Could The A's Opt To Lock Up Willingham?


With the July 31 trade deadline behind us, the Oakland Athletics enter these final months of regular season play with their team largely intact. Sure Brad Ziegler is now a member of the Arizona Diamondbacks, and the A’s have another Chris Carter type player in return, but the Ziegler deal is hardly considered ground breaking.

The A’s didn’t trade any of the obvious trading chips like Josh Willingham, David DeJesus, and Coco Crisp, and that’s got me thinking about Oakland’s long-term outlook. All three of the players mentioned are eligible for free agency after this season, and could very well leave the confines of the Coliseum after the season.

If that were the case, Oakland would get compensation in the form of a draft pick. Willingham, for example, figures to be a Type-A free agent after this season, and the A’s could receive a pair compensation draft picks if Willingham chooses to leave via free agency. Crisp, meanwhile, is likely a Type-B free agent, and wouldn’t as much in return as would Willingham. 

The A’s like both players, however, so it’s possible that team could try to offer bother players extensions beyond next season. Willingham, who was acquired last offseason in a trade with the Nationals, has been a decent acquisition for Oakland and has been a nice source of power. In 84 games this year with the A’s, Willingham is batting .252/.335/.457 with 15 HR and 58 RBIs. Since the All-Star break, Willingham “the Hammer” is batting .298/.425/.596 with four homers and 14 RBIs.

Crisp, now in his second full season with Oakland, is batting .278/.335/.394 with four homers and 34 RBIs. He’s also stolen 33 bases this season. Since the All-Star break, Crisp is batting .333/.437/.400 with four RBIs. Crisp offers the team a nice source of speed on the base-paths, and solid defense in the outfield. He’s said before in the past that he enjoys playing in Oakland, so why not explore a contract extension?

If it had to be one, I’d say sign Willingham. He’s basically been the only source of power this season for an A’s offense that doesn’t hit a lot of home runs to begin with, and the A’s are in desperate need for power.

The A’s do have a very crowded outfield, but Willingham is a player that Oakland should at least consider trying to sign this offseason.

What do you think? Should the A’s explore contract extensions with Willingham, Crisp, & DeJesus? Sound off below!

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