Oakland A’s: Time to bite the bullet with Stephen Piscotty
By David Hill
Stephen Piscotty had the perfect opportunity to prove his value to the Oakland A’s this season. With numerous departures due to free agency, he was assured of his starting role in 2021. The hope was that, with a guaranteed starting role, he would return to the form he showed in 2018.
Instead, Piscotty has been a disaster. After posting a career worst 75 OPS+ in 2020, he has not been much better this season. His .220/.282/.353 batting line is worth an OPS+ of 78, barely an improvement on last season. He has five homers and eight doubles in 188 plate appearances, as he just has not produced enough to warrant a spot in the lineup.
Oakland A’s need to walk away from Stephen Piscotty
Piscotty had completely lost his place in the lineup at the trade deadline. With Starling Marte in center, Ramon Laureano had shifted to right, ending the revolving door at the position. However, with Laureano’s PED suspension, Piscotty is getting another chance.
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This should be the last one he gets. As the A’s are looking to build a sustainable contending franchise, they cannot afford to waste a place on the 26 man roster on someone who cannot contribute. That is the case with Piscotty, who is borderline unusable in the lineup despite performing admirably with the glove.
It will not be cheap to walk away from Piscotty. While his salary for 2022, just over $7.5 million with a $1 million buyout of his 2023 option, is relatively inexpensive, that is a lot of money for the A’s. But it is also fair to consider this a sunk cost, as Piscotty has not produced an above average season since 2018.
The A’s will have plenty of question marks in the outfield. Ramon Laureano, when he returns from his suspension, is the only starter who will definitely be back. But that does not mean that the A’s have to keep Piscotty on the roster just to fill an opening when he cannot perform to a reasonable leve.
Stephen Piscotty has continued to be a disappointment for the Oakland A’s. It is time to regard his contract as a sunk cost and walk away.