While multiple reports yesterday raised the possibility of the Athletics trading Josh Donaldson this offseason, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle (Twitter link) spoke with an A’s official who completely dismissed the notion, bluntly stating, “That would be stupid.” Of course, one such comment doesn’t completely rule out the possibility, but it does seem unlikely that the A’s are feeling too much pressure to move their All-Star third baseman, as he’s just hitting arbitration for the first time.
In other Oakland and AL West news…
- Athletics GM Billy Beane doesn’t regret pulling the trigger on the trade that sent Yoenis Cespedes to Boston in exchange for Jon Lester and Jonny Gomes, he told reporters, including Joe Stiglich of CSNBayArea.com. “Simply put, if we don’t have Jon Lester, I don’t think we make the playoffs,” Beane said. First baseman Brandon Moss also spoke, noting that he doesn’t think there was any way for the A’s to catch the Angels based on their torrid second-half run.
- The A’s could potentially have a strong pitching staff fronted by Sonny Gray, Jeff Samardzija and Scott Kazmir in 2015, writes John Hickey of the Bay Area News Group, but they’re left with question marks surrounding that strength. The team has no middle infield to speak of, and the free agent market doesn’t offer much in the way of impact options. Meanwhile, a large portion of the roster — including Jarrod Parker, A.J. Griffin, Brandon Moss, Stephen Vogt, John Jaso, Derek Norris, Craig Gentry and Sean Doolittle — is marred by injury concerns. Building a team that can contend in 2015 is a long shot, in Hickey’s estimation.
- Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News has some more details on Michael Young’s upcoming role in the Rangers’ front office. Young and the Rangers are finalizing a deal that will make him a special assistant to GM Jon Daniels — a role that the Rangers are also discussing with Darren Oliver. However, while many former players that land special assistant roles are loosely affiliated with the club and have a light workload, Grant reports that these roles would be far more significant. The Rangers feel they’ve lacked insight into the psychology of modern players when making recent decisions, and the presence of Young and Oliver could help to provide that insight. The roles will also involve field work and player evaluation at times.
- Rangers lefty Matt Harrison has pushed back the beginning of his offseason throwing sessions from November to January, reports Calvin Watkins of ESPNDallas.com. Harrison called the move precautionary, noting somewhat ominously, “I got only one shot at this. I just have to make sure it’s right.” The talented southpaw, who is entering the third year of a five-year, $55MM extension, is attempting to work his way back from his third back surgery in a span of two years.
- Perhaps the Mariners’ biggest weakness was the lack of a productive DH this season, writes Larry Stone of the Seattle Times. That flaw, he opines, should be remedied with a hard pursuit of Victor Martinez. Though he’s 36, will cost a draft pick and is sure to be expensive, Stone points out that the time for exhibiting patience is waning, as Felix Hernandez and especially Robinson Cano move closer to the end of their primes. He also points out that Martinez “reveres” manager Lloyd McClendon, who was his hitting coach with the Tigers prior to becoming Seattle’s manager.
It’s going to take some combination of big payroll increase and strong dissatisfaction for his other options to get VMart to Seattle. Detroit is going to want to stretch their payroll to retain him. If they continue to get romped by the Orioles, he might want a change in scenery but Seattle should still be considered a longshot for his services. The team needs to commit to winning. Cano was a flashy move, but it didn’t make them a playoff team.
We’re talking missing the Playoff by 1 game. By this logic, the Yankees aren’t a Playoff team either, so let’s not have anyone go there next Offseason.
This is a good ballclub. There is history between Lloyd and V-Mart. Seattle isn’t the team anymore to not put in your Top 5 destinations for him or other Players.
Why would they be a top 5 destination?
Sure I’m a biased fan,but I still see the A’s contending in ’15. Just need to make some smart moves in the offseason.
Yeah, Billy Beane just needs to find some decent offensive weapons (hopefully for them it is a second baseman) and they will still pose a threat.
I agree, especially with Parker and Griffin coming back at some point. (obviously there’s always the chance they don’t return but I think it’s likely they’re back by the middle of the first half.) The only thing I’m worried about is whether or not they have it in em to compete.. They just looked so burnt out at the end of this year. The A’s were lacking that fire they’ve had in previous years.
