The Oakland A's have been adamant about their refusal to trade Ramon Laureano. Fangraphs projections for his 2023 season may hint as to why.
As noted by MLB.com, Laureano is projected to be the A's best player for the 2023 season. That also comes with a caveat - his projected 2.5 WAR is the lowest of any team's team player per Fangraphs' projections.
Ramon Laureano expected to be best of mediocre Oakland A's bunch
Laureano should have a solid season based on his Steamer projections. He is expected to produce a .234/.305/.408 batting line with 22 homers and 29 doubles while stealing 17 bases. Based on those projections, he would lead the A's in hits, doubles, runs, RBI, and tie Seth Brown for the team lead in homers. Laureano would also be second on the team in steals, trailing just Esteury Ruiz in the category.
Such a performance could also be a boon for the A's going forward. Their refusal to trade Laureano, despite his ability to play center and a distinct lack of quality options at the position, may well be due to the fact that they would be selling low. He never got on track last season due to the final games of his PED suspension and numerous injuries, posting a disappointing .211/.287/.376 batting line with 13 homers and 18 doubles in his 383 plate appearances.
Laureano performing at his projected level would certainly be a boost for an A's lineup that needs all the help it can get. Tony Kemp is the only other player projected for more than 2 WAR next season, which does not exactly indicate that the A's are going to be in great shape. However, he would also likely be on the trade block at the deadline if he performed at that level, especially with the A's getting rid of as many players as possible.
Ramon Laureano is projected to be the best player on the Oakland A's in 2023. It is fair to wonder if he will actually spend the entire season with the franchise.