The Oakland A’s headed into the offseason with questions throughout their roster. Despite those issues, third base appeared to be the biggest hole in the lineup, as neither Vimael Machin nor Kevin Smith have shown enough to be considered every day players. Something needed to be done at the position.
It appeared as though the answer was waiting in the wings. Zack Gelof may have appeared in just 12 games at Triple-A, but he had become one of the A’s hottest prospects. Although he seemed unlikely to crack the Opening Day roster, Gelof was likely to arrive in the majors fairly quickly.
Oakland A’s can wait on Zack Gelof with Jace Peterson on board
That has now changed. The signing of Jace Peterson now gives the A’s a potential answer at third base to start the season. Tony Kemp is set to hold down second base. Gelof, while he is still a key part of the A’s future, does not need that future to be now.
It has always made sense for Gelof to get more time in Triple-A. He has performed well at the highest level of the minors, posting a .340/.392/.702 batting line with five homers and two doubles in his 51 plate appearances. It is, however, a very small sample size and one that does not necessarily mean anything.
Likewise, Gelof does not have much experience at second base. He was drafted as a third baseman and only played at the corner infield positions in college. While he did get 62 games at second last year, that is the entirety of his experience at the position in the professional ranks. He needs more experience at second before being pushed into that spot in the majors.
Peterson gives the A’s breathing room. Gelof is likely to begin the 2023 season back in Triple-A, getting a chance to continue to develop at second while proving that his strong performance thus far is sustainable. His time is going to come, and when it does, Gelof will be in a better position to succeed.
Jace Peterson will help the Oakland A’s in the future as well. His signing will help ensure that Zack Gelof is ready when the majors come calling.