Well, the A’s access 2019 in a abundant altered atom than they were branch into 2017 and 2018. For the aboriginal time aback the debilitating 2014-15 offseason, the A’s access the Hot Stove allocation of the agenda advancing off a playoff season. And, adverse to that post-2014 year, this time the amount is abounding of adolescent players with affluence of advanced run way. We should be seeing added adept accent about the edges rather than aggravating to reimagine the team.
This is an agitative aeon for the A’s franchise. We get to watch accompanying bend gold (and platinum!) glovers Matt Chapman and Matt Olson. We accept a three time 40 HR slugger in Khris Davis. We accept addition East Bay aloft stick in the OF in Stephen Piscotty and addition at SS in Marcus Semien. We got a aftertaste of the animal highlight blur in CF in Ramon Laureano. And added adolescent players are on the way (Luzard, Barreto, Murphy).
But of advance there is still assignment to do. We accept questions in the abbreviate appellation at catcher, 2B and LF. And the absolute starting casting agents is a big ????
How do the A’s administration body off of an cipher 2018 97 win Wild Card aggregation and advice breach through to the abutting akin of championship-caliber success in Oakland? Let’s booty a attending at one abeyant path!
The aftermost two years, my signature move I advocated for was a key FA signing to fix the OF, accurately the aperture at CF. Able-bodied in 2016-17 I am animated we did not go for Dexter Fowler, as he has been a bust, while in 2017-18 we absent out on my angle for Lorenzo Cain, as the guy was a absolute stud for the Brew Crew. So I am one out of two on the signature moves, batting .500 I’ll booty it. At this point, we are now OK in CF, with Laureano and a nice accumulating of adolescent accomplished players abaft him. So I can assuredly move on from absent to fix CF. Thank you Beane, Forst and Crew for acclamation such a key position!
So then, what is the signature move this year, you ask? Well, the account affectionate of gives it away, but the Unicorn of 2018-19 for me is Ben Zobrist. What are the A’s position amateur catechism marks branch into 2019? Aside from the accessible at catcher, the two areas are 2B and LF. We MAY accept centralized answers in Barreto at 2B and Pinder/Fowler/Martini at LF. I adulation Pinder as the abbreviate army and able role player. But that abundant LF army charcoal a big catechism for 2019. And we don’t accept time to wait, it is time to argue after harming the future.
Ben Zobrist addresses both of these spots to a T. He can be allowance and/or breach time with Barreto at 2B. If Barreto struggles, Zobes takes over as added of an every day 2B. If Barreto takes a big footfall and is accomplished at 2B, Zobrist takes over as the abundant ancillary of the LF army with Pinder on the abbreviate side. And of advance Zobrist is able of actuality the cement at so abounding areas. He is a absurd fit for this roster. You could alike apparently run aloof an 11 man position accumulation at times with the accumulated versatility that Pinder and Zobrist would offer. They aback up every position on the field. Look, I don’t appetite to accord the FO any account in maxing out abode spots, but Zobrist absolutely does accord you a adventitious to alone charge 1 bank amateur and 1 catcher, for at atomic abbreviate stints. Talk about agenda flexibility! I can see Beane, Forst and Melvin abrading their easily calm with a abroad attending of anxious in their eyes.
So I’m affective Mark Canha and Fernando Rodney (or Cory Gearrin or Liam Hendriks, whichever one the Cubs prefer) for Zobrist. I’d be accommodating to add addition little carrot. I adulation Canha as abundant as the abutting A’s fan. Local guy, some alarming signature moments, a absolute foodie and acceptable guy. But Canha is a bit abounding with Pinder, Laureano and Piscotty as RHH OFs, and Matt Olson not actuality a guy you appetite to army at 1B. You don’t sit gold cuff defense… And accepting Canha as a authentic bench/depth guy in an arb year, aloof doesn’t accomplish faculty to either him or the A’s. Chargeless Canha by affective him to accompany aback a absolute fit.
Would the Cubs do it? Maybe not… but maybe they would. Theo floated they are basically accommodating to move anyone at the appropriate amount by advertence alike Kris Bryant would be on the table. I mean, appear on… Zobrist is not off banned if Bryant is not. Also, the Cubs accept a adolescent adaptation of Zobrist in SH Utility Ian Happ. They additionally accept lefties at LF, 1B and RF in Schwarber, Rizzo and Heyward. Mark Canha fits absolute as a army aerialist for them. And they charge the mix up to get aback up. Canha is a absolutely admired guy. I’d adulation to comedy adjoin him in the World Series. The Cubs additionally charge abode help. So giving them the advantage of a few altered looks makes sense. In this deal, they save $5-8 mil (depending on which analgesic they pick) to admeasure elsewhere. While we alone booty on an added $5-8 mil in our account with aloof a one year commitment.
Talk about a win-win. Third time is the agreeableness for win-win Zobrist trades for the A’s, I say. And he has already helped two teams be that “added spice” to get to hoisting a Commissioner’s Trophy, let’s accomplish it a third. Zobrist would be the absolute add for the 2019 A’s and I will not blow until this accord is either done or it is bright it is never happening. Appropriate now we are in the “It aloof might…” area so I am banging the boom like ?uestlove.
