The title above shouldn’t surprise anyone. The A’s head into the offseason with some serious, and I mean serious, questions regarding the team’s spending on free agents this winter. A’s fans shouldn’t expect a repeat of last winter, where the A’s went all crazy and made several attempts at landing 3B Adrian Beltre. Spending money, so it seems, is not on Oakland’s agenda this winter.
General manager Billy Beane and team co-owner Lew Wolff will be busy waiting around for a decision from MLB and Commissioner Bud Selig regarding the team’s request to build a stadium in San Jose. No one is holding their breath, though. Beane and Wolff have been waiting nearly three years for a decision that, in mind, won’t benefit the A’s organization. I just don’t see MLB or Selig being gutsy enough to allow the A’s into San Jose, which falls within San Francisco’s “territorial” rights.
All of this waiting, as most of you can probably imagine, is not doing Beane or the rest of the A’s front office any good. The longer the A’s sit around and wait for a decision that’s never going to come, the more and more they fall behind the rest of the teams actually taking part in this year’s free agent market. Oakland have not made any offers to its five free agents, and now guys like Josh Willingham and Coco Crisp are free to chat with other teams.
The A’s simply took a “pass” on their five free agents, as Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle so eloquently puts it in a recent article about team’s failure to offer contract extensions. In the article, Slusser notes that the A’s missed out on their window of exclusivity with their five free agents and that it now appears highly unlikely that Willingham and Crisp will return to the team next year.
Hideki Matsui, Rich Harden, and David DeJesus are Oakland’s other free agents. Matsui, while putting on quite the show during the second-half of the season, just didn’t embody that same “Godzilla” image that he commanded in New York with the Yankees. While it was thought that Matsui could return next year, especially since the team will be opening against Seattle in Tokyo next year, talks about a Matsui return have, as Slusser notes, cooled down.
Since Willingham projects as a Type-A free agent, it’s expected that Oakland will offer him arbitration. He’ll most likely decline Oakland’s offer, and look for work elsewhere. Ah, the life of an Oakland A’s fan. We are, quite literally, the organ donors to the rich. That’s not my line, by the way. If you’ve seen Moneyball, you’ll know exactly what I mean.
Let’s hope we get a decision (good or bad) regarding the move to San Jose soon. Oakland cannot afford to sit around all winter and do absolutely nothing.
What are your thoughts? Sound off below!
Tags: 2011 Oakland A's 2012 A's Arbitration Average Batting Average Billy Beane Bud Selig Bud Selig MLB Clubhouse Leader Coco Crisp David DeJesus Free Agency Front Office Hideki Matsui Home Runs Japan 2012 Opening Day Josh Willingham MLB MLB Arbitration MLB Committee MLB Free Agency MLB Statistics MLB Stats Oakland A's Oakland A's Front Office Oakland A's Outfield Oakland Athletics On Base Percentage Outfield Power Hitter Power Hitting RBIs Runs Scored San Francisco Chronicle San Francisco Giants San Jose Slugging Percentage Stats Team Leader Type A Free Agent Type B Free Agent