Over the years, the Oakland Athletics have done a tremendous job of finding underappreciated gems in free agency. Here are their five best free agent signings.
In recent years, the Oakland Athletics have turned acquiring undervalued assets into an art form. They have been able to find bargains in free agency or in trades, turning those unappreciated players into vital pieces in their success. This was the basis of their Moneyball philosophy – focusing on on base percentage and finding players that would work the count and take a walk instead of trying to outspend teams with their limited budget.
But this is not a recent phenomenon. The A’s have been able to find bargains in free agency throughout the years, with several under the radar moves contributing to their run of success in the 1980s and into the 1990s.
Some of these moves are even still paying off today. Just because a player was traded away or departed in free agency does not mean that they no longer cast a shadow upon the organization. Their effects can be felt, not just today, but into the future.
Let’s take a trip down memory lane and look back at the Oakland Athletics’ best free agency signings.