The Oakland A’s have done a lot of work in the international prospect world, but have not really participated in the posting system. That may change this offseason.
Over the years, the Oakland A’s have been a presence in the international prospect community. Although they have a reputation for not spending money, they have added some impressive talent in the form of foreign prospects.
However, despite their willingness to spend on young talent, the A’s have not been much of a factor when it comes to players being posted from Nippon Professional Baseball or the Korean Baseball Organization. They had attempted to sign Hisashi Iwakuma after the 2010 season, but he turned down a four year deal worth $15.25 million to remain in Japan. Iwakuma then came stateside a year later to sign with the Mariners.
Despite their lack of success, or real emphasis on adding players that have been posted, there are several foreign players that the Oakland A’s should consider this offseason. Let us take a look at three of them.
The Oakland A’s have a hole in the outfield and atop their lineup. Haruki Nishikawa could be the answer to both problems.
Nishikawa’s game is predicated by his ability to make contact and his excellent speed. He has led Nippon Professional Baseball in steals three times and won three Gold Gloves. Not only can he play all three outfield positions, but he also has experience at second as well, providing the A’s another player that could shift around the diamond as needed.
He could also solve the A’s problem of having players on base. While they were adept at hitting home runs last season, they were far too reliant on the longball, much to their detriment in the postseason.
Nishikawa could help that problem as well. He posted a lifetime .286/.382/.394 batting line in NPB, with 173 doubles, 51 homers, and 287 steals in his 4671 plate appearances, drawing 591 walks with just 854 strikeouts. Although there are questions as to whether or not he any more than a fourth outfielder in the majors, his profile is worth a look for the A’s.
The Oakland A’s could use a leadoff hitter and an outfielder. Haruki Nishikawa would solve both problems.