Oakland A’s: Who stays and who leaves in free agency
By David Hill
The Oakland A’s have a lot of decisions to make when it comes to their impending free agents. Let us take a look at which players could stick around.
The Oakland A’s are going to look a lot different come Opening Day in 2021.
As the offseason approaches, the A’s are facing a major overhaul. Ten players are slated to enter free agency, with the A’s potentially needing to replace their middle infield, a large portion of their bullpen, at least one starter, and an outfielder. Meanwhile, they will need to do all of this with a limited budget, especially in the wake of the pandemic.
This will lead to some difficult decisions in free agency. Let us take a look at which players are likely to depart in free agency, and which ones may stick around.
Already out the door
Jake Lamb, Mike Minor, Joakim Soria, T.J. McFarland
Frankly, none of these players should be a surprise. Jake Lamb was brought in due to Matt Chapman’s season ending hip injury, and while he performed well, he is limited to first and third defensively. With Chapman and Matt Olson, Lamb does not have a spot in the lineup.
Mike Minor had been the A’s big trade deadline acquisition, someone who would hopefully solidify the rotation. While he did fire a shutout, and posted solid strikeout to walk rates, he also allowed 13 runs in his other 14.1 innings. Maybe he comes back on a one year make good deal, but he is also not likely to be the ace the A’s need.
T.J. McFarland, while one of the two lefty relievers the Oakland A’s used last year, is essentially replaceable. He may not walk a lot of batters, but he also struck out just nine in his 20.2 innings in 2020 as well. He also allowed five homers in that time. The A’s, even with their limited budget, can find a better left handed option.
Joakim Soria may be the most difficult decision out of these players. He was a solid reliever during his two years in Oakland, and would seemingly be the backup option at closer. In his case, it may be a matter of his age and likely salary demands will ave him signing with another team.