The Oakland A’s outfield depth chart is currently a mess.
Seth Brown is currently listed atop the A’s depth chart in right field. That would not be an issue except for the fact that he is listed as their starting first baseman and left fielder as well. Cristian Pache is atop the center field depth chart and he may not even crack the Opening Day roster. Bringing Chad Pinder back could help fix those issues.
Chad Pinder still makes sense for Oakland A’s
Pinder would certainly allievate some of those outfield concerns. While he can also slot in at second and third, he has spent most of his major league career at either corner outfield position. However, his versatility, decent pop, and leadership qualities were expected to make him a highly sought after option in free agency.
That has not happened to this point. Pinder did post a disappointing .235/.263/.385 batting line in his 379 plate appearances, hitting 12 homers and 18 doubles while his walk and strikeout rates headed in the wrong direction. Despite a relatively weak outfield class in free agency, those issues could be driving teams away.
Their loss could be the A’s gain. As Pinder’s market has not developed as expected, it is entirely possible he could return to Oakland as a relative bargain. The A’s and Pinder had both expressed interest in a reunion before free agency began, although that was expected to be cost prohibitive. This may no longer be the case.
The A’s outfield situation should work itself out in spring training. Ramon Laureano is likely to be the starting right fielder with Brown in left. Dermis Garcia and Ryan Noda should form a tandem at first, allowing Brown to spend most of his time in one spot. But having that fallback option, and another versatile piece such as Pinder, could make a difference.
The Oakland A’s still need pieces in their outfield. Bringing Chad Pinder back would solve their opening in left while adding depth.