Jeurys Familia

How six free agents A's let go in offseason have fared with new teams

How six free agents A's let go in offseason have fared with new teams

The A's faced some challenging decisions this past offseason as they tried to determine which of their eight free agents to bring back.

Oakland ultimately re-signed only Brett Anderson and Edwin Jackson, though Jackson was recently traded to Toronto. The A's allowed their other six free agents -- Trevor Cahill, Jeurys Familia, Matt Joyce, Shawn Kelley, Jed Lowrie and Jonathan Lucroy -- to sign elsewhere.

Here's a look at how they've fared with their new teams this season:

Trevor Cahill

Cahill signed a one-year, $9 million contract with the Angels and it has not paid off for Los Angeles.

The 31-year-old right-hander is 2-4 with a 6.43 ERA and 1.33 WHIP in 49 innings. He has already allowed 14 home runs, tied for second-most in the majors.

From the very moment the Angels signed Cahill, the deal seemed destined to fail. Sure, he had a nice bounce-back season for the A's last year, going 6-4 with a 3.76 ERA and 1.19 WHIP, but much of that was due to pitching in the Oakland Coliseum. On the road, his ERA was 6.41.

Clearly, the A's made a wise decision letting Cahill go for that price.

Jeurys Familia

Familia returned to the Mets on a three-year, $30 million deal and it has not worked out, at least so far.

The 29-year-old reliever is 2-0 but has a 6.50 ERA and 1.89 WHIP in 18 innings. Familia's biggest issue has been his lack of control, as he has already issued 14 walks. His command was also an issue at times last year, as he surrendered 14 walks in 31 1/3 innings with Oakland.

The A's were never going to re-sign Familia for $10 million per year, and it appears the organization made the right call.

Matt Joyce

Joyce initially signed a minor-league contract with the Indians but was released and signed another minor-league deal with the Giants.

San Francisco then traded the 34-year-old to Atlanta, where he has actually had some success in limited action. Joyce is slashing .250/.340/.477 with two home runs and five RBI in 44 at-bats. He was injured for much of last season and really didn't have a spot to play in Oakland, finishing the year with a .208/.322/.353 slash line.

The A's have plenty of younger options in the outfield, so they haven't missed Joyce at all. Still, it's nice to see him getting a chance on a major league club.

Shawn Kelley

Kelley signed a one-year contract with the Rangers worth $2.75 million. To this point, the veteran right-hander has been a bargain, going 3-0 with three saves and 1.80 ERA. He has struck out 12 batters in 15 innings, issuing just one walk.

Kelley, 35, recently had a health scare when he had to undergo surgery to remove multiple lumps from his vocal cords. Fortunately, the growths were benign, and he has since returned to the mound for Texas.

Kelley was outstanding after joining the A's last August, recording a 2.16 ERA and 0.78 WHIP in 16 2/3 innings. He's probably the one free agent Oakland regrets letting go.

Jed Lowrie

Lowrie signed a two-year, $20 million deal with the Mets this past offseason after a career-year in Oakland.

Unfortunately, the 35-year-old has yet to play a single game this season, due to injuries. Lowrie missed all of spring training and the start of the regular season with a sprained knee capsule. Now. he is dealing with a strained hamstring and is expected to be out until at least June.

The A's have certainly missed Lowrie's bat in their lineup, although Jurickson Profar is finally starting to heat up. Based on Lowrie's age, price tag and injuries, it appears Oakland made the right decision in letting him walk.

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Jonathan Lucroy

Lucroy signed a one-year contract with the Angels worth $3.35 million and he has made it worth their while.

The 32-year-old catcher is slashing .265/.326/.439 with six home runs and 21 RBI. Last season in Oakland, Lucroy only hit four homers all season, while slashing .241/.291/.325.

His value certainly went beyond the numbers, as he guided the A's pitching staff to a stellar season despite numerous injuries.

Even with Lucroy's success this season, the A's have actually received more production from their catchers. Josh Phegley is slashing .276/.317/.474 with five home runs and 28 RBI, and Nick Hundley has added two homers of his own.

MLB Rumors: Jeurys Familia, former A's reliever, agrees to deal with Mets


MLB Rumors: Jeurys Familia, former A's reliever, agrees to deal with Mets

LAS VEGAS - After helping the A's reach the playoffs last season, relief pitcher Jeurys Familia is heading back to the New York Mets, according to multiple reports.

