Tommy La Stella seemed like nothing more than a rental for the Oakland A’s. However, he could be a long term option if the A’s get their way.
The Oakland A’s knew they needed to do something at second base. The duo of Chad Pinder and Tony Kemp just were not providing enough with the bat to be viable starters. When the A’s acquired Tommy La Stella for Franklin Barreto, the only real surprise was that Barreto still had enough value to land a viable upgrade.
While La Stella was considered to be a rental, that may not be the case. The A’s are reportedly looking to keep him in the fold beyond this season.
La Stella does fit the mold of what the A’s like. He can play at either second or third, the latter being important given the uncertainty of Matt Chapman‘s hip. While he is expected to be ready for spring training, it still makes sense to have another option on hand just in case.
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He is also a solid, professional hitter who can grind out at bats. La Stella showed that during his time in Oakland, producing a .289/.369/.423 batting line with six doubles, two triples, and a homer. He drew 12 walks with only five strikeouts in his 111 plate appearances, a tough out in the A’s lineup.
His batting eye and contact skills will make him a valued part of any lineup. Add in his ability to play multiple positions, including first base in a pinch, and it is easy to see why virtually every team would be looking to add La Stella to their roster.
That may also push La Stella outside the A’s price range. While their core will remain intact for a few more years, the A’s will need to find a shortstop and several pieces in the bullpen. Sean Manaea and Chris Bassitt are going to get raises in arbitration, while Matt Olson and Chapman are a year away. The A’s budgetary concerns could keep this from happening.
Tommy La Stella would be a perfect fit for the Oakland A’s. But they are going to have a lot of competition to sign him, and may not be able to afford his end price.