Hot Stove season began in earnest for the Oakland Athletics on Monday afternoon as the Green and Gold non-tendered Blake Treinen and traded Jurickson Profar in the lead-up to the Winter Meetings.
Two of the Oakland Athletics most disappointing players from 2019 made uneventful departures from the franchise on Monday afternoon, as 2018 all-star Blake Treinen was non-tendered and former top-10 prospect Jurickson Profar was traded to the San Diego Padres for catcher Austin Allen.
It’s not a surprising move for the Athletics, who have famously quick triggers with underperforming players, as Treinen and Profar were last season.
But these moves are good for the A’s, who are decidedly going all-in with the next generation of players.
We have talked about their options at second base, which include top-10 organizational prospects Sheldon Neuse and Jorge Mateo, as well as Franklin Barreto, who still has a lot of potential if he can put things together at the major league level. Profar was not the answer next season, especially not at the price he was going for, as he signed a one-year deal with the Padres after the trade for $5.7 million, good for over $700,000 for every 0.1 WAR he got last season.
Despite only being two years older than any of the three A’s second-base prospects, we have seen what Profar can do at the plate and, more importantly, with the glove. Moving on and finding a middle-infielder for the future could be an important storyline during this upcoming season.
The bigger loss, however, was that of Blake Treinen, who this time a year ago was being talked about as a snub for Reliever of the Year coming off one of the great relief seasons of all-time.
But the life of a relief pitcher is one of peaks and valleys, and Treinen dealt with control and movement issues all year. His season ended early, and the A’s were fine without him during the home stretch. Chris Bassitt and JB Wendelken stepped up in Treinen’s late-season absence and provided a bump to the bullpen. They should re-join the unit that currently consists of Yusmeiro Petit, Liam Hendriks, Joakim Soria, Lou Trivino and recently signed lefty T.J. McFarland, which has the potential once again to be a dominant group.
Shedding the weight of two 2019 disappointments will open up doors for younger, cheaper and higher-ceiling options for the A’s.