Josh Phegley

A's 2020 roster begins to take shape with three players non-tendered


A's 2020 roster begins to take shape with three players non-tendered

The A's have decided to move on from a trio of veterans, non-tendering Blake Treinen, Ryan Buchter, and Josh Phegley on Monday, making them free agents.

Oakland did tender contracts to Chris Bassitt, Mark Canha, Robbie Grossman, Liam Hendriks, Sean Manaea, Chad Pinder and Marcus Semien, all eligible for arbitration this offseason. The A's also agreed to a one-year contract with left-handed reliever T.J. McFarland, worth $1.8 million, a source told NBC Sports California.

None of the moves are particularly surprising, though Treinen figures to garner a great deal of interest on the free agent market. The 31-year-old is just a year removed from recording 38 saves and a 0.78 ERA with 100 strikeouts in 80 1/3 innings.

However, Treinen struggled in 2019, posting a 4.91 ERA and 1.62 WHIP, ultimately losing his closer job. The right-hander was projected to get close to $8 million in arbitration, so it was never realistic that he would return. Oakland reportedly tried to find a trade partner for Treinen but couldn't get a deal done before Monday's non-tender deadline.

Buchter was made expendable by McFarland's deal, particularly with MLB's rule changes for next season, which require a pitcher to face at least three batters before departing. The A's primarily used Buchter as a left-handed specialist over the past two seasons, which won't be an option next year.

Buchter, 32, went 1-1 with a 2.98 ERA and 1.43 WHIP in 45 1/3 innings last season. He was projected to get $1.8 million in arbitration.

As for Phegley, the writing was probably on the wall earlier Monday when Oakland acquired 25-year-old catcher Austin Allen from the Padres for second baseman Jurickson Profar. A left-handed hitter, Allen figures to back up Sean Murphy behind the plate, leaving no room for Phegley, who was projected to get $2.2 million in arbitration.

Phegley, 31, slashed .239/.282/.411 last season with a career-high 12 home runs and 62 RBI. He hit .233 in five years with the A's.

With the departures of Treinen, Buchter, Phegley, and Profar, the A's roster is beginning to take form for 2020. Youngsters Sheldon Neuse, Franklin Barreto, and Jorge Mateo will likely battle for the starting second baseman job, though Oakland could still bring in a veteran in free agency or via trade.

[RELATED: Profar trade gives A's infield situation clarity]

As expected, the bullpen is the area that needs the most work. The A's will bring back Hendriks, Yusmeiro Petit, Joakim Soria, Lou Trivino, J.B. Wendelken, as well as McFarland and Bassitt. That leaves room for another couple of relievers in free agency.

Of course, the moves should really start to pick up next week when the baseball world converges on San Diego for the annual Winter Meetings.

Jurickson Profar trade gives A's infield situation some needed clarity


Jurickson Profar trade gives A's infield situation some needed clarity

With the non-tender deadline just hours away, the A's shipped starting second baseman Jurickson Profar to the Padres for 25-year-old catcher Austin Allen and a player to be named later.

It's a shrewd move by Billy Beane, David Forst, and company, as Profar was almost certain to be non-tendered later in the day, due to his projected $5.8 million salary in arbitration. Instead, Oakland was able to acquire a solid left-handed hitting catcher to pair with 25-year-old Sean Murphy next year.

In 67 Triple-A games last season, Allen slashed an impressive .330/.379/.663 with 21 home runs and 67 RBI. He hit .215 with three RBI in 34 major league games with the Padres.

Originally a fourth-round draft pick in 2015, Allen has launched 20 or more homers in three consecutive seasons in the minors, with a career .296 batting average and .844 OPS.

The move could signal the end of Josh Phegley's tenure in Oakland, as the 31-year-old catcher is projected to get $2.2 million in arbitration. Phegley becomes a strong non-tender candidate at Monday's 5:00 p.m. deadline.

As for Profar, the 26-year-old switch hitter mostly struggled in his lone season with the A's, posting a .218/.301/.410 slash line. He did notch 20 home runs and 67 RBI, but his defensive struggles at second base were a major issue, with his 13 errors ranking third highest among AL second basemen.

With Profar now out of the picture, the A's second base situation features youngsters Sheldon Neuse, Franklin Barreto, and Jorge Mateo. The three top-10 prospects may end up battling for the starting job in spring training, though Oakland could still choose to bring in a veteran, either in free agency or via trade.

[RELATED: MLB announces over $1.2 million from playoff shares]

With Monday night's non-tender deadline rapidly approaching, the A's might not be done making trades. Former closer Blake Treinen is reportedly on the block, as is Phegley. Other non-tender possibilities include left-hander Ryan Buchter and outfielder Robbie Grossman.

Those questions will be answered shortly, but in the meantime, the A's front office deserves credit for moving Profar at the 11th hour.

MLB rumors: A's discussing trading Blake Treinen, two other veterans


MLB rumors: A's discussing trading Blake Treinen, two other veterans

The A's reportedly are looking to trade three veterans.

According to The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal, Oakland has been discussing dealing away relief pitcher Blake Treinen, second baseman Jurickson Profar and catcher Josh Phegley.

The news isn't all that surprising, considering that all three players are potential non-tender candidates in their final year of arbitration.

Treinen, 31, is projected by MLB Trade Rumors to receive $7.8 million, a figure the A's almost certainly will decline to pay the right-hander, who's coming off the worst year of his career.

After an All-Star season in 2018, Treinen struggled to post a 4.91 ERA and 1.62 WHIP this year, ultimately being shut down with a back injury. With Liam Hendriks now firmly entrenched in the closer role, Oakland has no room for Treinen and his salary.

MLB Trade Rumors projects Profar to land $5.8 million in arbitration -- a significant sum for an inconsistent second baseman. The 26-year-old struggled both offensively and defensively for most of 2019, slashing .218/.301/.410 with 20 home runs and 67 RBI, and committing 13 errors.

Phegley is projected to receive $2.2 million in arbitration, which is the most reasonable of the three figures but still on the high side for a backup catcher. The 31-year-old slashed .239/.282/.411 with 12 homers and 62 RBI this year, but rookie Sean Murphy likely will be the starter in 2020.

[RELATED: Semien reportedly interested in contract extension with A's]

Oakland already traded starting pitcher Jharel Cotton, another arbitration-eligible player, to the Cubs for cash considerations, so it wouldn't be surprising to see more deals in the near future. Monday marks the deadline for teams to tender contracts to their arbitration-eligible players, which could make it a busy Thanksgiving weekend for the A's.