Oakland A’s: How much will team be able to spend in offseason?
By David Hill
With a lack of revenue in 2020, and uncertainty as to whether or not fans will be able to attend games in 2021, the Oakland A’s may not spend much this offseason.
The Oakland A’s are not a team that splurges in free agency. They tend to make their big moves either in the trade market or in signing international free agents, stocking their farm system and using free agency as a way to add minor pieces. It is a philosophy that has worked over the years, and frankly, one that they do not seem to desire to move on from.
Naturally, their budgetary concerns play a factor in that modus operandi. The A’s are hamstrung by a tight budget, especially as they have not ranked higher than 23rd in the majors in attendance since 2005.
Those budgetary concerns are hitting home even harder this offseason. The A’s have ten players due to hit free agency. The bullpen is going to need to be remade, and they may be forced to revamp the middle of their infield.
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But how much money is going to be available? Every team will be guarding the checkbook this offseason due to a lack of revenue in 2020, and questions as to whether or not fans will be back next year. It has gotten to the point where free spending teams such as the Yankees and Phillies have discussed reining in their own budget.
If teams like that are considering cutting back on salary, what does that mean for the A’s? Even in a normal year, they were highly unlikely to land one of the top free agent options available. Does this mean that they could be looking to shed salary via trade? Or will they essentially sit out free agency, scooping up bargains just before spring training begins and relying on their farm system?
The timing could not be worse for Oakland. Marcus Semien, Tommy La Stella, Mike Fiers, and Liam Hendriks are amongst those impending free agents. Even if the rest of those players are replaced by rookies, the A’s will still have major gaps to fill. With an uncertain future, and questions about their budget for the offseason, a flawed roster could be even more questionable in 2021.
The Oakland A’s were never going to be a major spender in free agency. However, the uncertainty surrounding 2021 all but ensures that this offseason will be quiet.