Recapping A's offseason moves, roster FAQs

March 13th, 2022

OAKLAND -- After being left out of the postseason for the first time since 2017, the A’s appear on the cusp of entering a new direction.

One big change already took place in November, when longtime manager Bob Melvin left the organization to become the next manager of the Padres. This led to the hiring of Mark Kotsay, Melvin’s former right-hand man, to become the 31st manager in A’s history.

The next move could be deconstructing a core that has helped establish a winning culture in Oakland over the past few years. Continuing to face financial constraints, the A’s are expected to explore the trade market for some of their top stars in an effort to both keep their salary budget within their range and replenish a farm system that ranks near the bottom half in MLB.

With the lockout over and baseball back in business, here are some FAQs for the A’s in 2022:

What deals have already gotten done?
The A’s reached deals with infielder Tony Kemp, outfielder Chad Pinder and right-handed pitcher Deolis Guerra in November to avoid arbitration. Oakland’s managerial vacancy was also filled with the hiring of Kotsay.

What are the biggest remaining needs and who might they target to fill these holes?
Finding relief arms is likely at the top of the list. Five members from last year’s bullpen remain free agents and, to this point, the only notable move to address that need has been the signing of right-hander Dany Jiménez to a Minor League deal.

Expect the A’s to target veteran relief help, much like they did last offseason with the signing of closer Trevor Rosenthal, who was injured in Spring Training and ultimately missed the entire season. Veteran closer-types on the free agent market include Brad Hand.

Which of their free agents have signed elsewhere?
Three of the A’s 14 free agents have already found new homes. Outfielders Starling Marte and Mark Canha both signed with the Mets, while catcher Yan Gomes reached a two-year deal with the Cubs.

Might there be a reunion with any of their remaining free agents?
The A’s could look to bring back one or two of their relievers from last year. That group includes Andrew Chafin, Yusmeiro Petit, Sergio Romo and Jake Diekman. Oakland’s familiarity with second baseman Jed Lowrie and designated hitter Khris Davis could also make them ideal candidates to return, especially given their expected affordable salaries.

Are there any players they are looking to trade?
First baseman Matt Olson, third baseman Matt Chapman, and starting pitcher Sean Manaea -- all of whom are set to receive notable salary raises through arbitration -- have been involved in trade rumors this offseason.

During the GM Meetings in November, general manager David Forst indicated that the club has to be "open and willing to listen" to offers regarding some of its key players, meaning the trade market will likely be explored in the coming weeks.

UPDATE: A's traded Olson to the Braves for four prospects: Outfielder Cristian Pache, Catcher Shea Langeliers and right-handed pitchers Ryan Cusick and Joey Estes. (March 13)

What outstanding arbitration cases are on the docket?
Oakland has seven remaining arbitration-eligible players -- starting pitchers Frankie Montas and Manaea, reliever Lou Trivino, Olson, Chapman and outfielder Ramón Laureano.

How many open spots are on the 40-man roster?
Oakland’s 40-man roster currently stands at 35 players. Laureano, who still has 27 games left to serve of an 80-game suspension for a performance-enhancing substance, remains excluded from the 40-man roster until the suspension is completed.