Athletics eliminated from postseason contention as club enters a potentially franchise-altering offseason

Wednesday evening, the postseason race formally got here to an finish for the Oakland Athletics. Solely the Dodgers went to the postseason extra instances from 2012-20 than the A’s, however 12 straight losses to the Mariners and 15 losses in 27 September video games knocked Oakland out of postseason rivalry. That is their first time lacking the postseason since 2017.

“It is a large disappointment,” A’s starter Chris Bassitt instructed reporters, including’s Martín Gallegos, after being eradicated from the race Wednesday (SEA 4, OAK 2). “Little question about it. We anticipated to compete for a World Collection and we fell manner brief.”  

In most offseasons, the A’s decide up the items and go about bettering their roster on a budget. Final winter they caught with a budget half, however did not do a lot to enhance the roster. Most notably, they made Marcus Semien an insulting supply — they reportedly provided one 12 months and $12 million with $10 million deferred over 10 years — and changed him with the ineffective Elvis Andrus.

This offseason brings the potential for sea change to the group. The A’s might open subsequent season with new faces on the roster, within the dugout, and within the entrance workplace. They will not be in a brand new ballpark, we all know that a lot, however these wheels are in movement too. Listed below are three main A’s storylines heading into the 2021-22 offseason.

What is the ballpark state of affairs?

The A’s are looking for a brand new ballpark and are not being delicate about the potential of relocation. Team president Dave Kaval made trips to Portland and Las Vegas earlier this year and publicized them on social media, a transfer clearly supposed to place stress on the Oakland Metropolis Council to approve a brand new ballpark deal.

In July, the Oakland City Council voted to approve a non-binding term sheet for the team’s ballpark project in Howard Terminal. Kaval stated the crew wouldn’t settle for the time period sheet as introduced, paving the way in which for the A’s to depart Oakland. The membership is looking for greater than $800 million in public funds for the undertaking, which the Oakland Metropolis Council finds untenable.

13 instances of their ultimate 19 residence video games the A’s drew fewer than 10,000 followers, together with fewer than 5,000 followers seven instances. Even throughout a pandemic, that’s embarrassing for a significant league franchise. And but, last week the A’s announced an increase in ticket prices for next season, together with some sections with costs that almost double.

That is all straight out of the brand new ballpark leverage playbook. Tank attendance and say you’ll be able to’t probably keep on the town and not using a new ballpark, and if you do not get it, it helps justify relocation. Let’s be clear: the A’s want a brand new ballpark. How they are going about getting that ballpark is aggressively fan unfriendly. The crew president is teasing relocation on social media, ticket costs are going up, and so forth.

The A’s lease at RingCentral Coliseum runs by 2024, and it appears the state of the crew is not going to enhance till the ballpark state of affairs is resolved. Does A’s management need to keep within the Bay Space, or do they need to relocate? The reply is that they’ll go wherever the cash takes them.

The way forward for Beane and Melvin

Yearly round this time we hear longtime entrance workplace head Billy Beane might depart the A’s within the offseason. For a job with one other crew, for a job in soccer, for something else entirely. It has not but come to cross, clearly, however the identical rumblings are already popping up this 12 months. Earlier this month The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal implored the Mets to hire Beane, for instance.

This offseason, count on to listen to comparable rumblings about longtime A’s supervisor Bob Melvin. Different golf equipment have tried to rent Melvin away from Oakland lately — the Yankees had been declined permission to interview him 4 years in the past — although now he has some leverage. The ballpark state of affairs is a multitude and he has only one 12 months remaining on his contract. He is near free company.

Both as a package deal deal (Mets?) or individually, this might be the winter Beane and Melvin depart the A’s. GM David Forst has been groomed as Beane’s substitute for years, and changing Beane with a youthful supervisor would save the membership cash. Chopping prices is an apparent precedence for possession (I once more refer you to that ridiculous Semien supply for proof).

The A’s have been a mannequin of stability underneath Beane and Melvin, and shedding each (or only one) would mark the tip of 1 period and the beginning of a brand new period in Oakland. What would that new period appear like? Unclear. It is dependent upon possession greater than something. Chatter that Beane might depart is nothing new. Maybe now these rumors have somewhat extra tooth to them given the crew’s present state.

The way forward for Chapman and Olson

The Athletics have a protracted historical past of buying and selling their finest gamers as soon as they get costly by arbitration and method free company. Semien is essentially the most notable current exception. Others like Josh Donaldson, Sonny Gray, Tim Hudson, and Mark Mulder had been all traded within the years main as much as free company. It is how the A’s restock the cabinet and stay aggressive. 

First baseman Matt Olson and third baseman Matt Chapman at the moment are reaching the purpose the place the A’s are inclined to commerce away their finest gamers. They’re each two years away from free company and so they made a mixed $11.49 million this season. Subsequent 12 months their salaries might climb to a mixed $18 million or so. That is practically 25 % the crew’s payroll the previous couple of years.

Olson has had an unimaginable season. He’ll get MVP votes. Chapman had a down 12 months by his requirements however remains to be an elite defensive third baseman with energy. Put them available on the market and each will generate loads of commerce curiosity. So too will Bassitt (free agent after 2022), Ramón Laureano (2024), Sean Manaea (2022), Frankie Montas (2023), and Chad Pinder (2022).

Mark Canha and Starling Marte shall be free brokers this winter and everybody within the Bassitt, Chapman, Laureano, Manaea, Montas, Olson, and Pinder group needs to be thought of a commerce candidate. That is simply how the A’s function. Heck, do not be stunned in the event that they hearken to affords for catcher Sean Murphy, who’s 4 years away from free company. That is when Donaldson was traded.

This might be an offseason of great change for the A’s. The roster might turnover tremendously, Beane and Melvin might head elsewhere, and the ballpark state of affairs looms over all the things. Nothing has modified but, however it’s beginning to really feel like the tip of an period in Oakland. The A’s might look very, very completely different when everybody experiences to spring coaching in February. | Athletics eradicated from postseason rivalry as membership enters a doubtlessly franchise-altering offseason


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