Honestly, I want Sogard to get the opportunity to hold down second base next year again, he’s a scrappy player and improved in the second half.
Hickey says the A’s don’t take risk in his article. Yes they do Cespedes was a big risk. Lester trade was a risk. Beane will make a trade for middle infield help unless they can sign that cuban 2b.
Seattle made a serious splash pulling Cano from NY last offseason. Now with a year + of ROOT Sports Network revenue added to their upcoming payroll in the (add’l $120m/yr), I can see Seattle upping payroll in the $140-150m range “if” they wanted to.
“If” Seattle has a chance at Vmart you can bet they will go after him, and will probably go out 4 years to get him to sign too. I also can see Seattle showing Cuban Tomas the 7yr $105m money for that power RHB in RF, along with signing one of the top 3 TOR SPs.
Seattle also paid off their Stadium last year. They also had the highest % increase in fan attendance in 2014 and that was just on a 87 Win season. The fan base is there waiting for them, and the M’s Brass know it.
I’d like a new Closer to be honest. I don’t think Rodney has it in him to be that lucky again. Gave up so many Hits and Walks for that position.
His WHIP cost me my Fantasy season.
Pitching in Seattle does wonders for guys not giving up the long ball. Any pitcher who’s moderately successful at getting ground balls, flyballs or strike outs will do fine in Seattle. Rodney is fine as is their pitching staff, getting quality bats behind Cano should be their only concern. Especially one that doesn’t rely on home runs for their offense.
As much as it pains me to say, Melky Cabrera looks pretty good in a Mariners outfit next season.
Just say no to Melky. PEDs history. Can’t trust that. Did he have an adderall exemption last year?
I agree they could go that high in payroll if they wanted too but I dont think they are that bought in yet this is the time. They probably have a 120 mil cap for next year. Trade for Gattis and sign Tomas and whatever cash they have left spend on a starting pitcher. Trading Rodney for propects could be a nice way clear some money if needed also with the young arms in the bp.
Why Gattis? Seattle doesn’t need a catcher and Gattis isn’t very good in left
DH and maybe backup catcher. If he just had focus on hitting and play almost everyday he could be a big rh bat in the al I believe. He is still cheap and controlled for 4 more years and is entering his prime.
The M’s have Sucre as a solid backup until Hicks is ready. Hicks can hit and is pretty nice behind the dish. The M’s don’t need Gattis.
I have a hunch Lester is going to sign in Seattle from his hometown. Seattle’s priority is 2 offensive bats, and I think they will be the most aggressive on that front, but don’t count them out on Lester despite already having a solid rotation. They got the money and funds to blow this offseason wide open with ROOT Sports Network revenue and cash!
Felix, Iwakuma, Walker, Paxton and Lester? Do we move out Chris Young?
Young was signed on a one year deal. He’s a FA. He should go to SD.
Michael Brantley was the hometown boy last off-season. That would have been sweet. Bellevue, Washington.
Better than Lincecum, Sizemore & Ellsbury.
Not to mention his dad played for the M’s back in the 80s.
Seattle MUST have a bat in clean up. Morales & Hart were a bust.
On my shopping list…
Trades… JD Martinez. Starling Marte. Chris Carter. Todd Frazier. Ryan Zimmerman. Mark Trumbo.
I know some are third baseman but could move to 1B/DH.
Expensive Trades… Giancarlo Stanton. Matt Kemp.
Free Agents… Victor Martinez. Pablo Sandoval. Nelson Cruz.
Free Agency is the spot we need to look at. I’d say no for trades. Keep in mind, Lo-Mo is doing great at 1B and we have a 1B/3B prospect on his way up by the name of DJ Peterson. The most logical spots to fill are OF and DH. Maybe SS and C if we don’t think Taylor/Ryan can keep up the hitting and Zunino could use a viable backup.
As someone said earlier, Yasmany Tomas and V-Mart. Those should be our 2 bats.
I’m not on board for Lester to be honest. He’d be a great Pitcher to have, but we should focus our large payroll on Offense. I like the idea of Felix, Iwakuma, Paxton, Walker and Chris Young still. I’m more game for bulking up our Bullpen if we can’t afford to keep them. Maybe trade Rodney and hope teams look at his Saves and not his overall performance.
