Oakland A’s: Here’s what they need to do to be a playoff team again in 2021

The Oakland A’s must sign these players to get back to the MLB playoffs in 2021

The Oakland A’s have a long offseason ahead of them to reflect and add onto their amazing 2020 run. Finishing a respectful 36-24 during the regular season and making it to the ALDS was a step up for the A’s, but now it’s time for the A’s to get serious and go big.

Marcus Semien

Semien has been nothing but great for the A’s to say the least, his defense and timely hitting the past six years has done nothing but help the A’s contend year after year for the AL West title.

Through six seasons with the Athletics, Semien has posted a  .252BA/.322OBP/.420 SLG. The number may not jump out at a person, but Semien has been consistent for the A’s, and that is something they haven’t seen a lot of these past couple of years. Semien has also posted a combined WAR of 20.7 during his tenure in Oakland with an 8.9 WAR in 2019, where he belted 33 Home Runs and 92 RBI. Semien is the first checkbox for the A’s to be contenders again.

Tommy LaStella

Acquired at the deadline from the Los Angeles Angels, LaStella was a great addition for the A’s. He was acquired in a straight trade sending Franklin Barreto to the Angels in exchange for LaStella.

This deal turned out to be a very big steal as Barreto was not playing much for the A’s and in 10 PA he had gone 0 for 10 with seven SO. LaStella had another rising year to start with LAA, batting .273 while belting four HR and driving in 14 in just 28 games.

And when he hopped the train to Oakland, the production only grew. LaStella finished out the 2020 campaign batting an almost career-best .289, with only one HR and 11 RBI. LaStella adds a veteran experience and leadership that the young Athletics players need. LaStella is definitely a guy the A’s should strongly consider bringing back.

The Oakland A’s should get a big bopper

Although the Astros would end up with a gentleman sweep of the A’s, for the 25th lowest payroll in baseball to win the division and make it to the ALDS is a big feat. But most fans were left slamming their fists on the table screaming at Beane to go out and be a player in free agency, to keep getting to the playoffs and losing in the first couple rounds tells them they need to do more, and the more is signing a big fish in free agency, something the Billy Beane A’s have rarely done.

DJ LeMahieu

The first person the A’s should go after is the biggest name on the market (if he hits the market) is DJ LeMahieu, while Chad Pinder came up big in moments for the A’s, LeMahieu would give the A’s the stability they sorely need. La Stella was able to provide a bat and defense but was not as consistent as the Athletics needed. This is where Lemahieu steps in.

LeMahieu has resurrected his career while playing for the Bronx Bombers, while with the Blake Street Bombers (Colorado Rockies) LeMahieu was amazing, both defensively and especially on the offensive side of the ball. But with the Yankees he has put his name into MVP conversation each year of this 2 year $24 million dollar deal. While posting a combined WAR of 8.8 in those 2 years LeMahieu has put himself into a $20-30 million per year contract with whoever signs him, but no doubt the A’s should go hardball and try to get him.

The Oakland A’s should go after starting pitcher

Starting pitching was a downfall for the A’s in the playoffs this year, as they were not able to slow down the Astros. For this team to jump into World series contention they need to add a big arm in free agency.

Jake Arrieta

Arrieta was disappointing to say the least for the Phillies after signing him to a big contract. But there is still more meat on the bone with Arrieta, He still has a live fastball and can attack and hold the line against any lineup, and I think the AL West would be a good fit for Arrieta who wouldn’t have to worry about swinging a bat, and just pitching. With a career Earned Run Average of 3.76, he has shown he can handle himself in the Bigs, and he might just be what the A’s need.

Jon Lester

The shortened season did not play well for many pitchers at all (Besides Trevor Bauer and Gerrit Cole), and it was the same for Lester this year who posted a career-low 5.16 ERA, not the Lester we were used to seeing to say the least. But as many struggled this year I believe it was due to them being thrown off their usual track with the Corona Virus shortened season, Lester has been a dependable and big game pitcher consistently, and the A’s are in need of that AGAIN. Lester has already been with the A’s, and did very well during his short stint in Oakland, posting a 2.35 ERA and a 1.07 WHIP, very respectable. This is the type of pitching the Athletics need, and Lester is the answer.

James Paxton

Paxton has been a big name ever since he stepped onto the mound in Seattle, and the A’s know him well as they have seen him numerous times in the division rivalry. Paxton is coming off an injury where he saw his average Fastball velocity drop to 92.1 from a 95, but Paxton like many pitchers had a down year, which could play into the hands of the Athletics as they could get a good deal instead of paying for the once Cy Young contender (which Billy Beane would love to hear). Paxton would be a great addition to the starting rotation for the A’s.