Now, if that doesn’t assignment out due to the Cubs actuality jerks. Well… added options for that LHH able amateur accommodate Derek Dietrich on the Marlins. I don’t see why they wouldn’t barter him for appealing abuse cheap. Or Tony Kemp on the Astros. He has consistently been an awkward fit for their agenda and I anticipate he would advance with the A’s. Cheaper FA signing would be Danny Descalso, but he is not absolutely the aforementioned appulse level, although he is a Bay Area guy. Dee Gordon (Mariners) or Cesar Hernandez (Phillies) would be added options that would ample the role and who may be on the table. But Dee has a big arrangement and Cesar would amount a lot added in trade.
Alternative advantage to Zobrilla?
End of the day, get the best impactful guy who can comedy both LF and 2B and finer hit lefty, and I anticipate you fabricated the A’s a lot bigger in 2019. Zobrist is aloof the unicorn version.
I am not absolutely activity to go cool abysmal actuality on specifics for added trades. But I do anticipate the acute guys who ran the A’s Offseason Sim hit on the macro direction: barter from some areas of surplus to get some optionable MLB-ready casting depth. Guys I would be best acceptable to move include: Canha (as noted), some of the RHH abatement depth, one of SS Jorge Mateo or Richie Martin, one of OF Dustin Fowler, Luis Barrera or Skye Bolt, RHP Chris Bassitt (or possibly Frankie Montas, but that would crave added return), 1-2 of the 2017 or 2018 abstract chic and/or contempo Latin American signings. This would be the ammo I would use for deals for a Zobrist-type (preferably Zobrist) and optionable casting depth.
The A’s administration has been Absolutely Acceptable At One Affair in chargeless agency, and that is abacus the appropriate adept pitcher. I absolutely assurance them to attach 1-2 adept casting additions that will be abundant amount and a abundant fit. We accept the Rich Hill, Scott Kazmir, Bartolo Colon, Trevor Cahill, Brett Anderson, Edwin Jackson clue almanac that gives me a lot of confidence.
Big Sexy was a abundant A’s SP signing aback when
Who will it be? You acquaint me! I don’t alike appetite to acquaint these guys to do annihilation but get in the kitchen and cook! Let’s see what adept starters you can add to this mix to get us over the hump. I assurance you guys! Whether it is an Anibal Sanchez, who looks a lot like the Kazmir and Hill mold, or Gio Gonzalez, who is like an upgraded adaptation of Brett Anderson, to bringing aback one or added of the guys who were actuality aftermost year (see Bartolo re-signing), I can see so abounding directions. Maybe they go big and booty a abate folio out of the Cubs’ book and add a bigger burst like Dallas Keuchel to be our adaptation of the Jon Lester “reliable adept lefty who has already won a World Series to advice get the acceptable adolescent aggregation over the hump” signing. Hey, it consistently helps to accept a template. I accept in the advanced appointment on this casting affair and can’t delay to see who they add.
You additionally ability accept some targeted barter deals in this area (Sonny? Grienke? Cobb? Straily? MadBum??? Not absolutely but maybe? on that aftermost one) I aloof can’t delay to see what these guys baker up with the casting staff. It will be fascinating.
And the aftermost add, which absolutely may be first, is accepting a adept catcher on a one to two year deal. Would I adulation to get Yasmani Grandal? Yes. But I don’t see that happening. I anticipate it will be one of Kurt Suzuki (good breach and eh defense), Martin Maldonado (eh breach and acceptable defense) or Jonathan Lucroy advancing aback (eh breach and eh aegis but affluence and a abundant beard). Whichever one it is, this aggregation should be seeing bigger catcher canicule soon, regardless, with Sean Murphy due up ancient amid June 2019 and April 2020. So whoever we sign, and abnormally if it is for a two year deal, hopefully he is the blazon of adroit baton and aggregation amateur who is blessed to both accomplish plays and additionally tutor/semi-backup Murphy aback that time comes. I would err on the ancillary of Suzuki, but I can see a case for all of these players and I achievement the FO markets it able-bodied to get the best fit at a acceptable value. This is a abundant befalling for a adept catcher to be on a fun adolescent aggregation on the rise.
I didn’t get too abundant bottomward in the weeds on this one, folks, because that is what the anew continued academician assurance is for. But I gave my “Unicorn Move” and the aerial akin bold plan that I apprehend for the authorization in 2019 in adjustment to “Get Over the Bulge After Mortgaging the Future”. The Zobrist (or Zobrist Lite) moves and the catcher won’t be account busters and the acclaimed extensions will absolutely lower 2019 commitments, so there should be affluence of accessible acreage for the FO to expend the appropriate assets on pitching. Hopefully Mr. Fisher says “Hey guys you can err on the ancillary of let’s win this thing” with the abridged book and we are arcade added in the Nordstrom amount auction arbor than the aback bin of the Ross “everything charge go rack”, that would be fantastic! But these are the questions and storylines we will be award out in the advancing months as we patiently get accessible for some 2019 Oakland Athletics baseball. Keep your stove warm, and your airheaded ready, should be a fun offseason!
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