Oakland A’s slugger Matt Chapman could be on the trade block once the lockout is over along with many other key A’s players (AP file photo)
Popular A’s Players could be Traded
That’s Amaury News and Commentary
By Amaury Pi-González
OAKLAND–As the negotiations continue this week in Jupiter, Florida, between MLB and the MLPA, there are potential trades. These trades cannot happen until the Collective Bargaining Agreement is agreed on by both sides by the owners and players.
The negotiations continue this week in Jupiter, Florida and according to Commissioner Rob Manfred if by the 28th of this month they do not come to an agreement, games scheduled to begin on March 31 (Opening Day) season would be in jeopardy and MLB games would begin to be cancelled every day and taken off the schedule. If the lockout continues.
Some big names are still on the trading block, although not much is happening at this time. Perhaps the biggest name is that of World Champions Atlanta Braves, first baseman Freddy Freeman.
The Braves offered him a five year $135 million contract, but is reported he is looking for a six-year deal. Hard to see how the Atlanta Braves cannot resign him. There still time for the Braves to keep one of their most popular players since Hank Aaron in Atlanta.
As far as the A’s, these established players could be on the move, (not necessarily all of them) Matt Olson, Matt Chapman, Sean Manaea, Chris Bassitt, Frankie Montás and Lou Trivino. A fire sale? It could happen, as the A’s are looking to trim payroll and hope to remain competitive with a load of prospects that they would receive in return.
#1 Most probable to leave Oakland: Matt Olson who could is in high demand. If the Atlanta Braves cannot resign their All Star first baseman Freddie Freeman, Atlanta is a good place for him after all he was born there, 27 years ago.
Another place for Olson, the New York Yankees, who might not be able to keep Anthony Rizzo at first base. Matt Olson ended tied for #5 in home runs in the American League (2021) with 39. Olson has won two Gold Gloves and three Fielding Bible Awards, and was an All-Star in 2021.
Right after the 2021 season ended and prior to MLB lockout on December 2, the Yankees were first to show interest in the slugger, who could be a menace at Yankee Stadium, where the ball really flies to right field.
#2 Possibility: Matt Chapman, one of the best third basemen in the game who has won three Gold Gloves, the Yankees were rumored to seek his services, Chapman defensive reputation is such, that the Yankees brass believe they could even use him as their everyday shortstop.
Other teams include: Seattle, Tampa Bay, Colorado, LA Dodgers and Toronto. However, Chapman is an arbitration eligible player with two more years of control by the A’s. He is due to make a $9.5 millions this season.
#3 Chris Bassitt who enjoyed his best season in 2021 and was selected to the All Star game. Bassitt has been coveted by a handful of teams including the LA Angels, who are still in need of more starting pitching. Bassitt had a remarkable 2021 season.
He got hit in the head by a line drive in Chicago in the month of August, but completed his best season to date, 12-4, 3.15 ERA in 27 games started, pitched 157 1/3 innings and recorded 159 strikeouts. Good starting pitchers are not in great supply these days, so the possibility of Chris Bassitt leaving Oakland, in my opinion, is over 50%.
Other possible A’s to depart Oakland via trade: Pitchers Frankie Montás and Sean Manaea. After Bassitt, Frankie Montás was the best starter for the A’s. Sean Manaea is a good strong lefty with experience and he could easily fit on many teams either in the American or National League.
Reliever Lou Trivino is a possibly specially when closer Trevor Rosenthal who signed a 1-year deal in 2021 for $11 million, required two surgeries and never threw a single pitch for the club, could be ready to pitch this season.
But the biggest news for the Oakland Athletics in this 2022 season remains the conclusion of their search for a new ballpark. The Oakland City Council recently voted 6-2 in favor to certify the environmental impact report for the A’s proposed stadium project at Howard Terminal.
A’s President Dave Kaval mentioned that was as positive step to keep the A’s in Oakland, but also reiterated he is working in parallel plans with Oakland and Las Vegas.
Only in Baseball: It was reported that Washington Nationals outfielder Juan Soto was offered a 13 year $350 million contract and rejected it. Born in República Dominicana, Soto, just 23 years old, is regarded by many in baseball as the best left handed hitter in the game, last season he ended with a .313 average 29 home runs and 95 runs batted in.
Finally regarding the current lockout: According to Associated Press MLB players would lose around $20.5 million daily for each regular-season day missed. The owners much more than that.
Amaury Pi Gonzalez does News and Commentary podcasts each Tuesday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com