Who were the 30 worst players in Oakland Athletics history?
Although there have been plenty of superstars and major league greats in Oakland Athletics history, there have also been plenty of flops. Between bad trades, bad drafts, and bad free agent deals, the A’s have had their share of players who just didn’t live up to expectations.
The Swingin’ A’s staff took a look at some of the most notoriously bad A’s players throughout the years, narrowing it down to 30 worst in our memories. Every fan has their own personal list of the players they least enjoyed rooting for, so feel free to share your thoughts about who we’ve missed in the comments – or who is on this list that shouldn’t be.
So who were the A’s most frustrating players? In no particular order, let’s get started:
*Editor’s note: Special thanks to Rich Paloma and Samantha Riley, who contributed to this article.
Even though Jim Johnson was only with the Oakland Athletics for one season, his performance – or lack thereof – earns him a spot on this list. After the 2013 season, the A’s decided to spend big on a closer to replace their beloved Grant Balfour, whom they had lost in free agency. Oakland traded for Johnson and ended up agreeing in arbitration to pay him $10 million for the 2014 season. Because of his past results as closer for the Baltimore Orioles, he seemed like a good pickup at the time. But, he went down in flames during the first month of the season.
From the start, Johnson was not dominant. He allowed hits, walked batters, and blew saves. By the end of the first month of the 2014 season, A’s fans were booing Johnson whenever he came out of the pen. Oakland finally decided to revoke Johnson’s closer title in early May ,and Sean Doolittle was later rewarded with this open position. Johnson continued to perform poorly as a reliever throughout the season, and Oakland released him in August.
When he left the Athletics, Johnson had a 7.14 ERA with a 2.06 WHIP. He allowed 60 hits, 32 earned runs, and 23 walks in just 40.1 innings pitched. In his 38 appearances with the Athletics, he only didn’t allow a baserunner four times. Ultimately, he was so bad while with the A’s that he made franchise history by being the second all-time worst in hits allowed per nine innings. Because of his past success, it made sense as to why the Athletics wanted to acquire Johnson. However, he crashed and burned quickly, leaving Oakland with no closer and plenty of disgruntled fans.
Next: The Worst A's Players in History: Billy Beane