We’ve seen quite a bit of news on the Athletics since their season ended with Wednesday’s wild-card loss to the Rays. Here’s even more on the A’s, courtesy of Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle (links here):
- It’s “likely” the Athletics will non-tender or trade right-handed reliever Blake Treinen, according to Slusser, who also names second baseman Jurickson Profar as someone who’s in danger of winding up on the outs. Just a year ago at this time, Treinen was coming off perhaps one of the greatest seasons a reliever has ever posted. It would have unthinkable then that the A’s would be considering cutting the cord on him 12 months later, but it’s now understandable in light of his rough 2019. Injuries limited Treinen to 58 2/3 innings, and his numbers declined across the board when he was able to take the mound. Treinen recorded a 4.91 ERA/5.14 FIP with 9.05 K/9 and 5.68 BB/9 before his season ended in mid-September because of a stress reaction in his back. Although Treinen lost his job as the A’s closer this year, the saves he has amassed will help him in the arbitration process, where he’d be in line to collect a raise over the $6.4MM he earned in 2019. But the low-budget A’s could simply choose to walk away from the 31-year-old after his nightmarish campaign.
- Profar, like Treinen, entered the season as a player the A’s were counting on to successfully fill a big role. After acquiring the switch-hitter from the Rangers last winter, Oakland gave Profar ample opportunity to build on a career-best 2018 this season. Instead, Profar stumbled to an uninspiring .218/.301/.410 batting line in 518 plate appearances and earned negative grades at the keystone (minus-10 DRS, minus-1 UZR). The 26-year-old, who made $3.6MM in ’19, has one more season of arbitration eligibility remaining.
- The Athletics may have too many starters lined up for 2020 to justify re-signing pending free-agent left-hander Brett Anderson. The same likely goes for fellow soon-to-be FA starters Homer Bailey and Tanner Roark, Slusser suggests. The A’s acquired both righties over the summer, and the team ended up receiving surprisingly decent production from Bailey after years of struggles with multiple franchises. The 33-year-old Bailey, who told Slusser he “really enjoyed” his stint as an Athletic, pitched to a 4.30 ERA with 8.3 K/9 and 1.8 BB/9 across 73 1/3 innings in their uniform. Roark managed similar numbers in his 55 frames as a member of the club, with which he notched a 4.58 ERA and put up 8.2 K/9 and 2.1 BB/9.
- Lefty reliever Jake Diekman, yet another in-season trade pickup, could also depart in the next several weeks. However, the A’s at least figure to discuss retaining him, Slusser relays. He has a $5.75MM mutual option (or a $500K buyout) for next season. Diekman struggled mightily with his control as an Athletic this year, though, as he issued 16 walks, allowed 16 hits and yielded 10 earned runs in a 20 1/3-inning sample.
- This was a stunningly poor season for designated hitter Khris Davis, whom the team signed to a two-year, $33.5MM extension in April. At that point, Davis was coming off three consecutive 40-home run seasons and a remarkable four straight in which he batted .247. Both streaks came to an end this year, in which Davis hit .220/.293/.387 with 23 HRs in 533 trips to the plate as he dealt with injuries. But Davis “wasn’t injured at the end of the year,” said manager Bob Melvin, who expects a bounce-back performance from the slugger in 2020. Executive vice president Billy Beane shares Melvin’s optimism, saying he looks for a return to Davis’ “annual 40 homers, .247” next year.