Arbitration Eligibles: Oakland Athletics

The Athletics are next in our 2013 Arbitration Eligibles series.  Matt Swartz's salary projections are below.

The A's have a pair of arbitration eligible relievers in Blevins and Neshek.  The A's have deemed Blevins expendable in the past, but he continues to shut down southpaws and will be retained this winter.  Neshek, who has the opposite split, has bounced around in recent years.  He dominated for the Orioles' Triple-A affiliate this year before his trade to Oakland, after which he posted a couple of solid months with the big club.  Those two months may allow him to keep his 40-man roster spot, but it's not a lock.

Kottaras was designated for assignment by the Brewers in July before the A's acquired him.  The 29-year-old has good pop and should stick around as Derek Norris' backup.  Barton, the former first-round pick who led the American League in walks in 2010, was tendered a contract by the A's a year ago and began 2012 on the DL recovering from shoulder surgery.  Upon his activation Barton regained his starting job at first base, but by June he was optioned to Triple-A.  Barton wouldn't really receive a raise, but the A's have better options at first in Moss and Chris Carter.  It might make sense for a team like Boston to acquire him on the cheap.  Rosales, 29, was an up-and-down guy this year, and the A's could cut him for the roster spot.

Moss, 29, was a cheap offseason pickup by the A's who went on to hit 21 home runs in just 296 plate appearances.  He's got a big role on next year's club.  Smith wasn't spectacular, but he did his job against right-handed pitching (.259/.352/.454) and will also be tendered a contract.  He could be trade bait given the team's crowded outfield picture, though he spent a chunk of time at designated hitter this year.    

Assuming Smith, Moss, Kottaras, Blevins, and Neshek are tendered contracts, the A's are looking at an estimated $7.7MM for five arbitration eligible players.

Matt Swartz's arbitration projections are available exclusively at MLB Trade Rumors.  To read more about his projection model, check out this series of posts.

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