The A’s have officially offered salary arbitration to their free agent outfielders Josh Willingham and David DeJesus. Both Willingham and DeJesus have until November 30 to accept arbitration, but it’s expected that Oakland, a team mired in a complex stadium problem, will lose both their free agent outfielders this winter.
Willingham was acquired by Oakland last winter in a deal with the Washington Nationals. A’s general manager Billy Beane scored pretty big this past season with Willingham, as the veteran outfielder posted career highs in both home runs (29) and RBIs (98).
Willingham proved to be Oakland’s best offensive player this year and it’s expected that he’ll get plenty of offers from other clubs this winter. Time to get rid of those Willingham jerseys, assuming you actually purchased one this season.
DeJesus, meanwhile, didn’t meet Oakland’s expectations this year. The 31-year old outfielder hit just .240/.323/.376 with 10 HR and 46 RBIs in his first season with the Athletics. He did stay relatively healthy this season for the A’s and appeared in 131 games this year compared to just 91 last year with Kansas City.
Other than the fact that he played in more games, however, DeJesus didn’t do much this season that would warrant any return to the A’s. Oakland gave him an opportunity this year, but things just didn’t work out.
Oakland would love to have Willingham back next year, though. They’re just not sure whether or not they can afford him next year. Under the new MLB collective-bargaining agreement (CBA), if the A’s lose Willingham they will obtain first round picks in the slot before the team that signs him in addition to a supplementary draft pick.
This means Oakland would have a total of two selections. The days of ranked free agents are now a thing of the past with this new CBA.
The departure of these veteran outfielders does open up the door for some of Oakland’s younger talent. Michael Taylor, Jai Miller, Jermaine Mitchell, and Ryan Sweeney will all by vying for some playing time this spring.
Tags: A's Arbitration A's Offer Willingham Arbitration A's Outfield David DeJesus David DeJesus A's Draft Compensation Jermaine Mitchell Josh Willingham Michael Taylor MLB Arbitration MLB Draft Oakland A's Oakland Athletics Ryan Sweeney