The Oakland A’s are not going to be outspending anyone in free agency. Chances are, any other players that they bring in will be on minor league deals or low cost contracts as they look for an under the radar player to fill out their roster. One such player that could have been had for that type of deal was Hanser Alberto.
Alberto was the type of player that the A’s needed on their roster. He had established himself as a regular in the Orioles lineup over the past two seasons, posting a combined .299/.322/.413 batting line with 15 homers and 36 doubles over his 781 plate appearances.
Hanser Alberto was a solid fit for the Oakland A’s
He also has the type of defensive flexibility that the A’s covet. Although Alberto has typically appeared at second, he has experience at short and third. Not only could Oakland use a more proven backup at third base, but they also need a shortstop and second baseman.
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Even with the A’s general refusal to spend money this offseason, Alberto would have fit within their budget. He signed a minor league contract with the Royals that guaranteed $1.65 million should he make the major league roster, with another $350,000 in incentives. That is not outside of the realm of possibility.
While Alberto would not be an exciting addition, he would have filled a void. It would have been possible that he could compete for a starting role at second, providing a bit of pop and solid defense at the position. If nothing else, he would have been a solid bench piece, another versatile player that could be plugged into the lineup as need be.
Instead, the A’s let an opportunity slip away. Alberto was there for the taking, with a very reasonable guarantee getting his signature on the dotted line. If the A’s are truly that devoid of money where they could not make that type of an offer, they are in serious trouble.
Hanser Alberto was a perfect fit for the Oakland A’s. Instead, they allowed him to slip away.