Updated: Mar 14
Welcome to the final month before opening day! I hope you have been enjoying spring training as much as I have. Baseball is close! I am overjoyed! At the beginning of March, the official Ball Boy Blog previews of all 30 teams began. The previews feature all the Free Agent signings, trades, NRI, bold predictions, and some cool fun facts at the end! We are starting at the top of the 2020 ranks and working our way down from best to worst! Enjoy!
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Last Year Record: 36-24, first place in the AL West and made it to the ALDS
Record x2.7: 97.2-64.8
Vegas Projected: Vegas is doing the A's dirty, projecting them at only 87.5 wins. I got the A's, winning 94 games and finishing in first in the AL West, and getting to the ALCS.
INF Marcus Semien(FA),RHRP Liam Hendricks(FA), LHP Mike Minor(FA) OF Robbie Grossman(FA)
OF/DH Khris Davis, OF Dustin Fowler
Free Agent Signings:
-Re-Signed SP Mike Fiers- The A's were the only team to offer Fiers a deal. In 2020 he had a 4.58ERA/5.41SIERA over 59IP; the A's are hoping Fiers can be as durable as he has shown in his career, pitching at least 172IP per season between 2015-19
-Re-signed RHRP Yusmeiro Petit to a 1yr deal worth $2.55mil with $450K in incentives. Petit is the A's workhorses out of the pen as he has a 2.73ERA over 197.2IP, 154 appearances between 2018-19 and 26 in 2020.
-RHRP Trevor Rosenthal to a 1yr $11mil deal. The 30yo was throwing 100+MPH heat in 2020; he started the season with a 13.2IP of 3.29ERA in KC before a trade to the Padres, where he pitched ten scoreless innings. Giving him a 1.90ERA/2.31SIERA with a 41.8%K rate.
-1B/DH Mitch Moreland to 1yr $2.25mil deal with $250k in incentives. Over the last two seasons, Moreland has had his best seasons. Posting a .256/.333/.521 with 29HR in 487PA between the Red Sox and Padres. The glove isn't what it used to be for the Gold Glove winner, but the bat is better than ever, and with Matt Olson at 1B, the A's will have a great DH option.
-RHRP Sergio Romo to a 1yr $2.25mil deal. The 30yo posted a 4.05ERA/3.82SIERA over 20IP with the Twins in 2020. Romo should slot in nicely in front of Jake Diekman as a setup-man for the A's.
P Burch Smith(Tendered 0.4WAR, in 2020, 2.25ERA/2.36FIP 13k over 12IP), 2B Chad Pinder(tendered, In 2020, slashed .232/.295/.393 in 61PA in 24games.), 2B Tony Kemp(-0.3WAR in 2020, .247/.363/.301. Kemp gets on base, and that's what matters.), 1B Matt Olson, 3B Matt Champman, OF Mark Canha, RHP Lou Trivino, SP Frankie Monta, SP Sean Manaea, SP Chris Basit.
LHP Adam Kolarek- Kolarek comes in and fills a massive void in pen. The 32yo Kolarek is a ground ball specialist and dominates lefty hitters. He has a 3.07ERA in recent seasons with a 63.3% ground ball rate. He is also controllable for four more seasons.
OF Cody Thomas- The 26yo Thomas has an MLB-ready bat and can play both corners OF positions.
SS Elvis Andrus- Andrus is a career .274/.330/.372 hitter in 6266AB in his career.
C Aramis Garcia- Garcia had a .229/.270/.419 slash in 111PA between 2018-19. He should come in and be Murphy's back-up.
LHP Cole Irvin- The 27yo had 19 MLB appearances over the last two seasons. He has a 6.75ERA/4.87SIERA with a 6.9%BB rate over 45.2IP.
LHP Nik Turley- The 31yo tossed 21.2IP with a 4.98ERA/3.88FIP with 20K. Turley will pair with Jake Diekman as another LH option for the A's in 2021.
