Another day of winter meetings has come and gone. As I’m sure you’ve read here over the course of 18 articles, Jeff Samardzija has been traded to the White Sox but we’re not here to talk about Oakland Athletics trades, we’re here to discuss the fate of our large free agent class. First up, your favorite player and mine, Alberto Callaspo.
Callaspo spent two years with the Oakland Athletics and was acquired from the Angels for his plate discipline and a batting average that dipped no lower than .249 in nine major league seasons. 2014 was his only complete season with Oakland and, dare I say, it left something to be desired. Posting the lowest batting average since his 56 game 2007 season and appearing uninterested in performing any defensive duties, Callaspo quickly became a fan favorite for all the wrong reasons.
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There were, of course, some highlights to Callaspo’s 2014 season and that may be why the Atlanta Braves have agreed to a one year, $3 million contract pending the results of his physical. This is a nearly $2 million drop from what Callaspo earned in Oakland last year but a respectable salary for a 31 year old with limited range.
It’s not clear what the Braves’ off season strategy is, seeing as they’ve now acquired two of Oakland’s least desirable free agents (see this update from yesterday) but good on ya, Callaspo for landing in another ballclub.
Next we have Jed Lowrie who, as of this writing, still remains to be signed by a team. The former Athletics shortstop, who had a .269 batting average in two years with the A’s, became the king of doubles in 2013 with 45 doubles on the season. Lowrie has begun to appear in the rumor mill with teams such as the Houston Astros and the San Francisco Giants apparently considering him. The Giants could move Lowrie over to third base, which he has said he’s willing to do, to help fill the massive void left by Pablo Sandoval‘s departure. I’m sure Lowrie will have at least one offer before the end of the week.
The greatest wild card in Athletics free agent placement is Jon Lester who took his sweet sweet time to make a final decision, essentially hijacking the winter meetings. Many teams appeared to be waiting for Lester’s final decision before making offers to other pitchers in the mix. It appears, now, that the Cubs won the final bid with a $168 million contract for seven years. Lester now joins former Athletics pitcher, Jason Hammel in Chicago.
Expect a lot of movement to happen surrounding the players Oakland has lost to free agency. Nobody expected Callaspo to be an early trade on day two but there have been a number of shockers so far in these meetings. This article is a bit bittersweet for me as it will be the final article I’ll write about Callaspo who, you all know, was a personal favorite of mine. Best wishes Alberto.
We’ll see you tomorrow with another round of signings!