Athletics

Why A's should target Robbie Ray trade with D'backs selling in offseason

robbierayus.jpg
USATSI

Why A's should target Robbie Ray trade with D'backs selling in offseason

Arizona is officially open for business.

On Wednesday, the Diamondbacks traded six-time All-Star Paul Goldschmidt, the face of their franchise, to the St. Louis Cardinals in exchange for prospects. The D'backs have already seen their ace Patrick Corbin agree to terms with the Nationals and they also figure to lose All-Star outfielder A.J. Pollock in free agency.

With Arizona selling, the A's should be buying, specifically left-handed pitcher Robbie Ray.

Oakland desperately needs starting pitching and the 27-year-old left-hander would be a great addition for a couple of reasons.

First, he's flat-out dominant. Over the past two seasons, Ray has averaged better than 12 strikeouts per nine innings, ranking near the top of Major League Baseball. During that span, he has gone 21-7 with a 3.34 ERA.

Second, Ray is young and affordable. MLB Trade Rumors projects him to get $6.1 million in arbitration next season, and he is still under arbitration control for another year after that. At his age, he is just entering his prime.

The D'backs will likely want prospects in return as they start their rebuild. The A's won't want to part with Jesús Luzardo, A.J. Puk, or Sean Murphy, but anyone else should be fair game.

A's closer Liam Hendriks a finalist for AL Reliever of the Year award

liamhendriksseanmurphyusatsi.jpg
USATSI

A's closer Liam Hendriks a finalist for AL Reliever of the Year award

A's closer Liam Hendriks is one of three finalists for the Mariano Rivera American League Reliever of the Year Award.

Hendriks is joined by Astros closer Roberto Osuna and Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman. The NL finalists are Josh Hader, Will Smith, and Kirby Yates.

Hendriks, 30, enjoyed a breakout season in 2019, recording a 1.80 ERA and 0.96 WHIP. The right-hander notched 124 strikeouts in 85 innings, an A's franchise record for relievers, compared to just 21 walks.

Hendriks took over closing duties from Blake Treinen in the middle of the season and finished with 25 saves, along with eight holds. His 124 punchouts led AL relief pitchers and his 1.80 ERA ranked second among AL relievers with at least 40 innings.

Osuna posted a 2.63 ERA and 0.88 WHIP, with 73 strikeouts in 65 innings. Chapman finished with a 2.21 ERA and 1.11 WHIP, striking out 85 in 57 innings.

[RELATED: Hendriks' energy a big part of A's success]

The voting will be conducted by a panel of eight all-time great relief pitchers: Mariano Rivera, Trevor Hoffman, Dennis Eckersley, Rollie Fingers, Bruce Sutter, Lee Smith, John Franco, and Billy Wagner. Both the AL and NL awards will be presented on October 26, before Game 4 of the World Series.

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

grossmanusatsi.jpg
USATSI

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.