Oakland A’s: Who stays and who leaves in free agency
By David Hill
The Oakland A’s may want to keep these players, but they are likely to be outside of their budget
Liam Hendriks has been one of the great surprises in baseball over the past two seasons. He had gone from being an anonymous middle reliever to being a dominant closer for the Oakland A’s, a pitcher who could arguably be called the best reliever in the American League. Hendriks even managed to top his breakout 2019 campaign, improving both his ERA and WHiP this season.
With Joakim Soria also likely to depart in free agency, the A’s do not have a fallback option at closer should Hendriks depart. The problem is that he will also attract a great deal of attention in free agency, especially given the state of relief pitching around the game. The A’s may want Hendriks back, but he is likely to receive a contract that will be beyond their comfort level.
Tommy La Stella
Tommy La Stella is really the type of player that the Oakland A’s love. He draws walks, makes solid contact, and can play multiple positions on the diamond. The A’s front office has gone out of their way to state that they would like to bring him back, mentioning La Stella as one of their priorities in free agency.
The problem is that, while La Stella checks every box as to what the A’s want on the diamond, he does the same for other teams that need help at second or third base. He may end up being one of the hotter free agents on the market, especially given how many other teams would be interested in adding the on base machine to their roster. As great of a fit as he may be, the A’s may not be able to afford to bring him back.