There were plenty of opportunities to be had with the Oakland A’s. With the start of their rebuilding process, the A’s needed to find as many major league caliber players as possible while attempting to stay under their pathetic excuse for a budget. This led to a plethora of minor league signings and lottery tickets during the offseason.
It is not a surprise that several of those players were able to secure spots on the Opening Day roster. Justin Grimm, Dany Jimenez, Zach Jackson, Jake Lemoine, and Billy McKinney were all added to the roster while Sam Selman was designated for assignment.
Oakland A’s minor league deals paying off
The A’s certainly had an advantage when it came to offering minor league contracts. They could point to their rebuilding process and say that they had openings available, making the A’s their best option when it came to getting a chance in the majors. As nearly 20% of the roster is comprised of those players, they were able to back that thought up.
It is also not a surprise that four of the players selected are relievers. The A’s bullpen has plenty of holes and as they refused to spend much of anything, those minor league deals became all the more important. Grimm does have a track record of success and appeared to have a strong probability at a role in the bullpen regardless. However, between Jimenez, Jackson, and Lemoine, the trio has two games of major league experience, all of which belong to Jimenez.
McKinney has a bit of a track record in the majors as well. He has typically underwhelmed in his 711 plate appearances, but has a bit of pop and is capable of playing both corner outfield positions and first base. Those positions are areas of need, especially as Jed Lowrie is getting a look at first and Ramon Laureano is still serving the remainder of his PED suspension.
It is doubtful that any of these players turn into stars. In Grimm’s case, we already know what he is. But that does not mean that these players cannot be solid additions to the roster. They are certainly going to get their chance to prove themselves to be viable major league options. Sometimes, all a player needs is a chance.
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The Oakland A’s signed plenty of players to minor league contracts. With five of those players making the Opening Day roster, they are paying off.