Ever since the Athletics let manager Bob Melvin pack his bags and go to San Diego, it seemed like a long, dark winter was coming for the franchise and its fans. The captain still had a year left on his contract, but was allowed to sign with the Padres without compensation, as Oakland seemed content to save the roughly $ 4 million he was going to earn. Since then, the questions surrounding the Athletics have largely been exactly how far they will go to narrow the list.
In a recent piece of Ken Rosenthal from The Athletic, he conveys that they are unlikely to bottom out to such an extent that their payroll will drop as low as $ 40 million, a level that even low-budget athletes have not seen in 20 years. While that may sound like good news to A’s fans at first, it doesn’t necessarily mean there will be no sales, as Rosenthal reports that they are still “likely to trade almost every player of value on their roster” but then they could patch the holes in the club “by signing a group of free agents on one-year contracts.”
As for how this would work out, Rosenthal is aiming for the 2014-15 offseason. At the time, athletics was coming off a third consecutive winning season, however it embarked on a massive roster overhaul that included swapping Josh donaldson, Brandon moss other Jeff samardzija for prospects. This led to three consecutive years of living in the basement in the AL West while acquiring Major League Baseball players, such as Ben zobrist, Rich hill, Ryan madson – which would later be exchanged for more prospects. Despite all those sales, payroll didn’t drop significantly in those losing seasons. By Cot’s baseball contracts, was around 80 million dollars between 2014 and 2017.
As for who is expected to move, Rosenthal lists many players who have previously appeared in rumors, such as Matt olson, Matt chapman, Sean Manaea, Chris bassitt other Frankie Montas. It has been speculated that all of that group will be trading chips due to their refereeing increases and reduced team control. However, Rosenthal also says that “its available parts even include receptors Sean Murphy, which is a year away from arbitration, “and then adds that Murphy” will be a hot commodity in a receiver-hungry market. “It’s certainly been noticed, even by MLBTR, that the market for recruiting free agents is really weak this year, and that the best option is 34 years. Yan gomes. Murphy, who just turned 27 and has four years left in control, would certainly be more attractive than any other option on that list. In 182 career games so far, he has hit 28 home runs and reduced .222 / .321 / .431, a 109 wRC +. When combined with his excellent defense, he has produced 5.4 fWARs.
Jason Martinez from Roster Resource it currently pegs the club’s payroll in 2022 at $ 85 million, including arbitration estimates. Shipping all of the aforementioned players would subtract about $ 45 million and drop it around the $ 40 million mark. But then, under this theoretical scenario, the club could reallocate that money toward short-term free-agent deals.
Even if the Athletics decide to implement this plan, it won’t be anytime soon. As Rosenthal points out, most of his potential business partners are concerned about trying to sign free agents before the collective bargaining agreement expires on December 1, which is expected to lead to a transaction freeze shortly thereafter. Despite all that, he reports that the Athletics have been “bombarded with commercial interest in their players” and “are still gathering and organizing information.” That means any selloff, whatever its eventual scope, will likely pile up in the window between the unfreezing of the transaction freeze and the start of the 2022 season.