Realistically, there’s never a quiet day in the MLB offseason. We’re in the five day stretch before free agency opens, and we don’t expect the Oakland Athletics to re-sign anyone on the roster before Monday. However, the A’s have officially declined the team option for right-hander Drew Rucinski.
Per Ari Alexander of KPRC2, the Athletics have opted to decline Rucinski’s $5 million option for 2024.
After four successful seasons in the KBO, Rucinski had a disappointing return to MLB. He spent the bulk of the season on the 60-day IL with a hamstring strain before undergoing season-ending back surgery in July. He didn’t pitch well when healthy, so it seems unlikely that the A’s try to bring Rucinski back on a more team friendly contract.
Current Athletics’ manager Mark Kotsay is apparently in the running for the open managerial position for the New York Mets. Kotsay’s A’s have struggled in his two-year stint, going a combined 110-214. Kotsay has gotten a raw deal with the current roster, so if he’s able to take a step up and out, more power to him.
Kotsay’s current contract reportedly runs through the end of 2024, with a team option to keep him around for 2025. It’s interesting that the A’s are giving their manager permission to openly interview with other clubs.
Former Brewers’ manager Craig Counsell would seem to be the frontrunner for the job due to his relationship with new Mets’ President of Baseball Operations David Stearns. Stearns was hired by the Mets in early October.
Additionally, ABC7’s Casey Pratt dug up some interesting information from the City of Oakland.
As Pratt acknowledges, Mayor Sheng Thao, the Oakland City Council, and the Port of Oakland have put a resolution on the agenda for Tuesday 11/7 to affirm that the Athletics belong in Oakland. The resolution includes this bit, “…recognizing the substantial and tangible progress the city has achieved in working towards a proposed Oakland waterfront ballpark district to be developed at Howard Terminal”.
It's unclear what effect the resolution would have on the 29 other owner’s opinions but it’s interesting to see the city and the mayor trying to present as a united front ahead of the A’s relocation vote. The vote is scheduled to take place at the owners meetings in Dallas, sometime between November 14th and 16th.