is no longer in play.
  • Bartolo Colon - In theory, Colon could also be available this summer. He has pitched well for the A's and they might have interest in re-signing him to a similar low-risk deal in 2013.
  • Jonny Gomes - Bob Melvin has maximized Gomes' exposure to left-handed pitching and the early results are excellent. Perhaps the Bay Area native will re-sign and complement the likes of Seth Smith for another year.
  • Manny Ramirez – Let's see what Ramirez does in 2012 before speculating about his role on the 2013 team.

Contract Options (2)

  • Grant Balfour: $4.5MM club option with a $350K buyout. It's been a rough ten-game stretch for Balfour, who could be a summer trade candidate if he recovers from his current slump.
  • Brian Fuentes: $6.5MM club option with a $500K option. Fuentes would be among the top left-handed relievers available this summer if the A's are willing to listen to trade offers for him. It would seem un-Athletics-like for the team to exercise this option and commit 10% of its payroll to a 37-year-old pitcher who won't pitch more than 5% of the team's innings. But if he puts together a strong season, the club could pick up the option and trade him.

Arbitration Eligible (7)

Injuries and poor performance have created considerable uncertainty for some of Oakland's arbitration eligible players. Devine could be non-tendered, depending on his recovery from Tommy John surgery. Barton, off to another slow start at the plate, could be cut loose as well. As long as Braden's recovery from shoulder surgery progresses well, he figures to be retained this December. If not, he'll be non-tendered, too.

2013 Payroll Obligation

The A's have committed nearly $29MM to next year's team, according to Cot's Baseball Contracts. The franchise typically spends $50-65MM on its players, so GM Billy Beane should have some money at his disposal this offseason. However, the team's uncertain long-term future will presumably have some effect on Beane's ability to pursue free agents.

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6 Comments on "2013 Contract Issues: Oakland Athletics"

3 years 3 months ago

Any of the pending FA are trade bait.  I would be surprised if Balfour makes it past the trade deadline. 

3 years 3 months ago

The A’s can control a lot of things this deadline and go a long way towards further rebuilding their farm at the deadline.

McCarthy and Colon will be highly sought after if healthy, I can see Baltimore and Toronto in on them if they’re still in contention. Fuentes and Balfour will have value, and Smith, Crisp, and Suzuki could also be had. This will be a lot of fun for Billy Beane who I do have to give some credit to for having a pretty good offseason and getting this ragtag group of players to start off pretty well. 

3 years 3 months ago

Reddick isn’t even arb eligible yet? awesome.

3 years 3 months ago

 It shouldn’t take a lot to get a guy like Colon, but McCarthy would be a different story. Each of them would be a pretty big upgrade over Hutchinson and I’m not sure if they will plan on letting Drabek pitch without any limits.

Travis Snider could be in play, it seems like they essentially gave up on him.

3 years 3 months ago

Trouble is, McCarthy is currently on the disabled list with a bum shoulder.

Every single one of the players on this list are flawed. Some, like Fuentes, Balfour and Crisp are aging players well past their prime, and overpaid so they would agree to play in Oakland.

Some, like Pennington, Barton, Rosales are just terrible hitters and are only on the current roster because they are cheap. I can see Pennington being retained, but Derek Barton is not going to turn into Scott Hatteberg no matter how much BB wants it. 

Colon is barely hanging on and no team is going to give up anything of value for either him or the fragile McCarthy. Balfour and Fuentes might bring a halfway decent 2nd tier prospect if Beane agrees to eat most of their salaries.

Braden is done. The type of injury he incurred is often a career killer. Smith is an easily replaceable mediocrity. Inge in injured. See the pattern?

Gomes, Pennington and Sizemore are the guys I see the A’s bringing back, with McCarthy a long shot if he can regain his health.

3 years 3 months ago

Most players considered for trades are flawed so what’s new?

I agree that Colon (inconsistent) and McCarthy (hurt again) has almost no trade value at the moment.

Aging or not, Balfour (2.47 ERA) and Crisp (led AL in steals) had very good 2011 seasons while Fuentes found himself rejuvenated as the A’s current closer.  While he slumped as the A’s closer this year, Balfour does have 7 saves in 9 chances.  And Coco came off the DL last night like it never happened.  By the trading deadline their value should be in real demand.

Most A’s hitters are terrible given their Mendoza like team BA.  But Pennington (58 ribbies on .264 BA in 2011) is a solid number 9 hitter with very good defense at shortstop.  Barton and Rosales are on the roster only by the grace of God (Billy Beane).

I see a good chance Suzuki getting traded to the Red Sox, as Norris is hitting well at AAA Sacto and Donaldson could return to catching too, once Inge returns to 3rd as his power potential is needed by the A’s.

Brandon Inge is a 1-yr rental while Sizemore recovers from his injury and will return to 3rd next year.

No one has mentioned Manny.  Should he perform adequately this year for the A’s, I see him returning next year as payback for the A’s giving him a chance and also Manny wanting to mentor Billy Beane’s current great FA signing, the Cuban Missile Yeonis Cespedes.