With the World Series finally over, expect the MLB Hot Stove to quickly heat up. The Oakland A’s, who are expected to have a little more financial flexibility this offseason, could make some noise this winter by adding a bat or two. The A’s will have at least $20 million to play with this winter, and have plenty of minor league talent to put together a package deal for a proven slugger. While it’s a stretch to say that the A’s will have a chance to sign multi-talented OF Carl Crawford, baseball is a funny thing, so anything can happen. Just don’t count on Crawford joining the A’s anytime soon. One thing is for certain, however, and that’s that the A’s are in dire need of power in their lineup.
As reported by Jane Lee of MLB.com, the A’s recently learned that OF Travis Buck and RP Brad Zielger have been named as “Super Two’s.” Essentially, this means that both Buck and Ziegler are now qualified for salary arbitration this offseason. The status of “Super Two” will likely mean a big jump in salary for both players, but the A’s will probably non-tender Buck for sure now after hearing this news. Buck, who was a big part of an A’s team back in 2008, simply has not been able to stay healthy in his career. The A’s and Buck are likely to go their separate ways this offseason, after Buck hit just .167/.255/.286 with a homer and two RBIs in just 14 games this year.
Ziegler, however, will likely see a considerable jump in pay this winter. Ziegler made $410,000 this season, but given his “Super Two” status, he’ll probably be rewarded with a higher salary. In 64 appearances this season for Oakland, Ziegler logged 60.2 innings of work while maintaining a 3.26 ERA. Ziegler is a big part of the A’s strong bullpen, so it’s expected that the A’s will keep Ziegler around for next season. Just don’t expect Buck to be back. (More after the jump…)
In other news, the A’s announced that Ron Romanick has been promoted to the A’s pitching coach. The A’s were shocked to see long-time pitching coach, Curt Young, leave and accept a role with the Boston Red Sox. Young had played such a key role within the organization, and some of his students included Tim Hudson, Mark Mulder, Barry Zito, Dan Haren, Rich Harden, and of course this season’s AL ERA leading rotation. Before the promotion, Romanick was the A’s bullpen coach.
The A’s also announced the signings of two players, which you can read about by clicking here.