Athletics

Why A's should move on from Robbie Grossman in final arbitration year

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Why A's should move on from Robbie Grossman in final arbitration year

Editor's note: Over the next two weeks, we will examine 10 A's players who may or may not return to Oakland next season. For each player, we will provide reasons why the A's should bring him back and reasons why they should not, followed by a final determination.

Robbie Grossman, OF

Contract: Final year of arbitration (projected to get $3.3 million after earning $2 million this season)

Reasons to bring him back

Grossman provides versatility as a switch-hitter who can play all three outfield positions. He also has a strong record of reaching base, maintaining a .351 on-base percentage throughout his career.

The A's lineup is extremely right-handed heavy and they could certainly use another left-handed bat, particularly in the outfield. For $3.3 million, Grossman could add some value as a fourth or fifth outfielder.

Reasons to let him go

Grossman is coming off his worst season since 2015, hitting just .240/.334/.348 with six home runs and 38 RBI in 138 games. The 30-year-old has never provided much power, averaging just six homers per season in his career, with a high of 11 in 2016.

Oakland already has a crowded outfield with Ramón Laureano, Mark Canha, Stephen Piscotty, and Chad Pinder. The A's also have Dustin Fowler, Skye Bolt, and Seth Brown awaiting their opportunity in the minor leagues. Grossman isn't necessarily an upgrade over any of those names.

Final verdict

Due to their excellent outfield depth, the A's should move on without Grossman in 2020. That $3.3 million could be better spent in other areas -- relief pitching, as an example.

[RELATED: A's stay or go candidate for 2020 season: Josh Phegley]

If Grossman were to return, he would almost certainly be a bench player, and as we've noted, Oakland has plenty of other options to fill those fourth and fifth outfielder roles for far less than $3.3 million.

Why blockbuster Corey Kluber trade from Indians to Rangers is bad for A's

Why blockbuster Corey Kluber trade from Indians to Rangers is bad for A's

Teams in the AL West continue to make moves this offseason, while the A's watch from afar. The latest is a two-time Cy Young award winner reportedly joining the Texas Rangers. 

The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal reported Sunday that the Rangers have acquired starting pitcher Corey Kluber from the Cleveland Indians for outfielder Delino DeShields Jr. and pitching prospect Emmanuel Clase. Levi Weaver of The Athletic also reported there are expected to be more players sent to Cleveland. 

Kluber, who turns 34 years old in April, was limited to just seven games last season due to injuries and put up the worst numbers of his eight-year career in limited innings. But when healthy, the right-hander still is one of the best arms in all of baseball. 

Prior to Kluber's injury-riddled 2019, he had averaged 31 starts per year and 206 innings pitched from 2013 to '18. In that six-year span, he also averaged 227 strikeouts and only 43 walks. 

The Rangers now have added Kluber, Jordan Lyles and Kyle Gibson to their rotation this offseason. As they move into their new stadium, the Rangers are expected to continue making moves, too. 

[RELATED: Three biggest winners, losers from MLB Winter Meetings]

Adding Kluber clearly is a positive for the Rangers, but it's another negative for the A's. He has a 2.29 career ERA against Oakland in nine appearances -- eight starts -- but now will face them much more in 2020. 

While the A's are more focused on keeping their young core intact long-term, the Angels added star third baseman Anthony Rendon and the Rangers traded for Kluber. The AL West has been owned by the Astros and A's in recent seasons, but the rest of the division is coming for them.

Source: Free agent second baseman Eric Sogard interested in A's return

Source: Free agent second baseman Eric Sogard interested in A's return

Having a lefty bat at the second base position continues to be one of the A's main focuses this offseason

That could mean reuniting with Eric Sogard. A source tells NBC Sports California the 34-year-old is open to returning to Oakland.

Sogard, currently a free agent, had an exceptional campaign in 2019 slashing .290/.353/.457 with 13 homers across 110 games with the Blue Jays and the Rays. He was part of the Tampa Bay squad that came to the AL Wild-Card Game in Oakland and celebrated in the visitors' clubhouse.

A's fans remember the outcome of that. 

The second baseman spent six seasons with the A's from 2010-15 where he accumulated a .239 average with eight home runs and 105 RBI. 

The A's traded second baseman Jurickson Profar to the Padres on Dec. 2, so they have a need at the position.

Despite picking up a talented second baseman during Thursday's Rule 5 Draft, the team will still seek a more prominent starter at the position. 

[RELATED: A's are focused on keeping young stars]

The A's reportedly are interested in bringing current Mets second baseman Jed Lowrie back for the third time -- but there are 10 million reasons as to why the Mets wouldn't make a trade.

Did we mention Sogard bats left-handed yet?