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.


13 Responses to Arbitration Eligibles: Oakland Athletics Leave a Reply

  1. johnsilver 3 years ago

    Sorry, but I just can’t stand Kottaras and never could. he is a liability and never could understand why Milwaukee kept him around even as long as they did. Arbitration at 1.1m? Forget it.. Kevin Cash all over again.. Those types are lucky to have jobs.

    Shoppach at 2m is far better than anything Kottaras could ever provide from either side of the game.

    • You realize he’s no longer on the Brewers? So your point holds no water!

      • johnsilver 3 years ago

        No kidding.. Oakland got him for the PO hunt, but Milwaikee kept him around for several years…

        Shoppach would be a better fir if Oakland is going to play “young” with Norris and Shoppach is capable of going 259-300PA without hurting a team with his bat and is very strong defensively.

        • melonis_rex 3 years ago

          I’m not sure the A’s will be able to sign Shoppach without a multi year deal although I would love to see both Shoppach (or another RH platoon catcher) and Kottaras on the A’s with Norris in AAA to start the season. When Norris is ready, ship one out midseason (someone will always be looking for cheap catching help midseason).

          • johnsilver 3 years ago

            Interesting point on shipping one out. Shoppach seems to have rebuilt his value some with his bat.

            Have another one here that is a far fetched idea for a older veteran.. Miami is going to be pushing hard to unload John Buck this off season with their own rookie Brantley ready.. Miami probably would pay 2/3-3/4 of Buck’s 6m left on his contract and take the bottom of the barrel to move him and Buck isn’t that bad behind the plate, just all of a sudden forgot how to hit since signing his 18m contract.

            Might be a really inexpensive way to get a veteran RH hitting catcher for nearly nothing.

          • Brendan Purcell 3 years ago

            I do like that idea as well. Everyone is simply assuming that Norris will be average-above average with the bat in 2013, but why? What happened to Chris Carter? Michael Taylor? He could easily hit .210/.290/.350 in April and the A’s would be kicking themselves for not bringing in a backup. Kottaras/Shoppach would be a solid combination to have, and if Shoppach can provide 0.5-1.0 WAR in a backup role until July, he’d have serious value being so cheap. If he doesn’t, he’s one of those veteran guys to have and is available if anything were to happen to Norris/Kottaras. Win-win IMO.

  2. Chioakcisco 3 years ago

    There is no reason at all for Barton to come back. None.

    • Brendan Purcell 3 years ago

      I read somewhere that it’d be a good idea for Boston to acquire him for cheap. The only good idea for the good of baseball would be if Barton retired.

  3. oira79 3 years ago

    Not sure Seth Smith is worth the money.

  4. Brendan Purcell 3 years ago

    a) Anyone know Oakland’s current projected 2013 payroll?

    If you add up Norris, Kottaras, Moss, Carter, Weeks, Rosales, Sogard, Hicks, Donaldson, Crisp, Cespedes, Smith, Young, Reddick, Cowgill, Anderson, Parker, Milone, Griffin, Straily, Neshek, Cook, Balfour, Blackley, Blevins, Doolittle, Norberto, Scribner, Figueroa, you get about $52M.

    b) Do you count every player?

    The A’s had a payroll of $53M in 2012 (a major decrease from 2011), so assuming they get a bump in payroll for 2013 following a very successful season, they can probably stretch the payroll a bit, up to $60M. They’d be able to sign drew 3 years, $20M, and if they didn’t bring back a few $500K players, they could also bring back McCarthy for 1-2-3 years.

    c) Does anyone know how buyouts work? Do they factor into the next year’s payroll? If so, you’d add $1.35M for Drew and $500K for Inge.

    d) I may be wrong, but isn’t Jesse Chavez arbitration eligible this year?

    • Iconoclast17 3 years ago

      A third of the players you mentioned will be at AAA or released—Weeks, Sogard Hicks, Rosales and a few of the relievers so they won’t count against the the major league payroll. I think Smith is gone, too as well as Kottaras.

      • Brendan Purcell 3 years ago

        Okay – gotcha. I had 29 players listed, so let’s assume Drew and McCarthy come back, while Smith goes. 5 of those players will be in AAA or released. That’s 2.5 million plus the 3.3 million from Smith – 5.8 million extra.

        That puts the A’s at $46.2M for 2013. Drew looks like 3 years, $21M right now, while McCarthy looks like 3 years, $24M? That puts the A’s at $61.2M, which is much higher than 2012 but still not very high.

      • Brendan Purcell 3 years ago

        Okay – gotcha. I had 29 players listed, so let’s assume Drew and McCarthy come back, while Smith goes. 5 of those players will be in AAA or released. That’s 2.5 million plus the 3.3 million from Smith – 5.8 million extra.

        That puts the A’s at $46.2M for 2013. Drew looks like 3 years, $21M right now, while McCarthy looks like 3 years, $24M? That puts the A’s at $61.2M, which is much higher than 2012 but still not very high.

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