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A’s Rebuild on the Horizon?


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Back in September Baseball Trade Values founder John Bitzer, a diehard A’s fan, wrote an article titled, The A’s Rebuild Is Coming. Today FanGraphs writer Jake Mailhot followed suit with an article titled, Where Do the Athletics Go From Here?

 

As pointed out in the latter, the A’s are going to lose a significant amount of talent to free agency without any clear replacements waiting in the wings, and more importantly have 10 players likely to command over $57 million in arbitration which would be approximately 2/3rds of what the team spent on payroll in 2021.

 

Here is that list of arbitration eligible players:

 

[pre]Player Position Age Year Estimated Arb Salary

Sean Manaea SP 30 Arb 3 $10.2M

Chris Bassitt SP 33 Arb 3 $8.8M

Chad Pinder IF/OF 30 Arb 3 $2.8M

Matt Chapman 3B 29 Arb 2 $9.5M

Matt Olson 1B 28 Arb 2 $12.0M

Frankie Montas SP 29 Arb 2 $5.2M

Tony Kemp 2B 30 Arb 2 $2.2M

Lou Trivino RP 31 Arb 2* $2.9M

Ramón Laureano CF 27 Arb 1 $2.8M

Deolis Guerra RP 33 Arb 1 $0.9M[/pre]

*Super Two player

 

So assuming the Athletics do indeed embark upon a rebuild the Brewers almost certainly have to be one of the teams that would be calling. Matt Olson is the most obvious target, but there are some other intriguing players (i.e. Matt Chapman, Ramon Laureano, and Tony Kemp). On the pitching side if the Brewers did make a big move this offseason that includes trading a starting pitcher the A’s could be a good place to look for a replacement starter.

 

Thoughts? Is it Olson or bust, or are there other viable trade options?

Not just “at Night” anymore.
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Laureano will be extremely hard for the A's to trade or at least to get value for him. He will still be suspended to start the 2022 season due to a positive PED test. I think he still has about 60 games left on his suspension and I believe he can't work out with the team in spring training if I am remembering the suspension rules correctly. If he is not able to work out with the team in spring training it is more than the approximately 60 games left on his suspension so you are looking at a week or two in the minors to get up to game speed so that puts him being back sometime in June next year.

 

I know everyone is going to gravitate towards Olson but I would rather have Chapman. I think you could move Chapman to 1B if you really think Urias is the everyday 3B.

 

If the A's are rebuilding then I think players like Mitchell and Turang are probably not all that interesting to the A's. But that depends on how long the A's think the rebuild will take. It is also hard to peg the market for Olson and Chapman. I think Olson probably has a better chance to be traded as I believe the Yankees will be looking for a 1B this off season and Olson would fit that hole but will they pay what it would take to get Olson in prospects and do the Yankees have the prospects to make that trade happen if they are not willing to include Dominguez? Lauerano also makes some sense for the Yankees here as they need a new CF along with the Giants.

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Laureano will be extremely hard for the A's to trade or at least to get value for him. He will still be suspended to start the 2022 season due to a positive PED test. I think he still has about 60 games left on his suspension and I believe he can't work out with the team in spring training if I am remembering the suspension rules correctly. If he is not able to work out with the team in spring training it is more than the approximately 60 games left on his suspension so you are looking at a week or two in the minors to get up to game speed so that puts him being back sometime in June next year.

 

I know everyone is going to gravitate towards Olson but I would rather have Chapman. I think you could move Chapman to 1B if you really think Urias is the everyday 3B.

 

If the A's are rebuilding then I think players like Mitchell and Turang are probably not all that interesting to the A's. But that depends on how long the A's think the rebuild will take. It is also hard to peg the market for Olson and Chapman. I think Olson probably has a better chance to be traded as I believe the Yankees will be looking for a 1B this off season and Olson would fit that hole but will they pay what it would take to get Olson in prospects and do the Yankees have the prospects to make that trade happen if they are not willing to include Dominguez? Lauerano also makes some sense for the Yankees here as they need a new CF along with the Giants.

 

 

I don't understand the fascination with Chapman. He hit .210/.313 with a .716 OPS and K'd 202 times or 33% of his PAs. Plus he'll be making around $8M next year. Urias had a higher BA, OBP, OPS, drove in more runs in fewer ABs, whiffed less, and is a lot cheaper. Chapman wouldn't be a difference maker with the Brewers and just a waste of money. Olson, I think, would cost too much and the Brewers probably can't outbid some of the big money teams anyways.

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An Olson trade would definitely hurt the system, but Tuarang might be appealing since they don’t have a long term 2B option in place. It would obviously cost a lot more, but Olson would be too perfect of a fit

 

I would think Turang would be expendable to some extent. Wong for 2 more years of control. Urias could also slide over and play a solid 2nd base as well if the time comes.

