No one is going to think of the Pittsburgh Pirates as a model organization. However, in some ways, the Oakland A’s should look to their example.
Such was the case on Sunday. The Pirates had claimed Miguel Andujar on waivers, giving the former AL Rookie of the Year runner-up a chance at a new beginning. He was another formerly well-regarded prospect that had come to Pittsburgh, joining the likes of Michael Chavis (who was released on Monday, Zack Collins, and Michael Stephenson.
Oakland A’s need to change waiver wire strategy
That strategy has not entirely panned out. Chavis was mediocre at best before he was let go. Collins has been a disaster, albeit in limited action. However, Stephenson and Manny Banuelos have at least been useful pieces thus far. They could be a part of a future core in Pittsburgh.
The A’s have been active on the waiver wire. The problem is that they have brought in numerous retreads, players with some major league service time that are essentially just another guy replacing the exact same sort of player. With few exceptions, notably Conner Capel, the A’s have been spinning their wheels with these players.
To be fair, there is only so much that the A’s can do. They only have so many roster spots available. But there comes a time when, instead of looking at the same type of players in their late 20s and early 30s that do not have much upside left, they need to focus on players who are just entering their primes.
Hitting on one or two of these former prospects will not cure all of the A’s ills. However, doing so would help stabilize a roster that has seen 63 different players suit up this year. If nothing else, these are lottery tickets that could be worth far more than what they already have.
The Oakland A’s need to take a page from the Pittsburgh Pirates book – target former top prospects instead of Quad-A retreads.