I hope DJ Peterson destroys AAA and forces his way into the team.
Lomo was great and should improve.
Seager is a good 5 hole hitter.
Jesus Montero? Who knows…Doesnt seem to have it in him.
We still need the big bad right handed slugger at clean up. (Peterson 2016?)
I would like to try Mark Trumbo. He should be pretty cheap. 1B/LF option. Had an injury filled year but legit pop.
Our starting 5 should be ok. I hope young Danny Hultzen can come back 100%.
We must utilise any trades that we do make.
Smoak has lost all but any value he had.
The question again, is Ackley for real? Saunders? Austin Jackson? The outfield is a big question mark. Hope Gabby Guerrero is for real.
Peterson probably won’t force his way onto the team this year. I’d wait till September or 2016 for him, unless of course we have injuries and he’s tearing it up. We don’t really need to rush him if Logan is healthy.
LoMo was not great at 1B this year. He was good for the last month of the season and horrible the rest of the time.
That’s some shopping list. What’s in your wallet?
It’d be such a steal if we could sign Uehara away from the Red Sox. Give Rodney the boot and get some value out of him.
I’d much rather have the M’s go after someone like Sandoval who can play 3 different positions (including DH as a position) and it allows Seager/Morrison to DH more often and that will really up the DH production.
I understand VMart, I just don’t like having guys that really are just strictly DHs and rather have guys that can play a multitude of positions. Having that flexibility helps in case someone gets injured.
I would rather get an outfielder for that role than a third baseman if I was the Mariners. Their third baseman made the All-Star team
That’s why you have Sandoval mainly DH and spell Seager from time-to-time. LoMo can be a very reserve OF and we have depth there with Jones, Romero, and Chavez, who I wouldn’t be surprised if we resigned him for some reason. OF isn’t as much of a concern once we get Saunders into a non-glass body.
Sandoval’s a legitimate gold glove candidate this year, why would whoever signs him DH him most of the time?
Because the Mariners can really benefit off of the versatility. You can have Seager play 162 games and only bat in a fourth of them. Have Sandoval do the same thing and LoMo the same as well. That leaves 40ish games for someone like Cano or Zunino or Saunders to DH.
It’s just a thought though.
I definitely see your point, but I feel like a team in more desperate need of a solid third baseman, like the Red Sox or Giants, would outbid them. Also have read that the Marlins and Blue Jays are interested.
Could happen. I just think someone like Sandoval would be a great move for us. Probably won’t happy, but that’s just someone I want.
This coming from a Braves fan… It’s pretty obvious that Christian Bethancourt is going to be our catcher so a Gattis trade to Seattle makes a whole lot of sense. Would provide the M’s with a big time RH power bat to protect Cano. Gattis could serve as their everyday DH while also serving as a 2nd/3rd catcher and emergency OF’er.
What would a Gattis trade look like though? The Mariners can’t really lose their top couple pieces in case we need to make a deadline deal of some kind and big deals haven’t really worked out in the M’s favor. I’m just leary of trading a huge package for a RH bat when they haven’t done well in Safeco.
Honestly I think if they would be willing to take B.J Upton and most of his salary with Gattis it wouldn’t take much.
IDK if Seattle takes Upton though. There’s no where he could play.
That would be one way to get Gattis without giving up much in form of prospects.
Still though, what would you be thinking the Braves ask for it that situation? Blue-chippers? Fringe top 10 guys?
Here is three possible packages that I imagine would be close. One with B.J Upton and two without…
1. Evan Gattis / B.J Upton for Patrick Kivleham / James Jones / Carson Smith
2. Evan Gattis / Tyler Pastornicky for Edwin Diaz / Danny Hultzen / Gabriel Guerrero
3. Evan Gattis / Chris Johnson / J.R Graham for Kyle Seager / Danny Hultzen
The M’s have quite a few very good 3B prospects which could make Seager available and with Johnson coming over would allow them to be patient with Peterson and Kivleham, then when they are ready can uses Johnson as their everyday 1B or a 1B/3B backup.
Seager isn’t getting traded. That would defeat the purpose of trading for Gattis. Plus, he has more WAR each of the past 3 seasons as Gattis has his entire career.
