Oakland Athletics Looking Closely At Free Agent Relief Market

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One area that Oakland Athletics are concentrating on this offseason is their bullpen. After a dismal showing in 2015, it is time to give the relief staff a facelift. The A’s have already started the rebuild by adding right handed Australian reliever Liam Hendriks to the pen through a trade with the Toronto Blue Jays. But, more changes will still need to be made if Oakland wants their bullpen to be successful in 2016. 

It has been reported by numerous sources that the Athletics are going to be active in the free agent market this offseason, which makes sense since it is unlikely they will want to trade away any of their top prospects. The only realistic trade pieces they have left are either Danny Valencia or Brett Lawrie. Thus, Oakland is almost forced to look toward the free agent market in order to add some quality relievers to the bullpen.

A few weeks back, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reported that the A’s were interested in top free agent relief pitcher Darren O’Day. Even if Oakland is still interested in him, the likelihood of them actually signing this reliever is low since the A’s are up against some pretty stiff competition including big market teams like the Boston Red Sox, Detroit Tigers, and Chicago Cubs. That being said, the Athletics will probably go for someone a little less desired by so many other teams.

The A’s have stated that money is not currently an issue as they rebuild this offseason. So, it would not be surprising if the Athletics started to become linked to some quality, and most likely expensive, free agent relievers. Perhaps the A’s could snag Joakim Soria, Ryan Madson, or Trevor Cahill. After being linked to O’Day, no name is too big for the A’s target list.

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With Winter Meetings starting next week, it is likely that Oakland will be very active. Whether it be trying to trade Lawrie or Valencia, or talking to the agents of various relief pitchers, a lot is expected to happen between December 6 and December 10. Fans will probably begin to see the 2016 team take shape during this time and hopefully it will only create positive feelings about the Oakland Athletics’ chances next year.

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