The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal reports it's a three-year deal worth $30 million. Yahoo's Jeff Passan first broke news of the agreement

The A's acquired Familia from the Mets on July 21 in exchange for minor leaguers Bobby Wahl and Will Toffey. The right-hander went 4-2 with one save and a 3.45 ERA in 30 games with Oakland.

Before joining the A's, Familia had spent his entire career with the Mets. In seven Major League seasons, the 29-year-old has compiled a 2.73 ERA, notching 124 saves.

Oakland was never expected to re-sign Familia, who earned $7.925 million last season. The A's will still boast a strong bullpen, featuring the likes of Blake Treinen, Lou Trivino, Fernando Rodney, J.B. Wendelken, and Ryan Buchter, among others.

Shawn Kelley and the A's are making progress on negotiations and the team could be in the market for another left-hander as well.

Ranking A's free agents to re-sign from No. 1 to No. 8 in importance


Ranking A's free agents to re-sign from No. 1 to No. 8 in importance

There is a zero percent chance the A's will bring back all eight of their free agents next season.

OK, maybe 0.1 percent.

The A's instead will pinpoint their most valuable free agents and do everything in their power to re-sign them.

With that in mind, we've created our own rankings of Oakland's free agents, not taking salary into account. Here are the most important players to bring back next season:

1. Jonathan Lucroy

It was tough to rank Lucroy above Jed Lowrie, but the A's catcher was critical in so many ways last season. He caught more runners stealing than any other catcher in Major League Baseball and did a masterful job with the A's pitching staff.

Lucroy's offensive numbers have been down the past couple of seasons, but he still managed to notch 100 hits, including 21 doubles, and 51 RBI. The 32-year-old also was a central part of the A's terrific clubhouse chemistry.

With highly regarded prospect Sean Murphy still likely a year away, the A's should make re-signing Lucroy a top priority.

2. Jed Lowrie

Lowrie is coming off the best season of his career, slashing .267/.353/.448 with 23 home runs and 99 RBI. He was rewarded with his first All-Star Game selection and recently was named a Gold Glove Award finalist as well.

Lowrie will turn 35 in April, but he shows no signs of slowing down. If he re-signs with Oakland, he again should be a key hitter in the middle of the lineup.

The only reason Lowrie is ranked below Lucroy on this list is the presence of Franklin Barreto, who likely will take over the everyday second base job in the future.

3. Edwin Jackson

Where would the A's have been without Jackson last season? With all of the injuries to the starting rotation, Oakland relied heavily on Jackson down the stretch, and he came through in a big way. Jackson, 35, went 6-3 with a 3.33 ERA in 17 starts and almost immediately became a clubhouse favorite.

A's executive vice president Billy Beane already has said that starting pitching will be a top priority this offseason. That should start with Jackson.

4. Trevor Cahill

Cahill's second stint with the A's was mostly successful. The 30-year-old went 7-4 with a 3.76 ERA in 21 appearances, including 20 starts.

Cahill helped keep the starting rotation afloat through Oakland's many injuries, and he certainly could provide some much-needed depth next season if the A's choose to bring him back.

5. Shawn Kelley

Kelley turned out to be a terrific acquisition for the stretch run. The 34-year-old went 1-0 with a 2.16 ERA and 0.78 WHIP in 19 appearances with the A's.

Oakland already has a deep bullpen, especially with the return of Fernando Rodney, which is why Kelley is so low on this list. But if he wants to return, the A's should strongly consider bringing him back in 2019.

6. Jeurys Familia

Familia had an up-and-down season in 2018, finishing 8-6 with a 3.13 ERA and 18 saves between the Mets and A's. The 29-year-old was dominant when he first joined the A's but struggled to a 4.76 ERA in September.

Familia is expected to earn big money in free agency and probably won't return to the A's. This team has enough reliable bullpen arms to survive without him, although he probably would be welcomed back for the right price.

7. Brett Anderson

Anderson had a few great outings in 2018, but he mostly struggled en route to a 4-5 record and 4.48 ERA. The 30-year-old southpaw dealt with two arm injuries that landed him on the DL, but he recovered from both.

While the A's need depth in their starting rotation, there are probably better options out there than Anderson.

8. Matt Joyce

Joyce missed much of last season with a back injury and slashed just .208/.322/.353 in 207 at-bats. The 34-year-old was passed on the depth chart by younger outfielders like Nick Martini, Mark Canha, and Chad Pinder.

Joyce handled a frustrating season with class and professionalism, and he probably still could help another team next season. It just won't be the A's.