Athletics

Why A's All-Star reliever Blake Treinen could be non-tender candidate

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Why A's All-Star reliever Blake Treinen could be non-tender candidate

The MLB offseason is fast approaching, which means it's time to prepare for moves to be made. Things will start to happen five days after the World Series champion is crowned and the weather turns cold.

MLB.com's Mark Feinsand recently put out an article detailing some surprising players who will be non-tender candidates.

Non-tendered essentially means when a club declines to give a certain player a contract for the upcoming season, making them a free agent. A club usually will non-tender a player because it feels the monetary value he would receive from arbitration would be greater than his value on the field.

A's reliever Blake Treinen is one of them.

"Treinen earned $6.4 million in his second year of arbitration-eligibility, winning his case against the Athletics last offseason," Feinsand wrote. "Treinen was fresh off of an incredible season that saw him post a 0.78 ERA, 38 saves and 0.834 WHIP, but the 2019 season was not as kind to the right-hander. Treinen, 31, had a 4.91 ERA and a 1.619 WHIP, both career worsts. Oakland could decide to cut ties with him rather than give him a raise."

As Feinsand addressed, Treinen had a completely different season in 2019 than the outstanding one he left behind in the previous season.

The typical dominant closer switched to more of a setup role. And while Liam Hendriks did a sensational job taking over those responsibilities, Treinen never recovered. He ended up exiting the season early because of back problems, which shifted Chris Bassitt to the bullpen.

MLB Trade Rumors' annual arbitration projections expect Treinen's salary figure to be $7.8 million. That's quite the gamble on someone who didn't live up to expectations in 2019.

So perhaps this isn't much of a surprise at all.

Last season, Mike Fiers was non-tendered by the A's, who were starving for starting pitching. The team ultimately signed the starter to a two-year contract, and that return on investment turned out to be successful.

Ex-A's catcher Bruce Maxwell says he still gets threats after kneeling

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Ex-A's catcher Bruce Maxwell says he still gets threats after kneeling

Bruce Maxwell's team had won. He was a champion in the Mexican Baseball League:

The former A's catcher walked away with celebratory honors with the Acereros de Monclova, a Triple-A team in Mexico. And he was a huge part of the success.

He finished his season with a .325/.407/.559 line and 24 home runs. 

But Maxwell's past still haunts him.

Despite the new championship hardware, Maxwell still receives death threats on social media from something that occurred back in September of 2017.

“I had a few people on Twitter saying, ‘F--k you, I still hope you die," Maxwell told The San Francisco Chronicle's Susan Slusser. "I’m glad you’re not on our team, we don’t play kneelers.’ I was like, ‘Two years later y’all are still worrying about me?’

“People say they wish I’d go away — then they take the time to find me, when I’ve completely removed myself from damn near every contact I’ve had, and I have a new Facebook, new Instagram. I’ve started over, and I’m really happy with who I’m looking at in the mirror every day, physically, emotionally.”

The kneeling was supported by his teammate A's outfielder Mark Canha who placed his hand on the shoulder of a kneeling Maxwell. Then others joined. Manager Bob Melvin and general manager David Forst both spoke to media to offer their backing.

Beyond the protest, Maxwell had other tribulations added to his life. 

He was arrested and faced charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and disorderly conduct in October of 2017. He allegedly pointed a gun at a female driver who came to his door to deliver food. According to police reports, Maxwell was showing signs of intoxication during his arrest, used profanity and "anti-police statements."

“People looked at me in a different light because of that,” Maxwell told The Chronicle. “People in baseball and fans look at me like a terrible person, an awful human being for standing up for what I believe in. Or for the arrest I had, and those charges were dropped."

[RELATED: Maxwell still smiling after controversial season]

Those awful comments from those on social media are inevitable. Trust us, we know.

Still, upon looking for those interacting with the former big-league catcher, there were words of encouragement. Those saying Maxwell deserved the win he helped his team achieve. Those saying they even missed him in a Green and Gold uniform. 

Hopefully, Maxwell sees those, as well. 

Why A's likely won't bring back pitcher Tanner Roark for 2020 MLB season

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Why A's likely won't bring back pitcher Tanner Roark for 2020 MLB season

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.

Tanner Roark, RHP

Contract: Free agent (earned $10 million this season)

Reasons to bring him back

Roark got off to a terrific start with the A's, but staggered to a disappointing finish. The 33-year-old went 3-1 with a 2.70 ERA in his first six outings wearing green and gold. However, he was just 1-2 with an 8.35 ERA in his last four starts.

Overall, Roark posted a 4-3 record and a 4.58 ERA in 10 starts with Oakland. The right-hander finished the 2019 season with a 10-10 mark and a 4.35 ERA in 31 starts between the A's and Reds, certainly serviceable numbers.

Roark was also a natural fit in the A's clubhouse, almost immediately bonding with his new teammates. By the end of the season, he was one of the more popular players on the team.

Reasons to let him go

At 33 years old, Roark's prime is clearly behind him. He hasn't posted a sub-four ERA since 2016 and his WHIP has steadily increased over the past few seasons.

With the A's starting rotation likely to feature Jesús Luzardo, Frankie Montas, Sean Manaea, Mike Fiers, and A.J. Puk, not to mention Chris Bassitt also in the mix, Roark probably wouldn't have much of an opportunity to make an impact. Throw in a hefty price tag and it wouldn't make a ton of sense to bring him back.

Final verdict

It would be surprising to see Roark back in green and gold next season unless he desperately wants to return and would take a low salary. That seems unlikely, especially with numerous teams still looking for quality starters.

[RELATED: A's stay or go candidate for 2020 season: Homer Bailey]

Roark probably won't get the $10 million he earned last year, but he could very well see something close to that number. With a stable of young starting pitchers, the A's has no real reason to re-sign an expensive veteran just for depth purposes. Look for Roark to sign elsewhere this offseason.