Maybe A’s should move on from Trumbo, Plouffe

Aug 29, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; Minnesota Twins designated hitter Trevor Plouffe (24) runs out his single in the sixth inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 29, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; Minnesota Twins designated hitter Trevor Plouffe (24) runs out his single in the sixth inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports /

As you may have heard recently, the A’s have been showing interest in both slugger Mark Trumbo and infielder Trevor Plouffe.

While Mark Trumbo would help fill the team’s need for a right-handed power bat. He would be a good compliment for Khris Davis, who hit 42 home runs last season, perhaps there’s another player out there who might be better suited for the Oakland Athletics and their fans.

The same goes for Trevor Plouffe, who was recently a name mentioned to be in the mix with Oakland. The A’s could certainly use the infield help, especially at second base.

That scenario would work but it could be better.

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The A’s have been adamant about not rushing up the young core of players they see as the future of their organization.

It’s a core that consists of names like Franklin BarretoMatt Olson, Matt Chapman, Frankie Montas, Grant Holmes, Joey Wendle and others who are still just getting their feet wet in the big leagues.

What the Athletics need right now are stop-gap players who could actually help the team win, maybe as many as 80 or more games which is obviously preferable to win totals in the 60’s like the past two seasons.

With that many wins they may even make a run at the second wild card or who knows, magically turn into the 2012 Athletics.

A major issues for the A’s last season was finishing 28th in the majors in on-base percentage  (.304).

While at first Trumbo looks great, he led the league in home runs and drove in a career-high 108, after looking at the fact that his OBP sat at .316, it leaves much to be desired.

Plouffe looks even worse in the on-base percentage department, putting up a measly .303 OBP in his injury-shortened 2016 season. Not only that, it’s been low throughout his career, so injuries were not to blame for his inability to draw a walk.

Even with Rajai Davis, who lead the league in steals last season, as their new leadoff man, the A’s might end up seeing quite a few solo-shots coming off the bats of Trumbo and Khris Davis with Plouffe likely batting between the two and Rajai.

Neither of the A’s players with the last name Davis have very good career OBP numbers.

So why not move on from some of those names?

Oakland Athletics
Oct 19, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays right fielder Jose Bautista (19) hits a single during the sixth inning against the Cleveland Indians in game five of the 2016 ALCS playoff baseball series at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports /

Maybe they are and are keeping it quiet. You never really know with Billy Beane and David Forst at the helm, especially the way they came out of nowhere to offer Edwin Encarnacion a $50 million contract.

Who else is there remaining that could fill the A’s biggest holes: a right-handed power bat and some infield help?

How about Jose Bautista? Sure, he may be 36 years old and on the decline but he still hit upwards of 20 long balls last season, can play at the corner outfield positions (helloooo right field help!), first base and DH.

And despite a slight decline, Bautista is still a right-handed home run threat who’s had a consistently high OBP throughout his 13 seasons in the big leagues.

Many clubs don’t want to lose a draft pick to sign Bautista, who declined the qualifying offer extended to him by the Toronto Blue Jays. and is reportedly looking for around $20 million for a year.

The A’s, with their protected top 10 draft pick and competitive balance round pick, have the luxury of not being concerned with losing a draft pick.

Then, instead of Plouffe, what about former Houston Astros infielder Luis Valbuena? His name has hardly been mentioned this offseason, so obviously he’s still out there looking for a job.

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He’s around the same age as both Plouffe and Trumbo but with bigger upsides that will fit the A’s needs. He can play multiple infield positions and put up a nice .357 OBP in 2016.

There’s also the fact that giving Bautista $20 million for a year and even a raise to Valbuena who made just over $6 million with the Astros last season a raise on a one or two year deal, would be comparable to what they would have to pay to sign Trumbo and Plouffe to similar contracts.

Trumbo and Plouffe made approximately a combined $18 million last season and it isn’t entirely clear what length deals they are currently looking for.

It’s pretty clear that Bautista will want a short-term deal so he can try the free agent waters next year without a draft pick hanging over his head.

Under the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, players can not be offered a qualifying offer in consecutive years.

As for Valbuena, he is still young enough to sign a short-term deal with the A’s and be able to manage to get a decent long-term deal elsewhere by the time he’s playing in his age 32 season.

All four give the A’s the option to not rush their young talent into the big leagues, but which two would help the team get more wins and put more fans in the seats? It would, barring injuries, likely be Bautista and Valbuena.

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