A's avoid arbitration with 3, tender 7 others

December 1st, 2021

MLB’s non-tender deadline on Tuesday brought no surprises from the A’s.

Ahead of the 5 p.m. PT deadline, the A’s announced that deals were reached with infielder Tony Kemp, outfielder Chad Pinder and right-handed pitcher Deolis Guerra to avoid arbitration. In addition to those three one-year agreements, Oakland’s remaining seven arbitration-eligible players -- starting pitchers Chris Bassitt, Sean Manaea and Frankie Montas, reliever Lou Trivino, first baseman Matt Olson, third baseman Matt Chapman and outfielder Ramón Laureano -- were all tendered contracts for the 2022 season.

The moves leave Oakland’s 40-man roster 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.

Though the original deadline to tender contracts to players eligible for arbitration was Dec. 2, MLB and the MLB Players Association agreed to move that date to Nov. 30 in order to allow the opportunity for players who were non-tendered to sign with a new team. The current Collective Bargaining Agreement is set to expire at 8:59 p.m. PT on Wednesday, and if a new deal is not reached before then, a transaction freeze would be implemented across the league upon expiration of the CBA.

Players like Olson, Chapman, Bassitt, Manaea and Montas -- all of whom are set to receive notable salary raises through arbitration -- have all been involved in trade rumors this offseason as the A’s face a potential budget crunch in which they might need to shed payroll. General manager David Forst indicated a few weeks ago during the GM Meetings that the club has to be “open and willing to listen” on offers regarding some of its key players. The tendering of contracts to those five players keeps them on the 40-man roster, with the possibility of Oakland exploring the trade market for such players still in play.

The arbitration-eligible players can negotiate contracts with the A’s over the next month. If no deal is reached by Jan. 14, the two sides will exchange salary figures and go to an arbitration panel that decides either the player’s or team’s offer in a binding settlement for the 2022 season.