Oakland A’s: The question in left field
By David Hill
The Oakland A’s have a major question at this point – who will be their Opening Day left fielder?
The Oakland A’s have plenty of holes on the roster, but none carry quite the intrigue as their opening in left field. Robbie Grossman is a free agent, and while he is the type of player that the A’s like, his return is not a given. It would make sense for the A’s to begin to consider options at the position.
In theory, the A’s have some internal options. Chad Pinder could take over as the A’s primary left fielder, but he is also needed at second base currently. He had been part of a platoon with Tony Kemp before the A’s acquired Tommy La Stella at the trade deadline last year. That platoon is likely once again, as the A’s have the same situation at the keystone currently.
There are other potential internal options. It is time for Seth Brown to get his chance in Oakland as he has nothing left to prove in the minors. Brown did show signs that he could be a part of the A’s future during his 83 plate appearance stint in the majors in 2019, but only received five plate appearances last year. Although the A’s may be saying publicly that they expect him to have a larger role in 2021, it is fair to question how realistic that is.
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If Brown is not the answer, then it is possible that they look towards Luis Barrera. He had been a highly touted prospect from the Dominican Republic, but took longer than expected to develop into the type of player they had hoped for. He may not be another powerful bat in the lineup, but he has plenty of speed and has made strides with his ability to put the ball into play.
A return for Grossman is also possible. Free agency is likely to be slower than usual this offseason, and teams could be looking towards finding internal options more than ever before. While this also holds true for the A’s, Grossman is not the type of player that will break their budget. A reunion, even on a one year deal, is possible.
Likewise, it is possible that the A’s can find an upgrade via free agency. A slow moving market could lead to decreased salaries across the board, giving the A’s a chance to find an solid bat at a reduced cost. Even a one year deal would work perfectly in this case.
The Oakland A’s have a question mark in left field going forward. While they have several potential answers, nothing is even close to being set in stone.