When the A’s traded away reliever Brad Ziegler this year, I’ll admit, I was a bit sad to see Ziegler go. The trade, however, did make sense for the A’s, who got 1B Brandon Allen and reliever Jordan Norberto from Arizona in exchange for Zielger.
The A’s needed a first-baseman, and the team never passes up on additional support on the mound, so this deal, in retrospect, made sense. With 1B Daric Barton hitting rock bottom this season, the A’s needed a solution to their first base problem.
For a moment there, Allen actually looked like he might’ve been that solution to many of Oakland’s problems. He flexed his muscles early on with Oakland, hitting a phenomenal .290/.333/.551 with 3 HR and 8 RBIs in 69 August at-bats. Many A’s fans, including myself, hoped that Allen, a young player who resembles a Chris Carter type, would prove to be a solution over at first for the A’s.
Unfortunately, the A’s saw Allen cool off in September. He hit a paltry .130/.193/.182 with no home runs and 3 RBIs over 77 at-bats.
Entering the offseason, the A’s will need to assess their corner-infield spots. Both first and third remain glaring problems for the Athletics going forward, with the team lacking a true solution to either problem.
The A’s will likely enter spring training with Allen in the mix for the first baseman starting job. He’ll likely go to battle with Chris Carter and Daric Barton over the job.
Splitting time with Arizona and Oakland, Allen managed to hit .200/.277/.377 with 6 HR and 18 RBIs in 52 games. He’s got some power potential, which bodes well for him, especially in a system that is starving for power like Oakland’s. But, he’ll need to prove that he’s capable of handling the starting job with a level of consistency that the A’s haven’t been able to find in any of their players.