Just a few days after the conclusion of St. Louis’ epic World Series victory over the Rangers, MLB has moved on and is turning its focus to the HotStove which seems to be burning. The teams that made news today are the Yankees and Indians.
The Yankees, with money seemingly bursting from the seams of their pockets, agreed to give star pitcher CC Sabathia an additional $30 million that will ultimately help pay him an astounding $122 million over the next five years.
The Indians, meanwhile, acquired veteran pitcher Derek Lowe from the Atlanta Braves. Lowe, 38, went 9-17 with a 5.05 ERA in 34 starts this year with the Braves.
Days like this make it especially hard to be an A’s fan. The A’s, mired in a tough stadium situation, are seemingly always strapped for cash, and the offseason is not a particularly good time for A’s fans. It’s the time of year when we get to kiss goodbye to our stars like Josh Willingham, who will surely go to a better team with a bigger budget.
It can be an exciting time, but going into this particular offseason, the A’s face many questions. One is whether or not to make a hard push to keep Willingham around for another season. Popular belief suggests, however, that even if Oakland wanted Willingham back, he might, as most players tend to be, out of their price range.
The Athletics could be without all of their starting outfielders next year. Willingham, Crisp, and DeJesus could all be gone next year. DeJesus is definitely not coming back, especially with the way he performed in his first (and last) season with the green-and-gold. But Willingham and Crisp remain candidates (long shot candidates) to return.
Oakland really can’t enter the realm of the Hot Stove just yet since they’re still waiting for MLB and Bud Selig to respond to their request to build a stadium in San Jose. If the A’s are granted approval to start building, the team will likely cut all spending, making for an offseason that does not include the signing of big name stars.
If they’re denied, which is a strong possibility, the team will likely up their spending. But, as we saw with Adrian Beltre’s refusal to play in Oakland despite being offered big money, spending lots of money doesn’t always result in landing top talent.