Rule 5 Draft Selections:
OF Ka'ai Tom- The 26yo has spent five seasons at the MiLB level while reaching AAA during that time. Over his MiLB career, he owns a slash line of .270/.360/.444 over 1989PA. Tom can play all 3 OF positions and well posted a .973FLD% or better at each with eight or fewer errors. It looks like the A's aren't straying too far from the Billy Beane system getting a guy who gets on base, plays good defense, and has high minors experience. Look to see Tom in the Oakland OF in 2021.
RHP Dany Jimenez- The 27yo Jimenez has very little data on him on baseball-reference. The Dominican-born righty made his MLB Debut in 2020 with the SF Giants, who selected him for the 2019 Rule 5 draft. He then returned to the Blue Jays in August and didn't return to the MLB level. In 2020 he had 1.1IP with a 6.75ERA/8.44FIP, 1K, 3BB, and 1ER. We will see where he fits in with the A's in 2021.
RHP Paul Blackburn- The groundball specialist has a career 5.69ERA over 99.2IP all with the A's since 2017. He provides quality depth for the A's.
INF Jed Lowrie- The now 37yo is a switch hitter that can play all four INF positions. Lowrie only notched 7PA in his two-year stint with the Mets. Before the A's from 2017-18, he earned 1 All-star appearance while hitting .272/.356/.448 over 1325PA.
RHRP Deolis Guerra- The 32yo owns a 4.81ERA in 103IP in the MLB. It parts of 8 AAA seasons he owns a 3.36ERA over 343IP.
C Francisco Pena- The 31yo has 202 MLB PA with a slash of .216/.249/.311 in that time.
RHP Domino Acevedo, RHP Cristian Alvarado, RHP Argenis Angulo, RHP Matt Blackham, RHP Ben Bracewell, RHP Montano Du Rapau, RHP Brian Schlitter, RHp Trey Supak, INF Pete Kozma, INF Frank Schwindel, INF Jacob Wilson, C Carlos Perez.
RHP Miguel Romero, RHP Wandisson Charles, OF Greg Deichmann. All three were in the A's 60 man player pool in 2020.
Returning from IL:
SP AJ Puk
OUT OF OPTIONS:
Chris Bassitt, P
Tony Kemp, 2B
J.B. Wendelken, P
Nik Turley, P
-I am high on AJ Puk, returning from a non-existent 2020 where he and fellow young pitcher Jesus Luzardo carried high expectations. I can't wait to see Puk in Oakland!
Fantasy Impact Players
Pitchers- Jesus Luzardo, A.J. Puk, Trevor Rosenthal, Yusmeiro Petis
Position Players- C Sean Murphy, 1B Matt Olson, 3B Matt Chapman, CF Ramon Laureano, DH Mark Canha
Upcoming 2022 Free Agents:
A lot of 1yr deals expire at seasons end- Trevor Rosenthal, Yusmeiro Petit, Sergio Romo, Mitch Moreland, Jed Lowrie, Mike Fiers
-RP Jake Diekman has a $4mil club option available to the A's. The A's only other free agent is OF Mark Canha, who will be 33yo.
Storylines to follow
On 2/26, the team released the city's draft of the environmental impact report for a new waterfront ballpark. Check out the full report on the team's website here.
The A's put together one of the best pens a week before spring training, we will still see Billy Beane and Bob Melvin at the helm in 2021, and I don't see anything changing.
The A's are just a good team; the west is being projected to go to the Astros, of course. But the A's are so freaking good, I am such a huge fan, and I have learned not to doubt the A's. ALCS isn't even a stretch; a World Series against the Dodgers is as bold as we can be.
Most Hollywood stars drift toward the Dodgers, but the best Hollywood star roots for his hometown Oakland A's. They've got Forrest Gump in their corner. It's a big plus.
This is almost impossible to believe and even more difficult to reconcile, but Major League Baseball went over 50 years without a single-player fashioning any facial hair. That embarrassing stretch ended when the 1972 A's broke the mold and went on to win the World Series and usher in a league-wide facial-hair Renaissance.
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