As we prepare ourselves for the looming lockout within the next week, we have to find some distraction from all of it. Our only care is how the A’s are going to sure up an imploded bullpen and closer spot in the wake of a major yard sale in Oakland.
Step into a world where we don’t have to worry about a CBA and work stoppages. Let’s take a look at 31-year-old lefty Brad Hand as a potential veteran to serve in the A’s closer spot for 2022.
The A’s need another closer
When you look at the current roster, the closer isn’t necessarily the most striking position of the depth chart. Lou Trivino, named AL Reliever of the Month in June 2021, definitely took a beating down the stretch and was replaced by a clutch Andrew Chafin.
With Chafin now a free agent, there’s clearly room for another closer, especially with Trivino’s performance and uncertainty with his availability. Even without the threat of Trivino’s exit, Hand can help sure up a faltering bullpen.
Hand was an All-Star as recently as 2019, when he posted a 1.1 WAR for Cleveland that year. In 2020, while it was a shortened season, Hand still posted a 0.6 WAR – not too shabby for a reliever.
Obviously, WAR is not the be-all-end-all stat. But we’re not too far removed from 2020 and all the question marks around the closer spot, Oakland could be a landing spot.
Brad Hand has a veteran presence that the A’s will need
With rumors that some key A’s will be gone next season, Hand would be a good addition for the sake of team camaraderie. As a three time All-Star, and a veteran of the game, he is someone that the team can rally around.
Hand has been around the MLB, landing in San Diego, Washington, Cleveland, New York, and more, so his experience might spark some inspiration if a few foundational guys are gone next year. With the shallow A’s roster, it could be a good fit for the veteran.
Brad Hand’s chance to impact the game again
Hand is likely looking to prove himself again, bolstered by his experience and some hardware to his name. Less than two years ago, he was contributing in major ways as a closer. He might just need to knock the rust off after a down year where he bounced from Toronto to New York. And Oakland might be able to get him there.