 

The 2022 Brewers team in a way has a similar feel to the 2021 packers. Lots of talented players across the board, but at some point can’t afford them all. Could be a “Last Dance” of sorts for some of our core players (Woody, Cain, Hader, etc). But Stearns/CC have proven to be competitive regardless of changes made to roster.

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Average bWAR/fWAR on Olson over the last three seasons is 4.1. He's only 27 so there is no reason to depreciate his value over the next two years. So I'd put him at 8.2 WAR * 9 WAR = 73.8 - estimated 28 million in salary = 45.8 million.

 

Fair deal would be something like Sal Frelick, Brice Turang and one of Freddy Zamora/Zavier Warren/Korry Howell.

 

My long-term pitching plan would have the Brewers dealing Hader this off-season, one of Woodruff/Burnes next off-season and then the other the off-season after that. This is probably where I would deal Hader. That might be a necessity as the Brewers may need to clear payroll space to fit Olson's 12 million in. A third team would have to be involved but I don't think it would be all that hard to find a third party.

 

With the way the Dodgers love to hoard starting pitching, let's blow this up into a mega-deal

 

Brewers get-

1B - Matt Olson (from A's)

 

Dodgers get-

 

LHP - Josh Hader (from Brewers)

LHP - Sean Manaea (from A's)

 

A's get-

OF - Andy Pages (from Dodgers)

SS/2B - Brice Turang (from Brewers)

RHP - Landon Knack (from Dodgers)

RHP - Clayton Beeter (from Dodgers)

OF - Carlos Rodriguez (from Brewers)

RHP - Kendall Williams (from Dodgers)

 

If the inclusion of Manaea is just too over-the-top, a Brewers get Olson, Dodgers get Hader, A's get Pages, Turang, Rodriguez, Williams would look like a pretty fair deal.

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As far as Olson goes, it sort of depends on what kind of rebuild the A's are going for.

 

If they want to at least feign competitiveness in the near term, a package of Turang/Small who could both be ready for MLB at some in 2022, probably gets you most of the way there. If they want to tear it down & push things out a few years some of the lower level guys like Hedbert/Quero might be more appealing.

 

Another ex-Athletic to keep an eye on is free agent outfielder Mark Canha. Should be relatively inexpensive since no one knows who he is & is on the older side heading into his age 33 season, but has pretty much been anonymous Castellanos since 2018...

 

Mark: 1,776 PAs | 126 wRC+ | 10.4 fWAR | 9.9 bWAR

Nick: 2,169 PAs | 126 wRC+ | 10.2 fWAR | 8.9 bWAR

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Not sure if I like the idea of including Hader into this big three-way deal idea. How about:

 

Brewers get: Olson

 

A's get: Hiura (or Tellez if they find him more valuable), Turang, and Frelick

 

Obviously, this would all depend on whether or not the A's place any remaining value on Keston and their ability to get his swing figured out at the MLB level. I'd hate to sell low on Keston, but a package like this would still be applying some value to his future potential.

 

We'd be giving up two of our two 3-4 prospects, but to get a few years of a big bat in Olson in his prime, seems like it would be a good move for the Brewers. I don't think we can just sit back and hope that Yeli or Keston return to their pre '20 form, so let's go out and get another big bat to help this insanely good SP.

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There is one early projection on Fangraphs for Hiura in 2021 and it has him as a 0.1 WAR player. Best guess on him is that his surplus value is probably somewhere between 5 million and 0 million.

 

Interestingly, BaseballTradeValues has him as being a 0 value but puts his availability at High? If he has no value, why would the Brewers be looking to trade him?

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As far as Olson goes, it sort of depends on what kind of rebuild the A's are going for.

 

If they want to at least feign competitiveness in the near term, a package of Turang/Small who could both be ready for MLB at some in 2022, probably gets you most of the way there. If they want to tear it down & push things out a few years some of the lower level guys like Hedbert/Quero might be more appealing.

 

Another ex-Athletic to keep an eye on is free agent outfielder Mark Canha. Should be relatively inexpensive since no one knows who he is & is on the older side heading into his age 33 season, but has pretty much been anonymous Castellanos since 2018...

 

Mark: 1,776 PAs | 126 wRC+ | 10.4 fWAR | 9.9 bWAR

Nick: 2,169 PAs | 126 wRC+ | 10.2 fWAR | 8.9 bWAR

 

I don't see Canha (2020-2021) being any better than Taylor at this point in his career. He doesn't have the power nor drive in enough runs to be a difference maker that would help the Brewers any more than Taylor. If the Brewers were not stuck with Bradley, he might be a nice pickup.

