Athletics

Athletics

The A's lineup was dominated by right-handed hitters this season, with only Matt Olson swinging a left-handed bat in the middle of the order.

Oakland would like to change that next year, particularly in the outfield, where Mark Canha, Stephen Piscotty, and Ramón Laureano all bat from the right side.

Here are five left-handed outfield bats the A's could pursue in free agency:

Corey Dickerson

Dickerson slashed .304/.341/.565 with 12 home runs, 28 doubles, and 59 RBI in 78 games between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia this year. The 30-year-old saw his season come to a premature end due to a broken foot, but he should be good to go next year.

In seven major league seasons, Dickerson has posted an impressive .286/.328/.504 slash line, earning a trip to the All-Star Game in 2017 as a member of the Rays. He is also a strong defensive left fielder, winning a Gold Glove in 2018 with the Pirates.

Dickerson earned $8.5 million this year and figures to see a similar salary moving forward. If the A's decide to trade Piscotty or Canha, Dickerson would be an ideal replacement.

Kole Calhoun

Calhoun has tormented the A's for the last eight years as a member of the Angels. Why not see what he could do in green and gold?

Calhoun, 32, slashed .232/.325/.467 this season with a career-high 33 homers, 29 doubles, and 74 RBI. He has played all three outfield positions during his major league career, winning a Gold Glove as a right fielder in 2015.

Calhoun completed a three-year, $26 million contract with the Angels but figures to get less than that this offseason. His bat could be a nice addition to the A's lineup.

 

Alex Gordon

The longtime Kansas City Royal hits the free-agent market as a 35-year-old who can still swing the bat. Gordon slashed .266/.345/.396 this year with 13 home runs, 31 doubles, and 76 RBI.

In 13 seasons with the Royals, Gordon has posted a .258/.339/.413 slash line, making three All-Star Games and winning a staggering seven Gold Gloves in left field. He can also play right and center field.

Gordon finished a four-year, $72 million deal, but at his age, he won't get anywhere near that in free agency this offseason. He could, however, contribute to the A's with both his bat and glove.

Jacoby Ellsbury

Ellsbury is the classic low-risk, high-reward free agent. He was released this week by the Yankees, who will still have to pay him $26 million next season. That means he will be available to sign for the league minimum in free agency.

Ellsbury, 36, hasn't played since 2017 due to various injuries, but his career .284/.342/.417 slash line makes him worth a flier. He slashed .264/.348/.402 with seven homers, 20 doubles, and 39 RBI in 112 games in 2017.

Again, there's virtually no risk in signing Ellsbury to a contract for the league minimum. If he can come back healthy, he can certainly impact a major league roster.

Brett Gardner

Gardner is probably the least realistic option of the group. The 36-year-old appears likely to re-sign with the Yankees. But at the very least, he's worth a look.

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Gardner is coming off the best season of his 12-year career, slashing .251/.325/.503 with 28 home runs, 26 doubles, and 74 RBI. He is also a stellar defensive left fielder, winning a Gold Glove in 2016.

Gardner earned $7.5 million this year and figures to get a similar salary in 2020. If the Yankees end up moving on without him, the A's should consider a call to his agent.