The 2023 season was going to be an important one for Cristian Pache and his future with the Oakland A’s. As it turns out, his future with the organization may have come and gone.
According to general manager David Forst, the A’s consider newly acquired prospect Esteury Ruiz an every day center fielder who will be ready to contribute to the organization from Opening Day. Ramon Laureano and Seth Brown would seemingly have the other outfield corners covered. A variety of utility options can cover the backup roles in the outfield.
Cristian Pache already on outside looking in
And then there is Pache. He was supposed to be the A’s center fielder of the present and future, a future Gold Glove winner with enough power and speed where he could be a valuable asset. The only question was whether or not he would hit enough at the major league level to keep his stellar glove in the lineup.
To this point, that has not happened. He produced a miserable .166/.218/.241 batting line in his 260 plate appearances last season, hitting three homers and five doubles. To be fair, Ruiz has not been any better in the majors, with six hits, including a double and a triple, in his 36 plate appearances. However, his is an extremely small sample size.
Both players are similar. Both players have plenty of raw power but have been unable to tap into it with regularity. Their speed and defense should be an asset. But they have to hit enough to be able to hold on to a regular role. That is something Pache has not been able to do at this point.
This also leads to a problem. Pache is out of options and may not have a role on the A’s heading into 2023. If he is designated for assignment, it is entirely possible that another team will give him a chance. But it is not what the A’s had hoped for when Pache was one of the centerpieces of the Matt Olson trade.
The Oakland A’s had hoped that Cristian Pache would be a star. Instead, it is fair to wonder how much of a future he has with the organization.