Second offer is enticing honestly. I don’t think the Mariners trade Carson Smith and while I think Hultzen isn’t getting traded either, it’s an enticing offer.
My point about Seager is this.. You have the third best 3B prospect in all of baseball (who hits RH with tons of pop) in D.J Peterson. Peterson should be ready for the Majors in 2016, and when he is ready he will most likely be the everyday 3B. With that being said, you (The M’s) will have to decide who you’d rather have at the hot corner, Seager or Peterson, and I would have a hard time imagining they would pick Seager over Peterson. However, if they feel Seager is the better option (he is proven) then a deal like Gattis for Peterson/Diaz could work for both.
Not many M’s fans think they will move Seager. If he doesn’t sign an extension this year, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him shopped. Seager would bring back a lot more than Gattis. Chris Johnson could leave baseball for all I’m concerned.
With the high demand for power bats in MLB, I can promise you that it will take a lot to get Gattis or any other 30-40 potential bat.
I think the M’s plan that Peterson will be a 1B that can move to 3B if needed while we have Seager. That’s just me though.
The Braves could also decide to move Justin Upton or Jason Heyward too
Smith, Guerrero, Hultzen and Seager aren’t going anywhere. While Gattis intrigues me Upton, Pastornicky and Johnson surely don’t.
I agree with the Braves having Bethancourt that Gattis could match up well with the M’s in a trade. Maybe Ackley to play 2b in a trade? or if want good young pitching prospect like Victor Sanchez and a very good bp arm like Medina or Leone.
Its ironic that Michael Young would end up working closely with JD after the way he felt he was mistreated before being traded. I don’t imagine though that the Rangers would ever make such a deal for a more head case guy like Ian Kinsler after he retires.
Angels went 34-21 from Aug 1. 7-3 against the A’s, 27-18 against everyone else (600 ball). That’s not an unbeatable run
A’s went 22-33 (400 ball), 19-26 against everyone else.
On July 31 the A’s were up by 2 games. If they played 550 ball (30-25) and held their own against the Angels (who then would have went 32-23) they would have tied for 1st place and by virtue of having a better record in H2H they would have won the division.
So I say nonsense to Moss on the idea that the A’s could not have won the division.
As for Lester being the difference maker for the A’s getting into the playoffs, it should be noted they went 7-4 in games he pitched. However, 3 of those games the A’s scored 8 or more runs and could have won with anyone. The claim that Cespedes could not have helped them do better than the 4 wins Lester contributed in closer games, given the fact the A’s lost 12 one run games in the last 2 months, is a dubious one.
100% agree. Been saying this all along. I’m not saying the A’s would have won the division if they still had Cespedes but I also couldn’t expect this bad of a collapse. When you remove your cleanup hitter and one of your top HR guys and don’t replace them with anyont significant (a plattoon of Gomes & Fuld), expect a decrease in production.
As you said, 12 games lost by 1 run. Pretty sure a Cespedes AB can change an outcome of a couple of those. Perhaps even some of the other games they lost by only 2 runs as well.
the A’s were losing because of all the injuries they had and bad defense. That being said Lester purpose was to get them through the playoffs but he failed to produce in the 1 game. Beane will need to go outside the box in signing foreign players with the weak FA pool this year. 2b, ss, 1b are the A’s biggest needs. The starting pitching is good and knowing Beane he will sign a veteran in case of emergency.
Not to mention Kazmir’s regression from August on and Gray’s poor August
A’s ranked 8th in UZR and 10th in fielding percentage. I don’t know their splits for each half but that doesn’t seem bad to me
Maybe you ignored their rankings in the 2nd half in offense such as 26th in BA, 18th in OBP, 26th in Slugging and 23rd in wRC+.
Anytime you remove your cleanup hitter and one of your top HR/RBI guys and don’t replace him with anyone significant, your offense is going to drop.
A sequel of Moneyball with Paul Giamatti recast as Billy Beane needs to be filmed.
“Simply put, if we don’t have Jon Lester, I don’t think we make the playoffs”
You didn’t make the playoffs, sorry to say. The wild card showdown is not the playoffs. It’s like a tie for a playoff spot that has to be decided. It’s not making the playoffs in and of itself.