Why can’t the Oakland A’s get players like this?
By David Hill
The MLB Players for the Month for May were announced on Wednesday. It was a collection of players that had a distinct Oakland A’s Alumni feel on the American League side, where each of those honored had spent time with the franchise. It was also a reminder of what could possibly have been.
On the AL side, Marcus Semien was named the Player of the Month. Liam Hendriks was named as the Reliever of the Month, and Rich Hill was named as the Pitcher of the Month. It was a great month to be a former member of the A’s.
Oakland A’s alumni finding success in May
Semien may have been the most painful of the A’s departures. He had gone off to Toronto (Or Dunedin, or Buffalo – wherever the Blue Jays are) after attempting to find a way to remain in Oakland. He shook off a slow start to the season with a blistering May, posting a .368/.429/.702 batting line in 126 plate appearances, hitting eight homers and 12 doubles while stealing two bases.
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Hendriks was clearly out the door over the past offseason. His success since being named the A’s closer had assured him of an impressive payday, one that the team would not approach. He has continued to be lights out this year, firing 11.2 shutout innings in May as he allowed eight hits and two walks while striking out 19 batters and notching eight saves.
Hill has not been a part of the A’s since 2016, but his presence is still felt as Frankie Montas was part of the return Oakland received in trade. He also shook off a slow start to dominate in May, posting a 3-1 record along with a 0.76 ERA and a 0.837 WHiP over 34.2 innings, striking out 36 batters with 12 walks.
Obviously, the question in the headline is rhetorical. We know why the A’s do not have these player; it all comes down to the almighty dollar. Ownership will not spend the money needed to keep these players, even someone who was such a key part of the locker room and community as Semien. But seeing these players find success elsewhere, especially all in the same month, leaves one to wonder what could have been.
The Oakland A’s were well represented when it came to the AL Players of the Month. The problem was that none of them are in Oakland anymore.