Athletics

MLB free agency: Why Jason Kipnis could be good fit to sign with A's

MLB free agency: Why Jason Kipnis could be good fit to sign with A's

The A's made a trade back in December that sent second baseman Jurickson Profar to the San Diego Padres. In return, Oakland acquired catcher Austin Allen and a player to be named later, who wound up being Buddy Reed.

That didn't take care of the second base need, at least when it came to an everyday starter. The free-agent list at the position remains somewhat full, but the idea of Jason Kipnis is fascinating.

The whys

For starters, the man knows the AL well has he has spent the entirety of his career with the Cleveland Indians. In related news, it doesn't appear the Indians are willing to re-sign him.

In other related news, he's a left-handed hitter, which is one of the main things the A's are continuing to look for this offseason.

Let's get this part out of the way. His numbers are pretty "meh" when Kipnis is playing at the Coliseum in his career. In 22 games, he has a .218/.292./310 slash line without a home run, but he has quite a few good seasons sandwiched in there with those Oakland appearances. His .602 OPS at the Coliseum also isn't too sexy, but there are plenty of names on the A's to make up for that power.

As we know, Khris Davis is due for a comeback.

Kipnis' .245/.304/.410 slash line with 17 home runs in 121 games last season is far less than what the two-time All-Star is capable of.

In the past, he's been able to improve his power. He worked with his coaches a couple of seasons ago to perfect that power. That could be something he teaches himself again.

Perhaps he needs a change of scenery.

The why nots

Well, it's a money thing. Isn't it always?

The Indians didn't pick up Kipnis' $16.5 million option in October. The A's don't have a history of reaching deep into their pockets. 

You do the math.

It wouldn't hurt to rent someone of his caliber for a season knowing there are plenty of young guys able to take over the position in the future. But is that really why these guys hit the free-agent market?

No. Especially for the first time in one's career -- and he's 32 years old. 

[RELATED: Olson's 483-foot homer longest by A's player in Statcast era]

Utility man Chad Pinder is the essence of "put him anywhere and let him do his thing." Franklin Barreto and Jorge Mateo also are options to fill in when needed, but Kipnis would be the everyday guy.

I didn't forget about the history of injuries Kip has dealt with. Those always are a factor, but the addition of him into that clubhouse full of personalities is interesting. 

Roy Steele, A's 'Voice of God' and legendary PA announcer, dies at Auburn home

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Getty Images

Roy Steele, A's 'Voice of God' and legendary PA announcer, dies at Auburn home

One does not easily earn the "Voice of God" moniker, but when it came to Roy Steele, nothing else would do. 

The long-time public address announcer for the A's passed away Thursday at his home in Auburn, leaving behind a tremendous legacy as one of the most recognizable voices in the history of the game. The A's released a team statement acknowledging his vast contributions to the history of the franchise.

"As the PA voice of the A’s for nearly four decades, his booming baritone filled the Coliseum from the Mustache Gang to Billy Ball, the Bash Brothers and Moneyball," the statement said. "Beloved by all, he touched the lives of generations of A’s fans. We send our heartfelt condolences to his family and loved ones."

Steele began his tenure as the A's PA announcer starting in 1968 and remained in the position through 2005, though he did make occasional appearances during the 2007-08 season. He covered over 3,000 A's games, including six World Series and an All-Star Game. Throughout his 38 years at the helm, he only missed five days of work.

[RELATED: A's might have to delay targeted 2023 ballpark opening]

His death comes during a sad week for the Oakland franchise. On Sunday, Chester Farrow, who operated the scoreboard at the Coliseum for over 50 years, passed away at the age of 77.

Whenever MLB resumes, one would imagine both longtime employees will be honored.

A's might have to delay targeted 2023 Howard Terminal ballpark opening

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Oakland A's

A's might have to delay targeted 2023 Howard Terminal ballpark opening

The A's have publicly said they plan to open a new ballpark at Oakland's Howard Terminal ahead of the 2023 season.

Those plans could be delayed.

An A's spokesperson admitted to The San Francisco Chronicle's Scott Ostler on Thursday that the team "might have to push back" their targeted opening date. Ostler wrote that "growing political and logistical hurdles," "[coronavirus]-related delays" and a recent federal court ruling could endanger the 2023 target, as could a recent federal court ruling. 

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals struck down Oakland's ban on transporting coal through the city in a two-to-one ruling Tuesday. The Sierra Club told Bay Area News Group that there are plans to file another appeal, as they and community leaders have argued that coal dust would add to West Oakland's polluted air. Howard Terminal, which already requires environmental certification before the A's can ever begin construction, is fewer than two miles downwind from the site where Utah coal companies planned to transport coal prior to the city's now-struck-down ban.

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A's owner John Fisher, who Forbes currently estimates has a net worth of $2.1 billion, announced in a letter to fans Tuesday that the team would cease paying minor leaguers a weekly $400 stipend starting in June and that the team had "implemented a significant temporary furlough of staff positions, and reduced compensation for staff members who are not furloughed."

The A's previously said in a statement to NBC Sports California earlier this month that they deferred their annual $1.25 million rent payment for use of the Oakland Coliseum because the Coliseum Authority "has been unable to make the Coliseum available for use by the A's" during the coronavirus pandemic." Henry Gardener, the Coliseum Authority's interim executive director, told Bay Area News Group that the A's told the stadium authority they "had no ability to pay."