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As far as Olson goes, it sort of depends on what kind of rebuild the A's are going for.

 

If they want to at least feign competitiveness in the near term, a package of Turang/Small who could both be ready for MLB at some in 2022, probably gets you most of the way there. If they want to tear it down & push things out a few years some of the lower level guys like Hedbert/Quero might be more appealing.

 

Another ex-Athletic to keep an eye on is free agent outfielder Mark Canha. Should be relatively inexpensive since no one knows who he is & is on the older side heading into his age 33 season, but has pretty much been anonymous Castellanos since 2018...

 

Mark: 1,776 PAs | 126 wRC+ | 10.4 fWAR | 9.9 bWAR

Nick: 2,169 PAs | 126 wRC+ | 10.2 fWAR | 8.9 bWAR

 

I don't see Canha (2020-2021) being any better than Taylor at this point in his career. He doesn't have the power nor drive in enough runs to be a difference maker that would help the Brewers any more than Taylor. If the Brewers were not stuck with Bradley, he might be a nice pickup.

 

 

Without a proven 1B, JBJs pathetic offense last year, Cain’s health, and with a likely DH, Canha/Taylor isn’t an either/or Choice

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After doing a more in-depth look at Matt Olson's stats, I would definitely be in favor of moving Hader in an Olson deal, swapping out some of the other parts as long as the value remained equal. With the year Hader just had, I don't think finding a third participant in this trade would be all that difficult.

 

Thing that really convinced me is that, according to Fangraphs 2021 numbers, Olson was the 10th best qualifying hitter against sliders and 40th best against curveballs (out of 132 qualifying hitters). For those that don't know, Brewer hitters were dead last against sliders and 23rd against curveballs. Olson really seems like a perfect fit for this lineup. If the A's are interested in dealing him, I hope the Brewers take a long look at him.

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After doing a more in-depth look at Matt Olson's stats, I would definitely be in favor of moving Hader in an Olson deal, swapping out some of the other parts as long as the value remained equal. With the year Hader just had, I don't think finding a third participant in this trade would be all that difficult.

 

Thing that really convinced me is that, according to Fangraphs 2021 numbers, Olson was the 10th best qualifying hitter against sliders and 40th best against curveballs (out of 132 qualifying hitters). For those that don't know, Brewer hitters were dead last against sliders and 23rd against curveballs. Olson really seems like a perfect fit for this lineup. If the A's are interested in dealing him, I hope the Brewers take a long look at him.

 

I don't think the A's would want a high priced closer if they are going to tank and rebuild selling off their high end players. Maybe if the Brewers could do a 3-way deal with younger, cheaper talent going to the A's they could move Hader.

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After doing a more in-depth look at Matt Olson's stats, I would definitely be in favor of moving Hader in an Olson deal, swapping out some of the other parts as long as the value remained equal. With the year Hader just had, I don't think finding a third participant in this trade would be all that difficult.

 

Thing that really convinced me is that, according to Fangraphs 2021 numbers, Olson was the 10th best qualifying hitter against sliders and 40th best against curveballs (out of 132 qualifying hitters). For those that don't know, Brewer hitters were dead last against sliders and 23rd against curveballs. Olson really seems like a perfect fit for this lineup. If the A's are interested in dealing him, I hope the Brewers take a long look at him.

 

I don't think the A's would want a high priced closer if they are going to tank and rebuild selling off their high end players. Maybe if the Brewers could do a 3-way deal with younger, cheaper talent going to the A's they could move Hader.

 

That's exactly what he was advocating for in his post.

Edited by Ron Robinson's Beard
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Bassitt and Kemp would be two guys I'd be semi-interested in. Not sure on the cost; one of Houser/ Lauer + ?. He's an upgrade over either one, though I'm not sure by how much. Kemp would be useful in a Jace Peterson sort of way and has some versatility.

 

A 4-5, of Bassitt and Ashby would be cool.

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I love this idea. If we can keep Ashby and Wiemer, I'd think we would trade anybody to get 2 years of Matt Olson.

 

I would hesitate to trade Ashby and Small (but if the right deal is on the board for Olson...). But would be willing to part with other prospects to get Olson. We have a 2-3 year window, and a clear need for hitting and a position to play him.

 

I don't think that Turang and Mitchell are too close to MLB ready for a rebuild scenario. Better for them to have their growing pains on losing teams. Plus, I'm sure that the A's front office is not thinking it will be a long turn around, probably two years and ready to fight for the playoffs in year 3.

 

I would do JosephC deal in a heartbeat - "Fair deal would be something like Sal Frelick, Brice Turang and one of Freddy Zamora/Zavier Warren/Korry Howell."

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If you have a trade for Olson, wouldn't you think Tellez be included it to give the As a Replacement for 1st base?

