A look at the Oakland A’s upcoming arbitration class

Sep 13, 2022; Arlington, Texas, USA; Oakland Athletics relief pitcher Austin Pruitt (29) pitches against the Texas Rangers in the seventh inning at Globe Life Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 13, 2022; Arlington, Texas, USA; Oakland Athletics relief pitcher Austin Pruitt (29) pitches against the Texas Rangers in the seventh inning at Globe Life Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports /
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Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports /

Easy decisions to keep

There is no question that Paul Blackburn, Ramon Laureano, and Sean Murphy will be tendered contracts by the Oakland A’s, although for different reasons.

Murphy is going to be traded this offseason due to the presence of Shea Langeliers. The former Gold Glove winning catcher took a major step forward with his bat, posting a team leading 120 OPS+ while hitting 18 homers and 37 doubles. As he is projected to earn $3.5 million in arbitration, and will have another two years of team control left after this year, he is going to be one of the hottest names on the trade market.

Laureano could be traded as well. He is coming off of a down season in 2022, posting a .211/.287/.376 batting line with 13 homers and 18 doubles over his 383 plate appearances while chipping in 11 steals. In this case, it would be a matter of selling low as Laureano was unable to get going last season due to the the remaining games from his PED suspension and various injuries. However, the center field market is fairly barren and plenty of teams are looking for options in the middle of the outfield.

Blackburn is the one player that is seemingly a given to be on the Oakland A’s Opening Day roster in 2023. While his overall numbers may not be that impressive, as he posted a 4.28 ERA and a 1.257 WHiP over his 111.1 innings. Those numbers are also skewed by his final five outings as the first time All Star battled injuries before being sidelined for the rest of the season.

The Oakland A’s will offer these three players a contract via arbitration. The only question is how many will be a part of the roster in 2023.

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