The Oakland A’s do not have a single guaranteed contract for the 2023 season. They are also almost guaranteed not to spend at all in free agency, especially as ownership has gone out of their way to slash payroll to absurd levels.
That decision to cut payroll and jettison virtually everyone is all the more galling when one considers that the A’s are once again part of the league’s revenue sharing process. The A’s place in that group of teams receiving funds was reinstated in the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, although the fact that they sold virtually everyone off after being reinstated to that group angered several owners.
Oakland A’s revenue sharing status could force ownership to spend
That inclusion in the revenue sharing group could force ownership to do something. Back in 2018, the MLBPA had filed a grievance against four teams, with the A’s amongst them, that they were not using revenue sharing money as intended in the CBA.
The A’s could easily find themselves in a similar situation once again depending on the outcome of the offseason. They currently have an estimated payroll of just under $35 million, a number that will decrease when Sean Murphy is traded away as well this offseason. The A’s may end up receiving more than that in revenue sharing money.
It is something that is certain to attract the attention of both the MLBPA and the other owners. As A’s ownership has already infuriated other owners around the league, with the franchise being referred to as “a mess,” there will be pressure for John Fisher to actually do something with that money other than increase his bank accounts. Otherwise, another grievance may come forth and the league may look to remove the A’s from revenue sharing in the next CBA.
Clearly, it would behoove the A’s to actually spend some money this offseason. While they are not going to push their payroll to the point where they would approach the franchise record, it would make sense to bring in a few lower priced options to fill out the roster. Even if they bump payroll up to the $55 to $60 million level, that would be a dramatic increase over where they are currently at.
The Oakland A’s are not going to spend much money this offseason. However, their revenue sharing status could force them to do something.