Offseason Tracker and Analysis: Oakland Athletics

The A’s may have a very small budget, yet they’ve won over 90 games in back-to-back seasons, albeit only to lose in the wildcard game. Expect this to be a typical offseason for Billy Beane, who’ll look to add some cheap impact players to round out a roster that should be good enough to compete for the playoffs.

Expected Direction: The Same Offseason As a Typical Contending A’s Team

A’s Trade INF Jurickson Profar To Padres

profar
Photo Cred: The Mercury News

Full Trade: A’s Trade INF Jurickson Profar To Padres In Exchange For C Austin Allen and PTBNL

Grade: 9/10

Rather than tendering him a contract after a disappointing season, the A’s have opted to trade infielder Jurickson Profar to the Padres, acquiring minor-league catcher Austin Allen and a player to be named later. $5.7 million wasn’t an extraordinary amount for Profar, who has a prime bounce-back candidate. However, for the small-budget A’s, it’s reasonable that they decided to not take that risk, especially since they received a strong return. Allen, 25, had just a 39 weighted-runs-created plus (wrc+) in 71 plate appearances in the MLB, but in the minor leagues, he’s been a well-above-average offensive producer, particularly with his power. Now, Oakland has their catching tandem set up for the future with young catcher Sean Murphy and Allen, and also shed some salary in the process- this is a trade that makes so much sense for them.

A’s Sign RP Jake Diekman

diekman
Photo Cred: NBC Sports

Contract Details: Two Years, $7.5 Million

Grade: 8.5/10

Adding relief pitcher depth was a need for the A’s, especially after non-tendering Blake Treinen. Well, they’ve come closer to accomplishing that objective- they signed left-handed reliever Jake Diekman to a two-year contract worth $7.5 million. It’s hard to find a more consistent reliever than Diekman- he’s posted xFIPs of 4.14 and 4.13 in the past two respective seasons. Walks (5.66 BB/9) are an issue for him, but on the contrary, his high strikeout rate and ground ball rate help make up for that flaw. Plus, he’s strong versus both righties and lefties, which is critical since pitchers now have to pitch to at least three batters- lefty specialists no longer have a place in this game, making lefties who can get hitters from both sides out much more valuable. Diekman’s mostly an average reliever, but he’s as consistent as a reliever can be, and provides solid value with a $3.5 average annual value- it’s a nice under-the-radar signing for the low-budget A’s.

A’s Acquire UTIL Tony Kemp

kemp
Photo Cred: Athletics Nation

Full Trade: A’s Acquire UTIL Tony Kemp From Cubs In Exchange For INF Alfonso Rivas

Grade: 7/10

Earlier in the offseason, the A’s were reportingly on the lookout for some left-handed depth. Perhaps they’ve found the answer to that solution, as they’ve acquired utility player Tony Kemp from the Cubs in exchange for first base prospect Alfonso Rivas. Kemp, 28, hasn’t lived up to his potential as a former top prospect, as he has just a 0.5 WAR over his short career. Due to his inability to hit the ball hard, he’s generally a well-below average offensive producer, but he still holds value- he plays the infield and outfield at a solid level. Oakland definitely shouldn’t look at him as their starting second baseman, but in a reserve role, you could do a lot worse. He does feel a little redundant with young players like Jorge Mateo and Chad Pinder capable of being decent utility players, however.

*Will Be Updated With Every Move The Athletics Make

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