MLB hot stove: Landing spots for Matt Olson, Matt Chapman, Chris Bassitt and more as A’s signal rebuild

Main League Baseball’s offseason has solely simply gotten underway, but all indicators level to the Oakland Athletics having a busy and troublesome winter. The A’s have already misplaced longtime skipper Bob Melvin, who skipped city to affix the San Diego Padres. Subsequent, the A’s seem more likely to start disassembling a core that has reached three of the final 4 postseasons, together with as soon as because the American League West champions.

“That is the cycle for the A’s. We’ve got to hear and be open to no matter comes out of this. That is our lot in Oakland till it isn’t,” general manager David Forst told MLB Network’s Jon Heyman on Tuesday. That does not assure any motion, however the Athletics seem like in a spot the place a reset is extra probably than not, as our Mike Axisa explained after they missed out on the playoffs:

This could possibly be an offseason of serious change for the A’s. The roster might turnover tremendously, Beane and Melvin might head elsewhere, and the ballpark state of affairs looms over every little thing. 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 stories to spring coaching in February.

With that in thoughts, enable us to current a “purchaser’s information” to Oakland’s six most reasonable commerce candidates, in addition to spotlight just a few potential touchdown spots for every of them. (Do observe that the gamers are offered in alphabetical order.)

Contract standing: $8.8 million (projected); free agent after subsequent season

Chris Bassitt has emerged as a well-above-average beginning pitcher since coming back from Tommy John surgical procedure in 2018. To wit, he is amassed a 3.23 ERA (129 ERA+) and a 3.25 strikeout-to-walk ratio over his final 77 appearances. He made the All-Star Recreation this summer time and obtained Cy Younger Award consideration final fall, suggesting of us are beginning to discover. Bassitt has good command and management over a broad arsenal, permitting him to suppress each walks and high quality of contact. 

Potential touchdown spots: What contender could not use Bassitt? On the West Coast alone, the Angels, Dodgers, Giants, and Padres all seem to be potential suits. Just about each workforce with aggressive aspirations for subsequent season ought to inquire about Bassitt.

Contract standing: $9.5 million (projected); free agent after the 2023 season

Previous to the pandemic, Matt Chapman had a case to be acknowledged as probably the greatest gamers within the sport. Rather a lot has modified in a brief window of time, and that features the stableness of the bottom beneath his ft. During the last two seasons, his strikeout charge has ballooned to 33.1 p.c, or the sixth-highest clip amongst gamers with not less than 500 plate appearances. Regardless of homering 27 instances in 2021, his general high quality of contact metrics additionally dipped. That is a worrisome mixture, and one which groups must examine in the event that they’re to pay a famous person’s price in commerce and wage.

Potential touchdown spots: Rather a lot is dependent upon how groups view Chapman heading ahead. The Mets, the Phillies, and the Mariners would all make various quantities of sense.

Contract standing: $10.2 million (projected); free agent after the 2022 season

The zone-pounding Sean Manaea picked a great time to set profession bests in begins (32) and strikeout charge (9.7 per 9). He would not have the loudest stuff within the rotation; his three-pitch arsenal is led by a low-90s sinker, but he has a misleading supply and a deep launch level that permits opponents much less time to trace the ball. 

Potential touchdown spots: As with Bassitt, there is not any mistaken reply right here. Manaea would make sense for all these West Coast groups with spacious ballparks, in addition to numerous different groups, together with the Cardinals, who’ve proven no predilection for velocity. 

Contract standing: $5.2 million (projected); free agent after the 2023 season

Frankie Montas was within the midst of a breakout marketing campaign in 2019 earlier than testing constructive for a banned substance that netted him an 80-game suspension. He then had a depressing pandemic-shortened season due to bloated residence run and stroll charges. Montas rebounded properly sufficient in 2021, beginning a career-high 32 video games and posting a 3.37 ERA (121 ERA+) and a 3.63 strikeout-to-walk ratio. He is about as pure of an influence starter as there may be within the majors: his fastballs averaged 96 mph final season and the slowest of his 4 choices, a swing-and-miss splitter, checked in at 87.5 mph. His inconsistencies might damage his inventory, nevertheless it’s exhausting to disclaim he is an intriguing pitcher.

Potential touchdown spots: As with Oakland’s different beginning pitchers, you possibly can put down just about any contender and there is a cheap likelihood it occurs. We’ll observe that Montas was a member of the Dodgers earlier than he was with the Athletics, so it is potential Los Angeles’ entrance workplace would love him sufficient to reacquire him.  

Contract standing: $12 million (projected); free agent after the 2023 season

Matt Olson has develop into one of many sport’s premier sluggers. During the last three seasons, his 89 residence runs are tied for the third most within the majors, behind solely Pete Alonso and Eugenio Suárez. Olson drastically decreased his strikeout charge in 2021, slicing it from 31.4 p.c to 16.8 p.c with out dropping any walks or energy. Supplied these good points are sustainable (and he did submit the most effective contact charge of his profession), he could possibly be within the midst of creating a brand new true expertise stage. 

Potential touchdown spots: The Yankees, in fact, however the Mariners and Rays ought to give it some thought given the sort of impression he might have on their lineup for 2 complete seasons. Ditto for the Nationwide League’s contenders if the common DH is put in.

Contract standing: $2.8 million (projected); free agent after the 2022 season

Chad Pinder‘s identify lacks the cachet possessed by Chapman and Olson, however his sport has its charms. His wOBA in opposition to left-handed pitching over the past two seasons ranks within the 69th percentile, above right-handed sluggers like Pete Alonso, Franmil Reyes, and Luke Voit. Not like these three, Pinder is not anchored to a nook or DH spot; he is routinely seen motion all throughout the diamond, making him a nifty utility starter sort.

Potential touchdown spots: Once more, nearly any contender might use a participant like Pinder. We’ll highlight the Dodgers, White Sox, and Mariners as just a few of the groups who may take advantage of sense for him given his versatility and low price. | MLB sizzling range: Touchdown spots for Matt Olson, Matt Chapman, Chris Bassitt and extra as A’s sign rebuild


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