Oakland A’s: Here comes the teardown
By David Hill
The Oakland A’s were at a crossroads heading into this offseason. They have ten players set to hit free agency, another 11 players eligible for arbitration, and numerous holes on the roster. Meanwhile, there are questions as to exactly how much money the A’s have to spend, as ownership has not exactly given any indication that they are ever willing to expend the resources to keep the team together.
Thursday may have provided the answer. Longtime manager Bob Melvin, who seemingly had a job in Oakland for the rest of his baseball career, was allowed to head to the Padres to serve in the same capacity. To make matters worse, the A’s did not receive any compensation for his departure.
Oakland A’s signaling offseason plans
It was well known that the A’s were not going to be spending at the top of the free agent market. The idea that they would bring Starling Marte back is a pipe dream at best, as he is easily going to surpass their meager budget. If any A’s free agent is to return, it would likely be Yusmeiro Petit.
But those free agents are not likely to be the only departures. The likes of Sean Manaea, Chris Bassitt, and Matt Olson will be receiving substantial salary increases in arbitration. As the A’s had been projected to spend approximately $58 million on arbitration eligible players, it is likely that several of those players will be on the block.
That does not include the two players currently under contract for 2022. The A’s would likely love to move on from Stephen Piscotty and Elvis Andrus, but finding another team that would take on their contracts would likely mean having to take on a bad contract in return.
Nonetheless, the signs are clear. From the moment Billy Beane began talking about payroll as a major factor in how this club would be constructed, the probability of a teardown was in place. By allowing Melvin to head to the Padres without getting anything in return, that has become a near certainty.
The Oakland A’s have signaled their intentions for this offseason. It is almost a certainty that the rebuilding process will begin shortly.