The Oakland A’s had been upfront about which players they had hoped to bring back. Both Marcus Semien and Tommy La Stella were atop their wish list, as the front office repetitively sang their praises. If the A’s were to spend on anyone this offseason, it was likely to be those two players.
That plan went completely out the window within 24 hours. Semien signed a one year deal worth $18 million with the Blue Jays on Tuesday evening. Then, on Wednesday, La Stella followed suit, signing a three year deal with the San Francisco Giants.
Tommy La Stella’s departure not unexpected
Despite the A’s professed desire to keep La Stella in the fold, his departure was not unexpected. His defensive versatility, coupled with his excellent contact skills and strong batting eye, made him an attractive option in free agency.
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That was evident last season. In his 228 plate appearances split between the A’s and Angels, La Stella posted an excellent .281/.370/.449 batting line, hitting five homers and 14 doubles. His strong eye was as impressive as ever, as he drew 27 walks while striking out just 12 times as he provided the A’s with a piece they were sorely missing in the lineup.
Oakland’s front office certainly realized the value he had to the lineup. La Stella had been considered a priority for the team to bring back, a key piece in their hopes for the upcoming season. Instead, their inability to spend anything this offseason has struck again, as he is heading across the bay.
La Stella’s departure leaves a large gap in the A’s lineup. They now have to replace both middle infielders while trying to remain on a budget. Chad Pinder and Vimael Machin are currently atop the depth chart ar second and short respectively, but neither seems to be the right fit for a starting role.
Tommy La Stella is leaving the Oakland A’s as he signed a three year deal in San Francisco. The exodus continues.