 

Why would the A's want Tellez if they are rebuilding? The A's could just bring up some AAAA type at a cheaper price than having Tellez included in the trade. Just doesn't make any sense why they would want Tellez or even Vogelbach included in a deal for Olson.

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If you have a trade for Olson, wouldn't you think Tellez be included it to give the As a Replacement for 1st base?

 

Why would the A's want Tellez if they are rebuilding? The A's could just bring up some AAAA type at a cheaper price than having Tellez included in the trade. Just doesn't make any sense why they would want Tellez or even Vogelbach included in a deal for Olson.

 

meh, Rowdy is young, and very well could be part of a re-build if they see value in him.

 

Kinda the way I'm seeing it. Does a rebuild need to be a sub 65win season? Tellez is also capable of providing value to maybe return something in a trade while being a 1st base placeholder. I dunno the As roster/minors. Maybe they have a cheap 1b to replace Olson. When a franchise consistently puts team payrolls below where Milw puts it I'd think Tellez may fit. (Though I didn't realize Tellez is 1st year Arb)

 

So dug in a little. Olson is projected at 12mil. Beyond him 1b is twice waived(KC&Cubs last year) Frank Scwindel.

Oakland doesnt have a 1b in their top 30 projected to the majors until 2024. They most definitely need a 1b. You will have some oldies to sign like they did with Mitch Moreland last season. Tellez is entering that age 27 season. Maybe that includes a little more progress. For under 2mil that may be more worth a try than 2-ish mil to Moreland or Asdrubal Cabrera at 1st base. Im not suggesting Tellez as the headliner. Just being included in this trade to save a prospect loss.

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If you have a trade for Olson, wouldn't you think Tellez be included it to give the As a Replacement for 1st base?

 

Why would the A's want Tellez if they are rebuilding? The A's could just bring up some AAAA type at a cheaper price than having Tellez included in the trade. Just doesn't make any sense why they would want Tellez or even Vogelbach included in a deal for Olson.

 

meh, Rowdy is young, and very well could be part of a re-build if they see value in him.

 

Kinda the way I'm seeing it. Does a rebuild need to be a sub 65win season? Tellez is also capable of providing value to maybe return something in a trade while being a 1st base placeholder. I dunno the As roster/minors. Maybe they have a cheap 1b to replace Olson. When a franchise consistently puts team payrolls below where Milw puts it I'd think Tellez may fit. (Though I didn't realize Tellez is 1st year Arb)

 

So dug in a little. Olson is projected at 12mil. Beyond him 1b is twice waived(KC&Cubs last year) Frank Scwindel.

Oakland doesnt have a 1b in their top 30 projected to the majors until 2024. They most definitely need a 1b. You will have some oldies to sign like they did with Mitch Moreland last season. Tellez is entering that age 27 season. Maybe that includes a little more progress. For under 2mil that may be more worth a try than 2-ish mil to Moreland or Asdrubal Cabrera at 1st base. Im not suggesting Tellez as the headliner. Just being included in this trade to save a prospect loss.

 

Frank Schwindel is definitely still a Cub.

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Why would the A's want Tellez if they are rebuilding? The A's could just bring up some AAAA type at a cheaper price than having Tellez included in the trade. Just doesn't make any sense why they would want Tellez or even Vogelbach included in a deal for Olson.

 

 

Kinda the way I'm seeing it. Does a rebuild need to be a sub 65win season? Tellez is also capable of providing value to maybe return something in a trade while being a 1st base placeholder. I dunno the As roster/minors. Maybe they have a cheap 1b to replace Olson. When a franchise consistently puts team payrolls below where Milw puts it I'd think Tellez may fit. (Though I didn't realize Tellez is 1st year Arb)

 

So dug in a little. Olson is projected at 12mil. Beyond him 1b is twice waived(KC&Cubs last year) Frank Scwindel.

Oakland doesnt have a 1b in their top 30 projected to the majors until 2024. They most definitely need a 1b. You will have some oldies to sign like they did with Mitch Moreland last season. Tellez is entering that age 27 season. Maybe that includes a little more progress. For under 2mil that may be more worth a try than 2-ish mil to Moreland or Asdrubal Cabrera at 1st base. Im not suggesting Tellez as the headliner. Just being included in this trade to save a prospect loss.

 

Frank Schwindel is definitely still a Cub.

 

Oops, I misread that transaction as Oakland picking up Schwindel not vice versa. While a mistake it does add to the need Oakland has at 1b beyond Olson even more. Looking at defensive Olson was 1b 152 games Moreland had 7games played there and Seth Brown had 6 whom I see has some minor league experience at 1b but again theres nobody in the minors to take over Olson's spot under the age of 30.

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