A's expected to non-tender several players
Coming off rough season, Davis among those arbitration-eligible unlikely to be offered contracts
OAKLAND -- The A's roster will drop in number this week, as the club is expected to shed several non-tender candidates ahead of Wednesday's 8:59 p.m. PT deadline.
Oakland is carrying 13 arbitration-eligible players, nearly half of whom could be deemed not worthy of a potential raise in arbitration, including Ike Davis, Evan Scribner, Felix Doubront, Fernando Abad, Craig Gentry and Sam Fuld.
Any player not tendered a contract is immediately allowed to test free agency.
Davis, who will be 29 in March, is likely headed for the open market after an underwhelming season in Oakland that was cut short by hip labrum surgery. The left-handed hitter, acquired by the A's from the Pirates last winter, got off to a solid start in his new uniform, but he quickly faded, finishing with a .229/.301/.350 slash line and only three home runs and 20 RBIs in 239 plate appearances.
Moreover, Davis will be owed approximately $3.8 million in 2016, as projected by MLB Trade Rumors, an expense the A's could allot elsewhere with several other first-base options already on hand, including Mark Canha and Stephen Vogt.
The A's value Fuld as a defensive specialist and, for this reason, they could tender the 34-year-old a contract and keep him in the mix while they plot out a plan for their outfield. But is that worth the $2 million Fuld is expected to take home in 2016? That's the question the A's must answer. He hit .197 and reached base at a .276 clip in 325 plate appearances this past season.
Should Fuld stay, he provides the A's with a solid platoon option opposite Jake Smolinski in left field behind the injury-prone Coco Crisp. Canha, too, can play this position, furthering the notion that Fuld is expendable.
Like Fuld, Gentry excels on defense but gave the A's little offensively in 2016. That cost Gentry a trip to Triple-A Nashville, where he remained for much of the season. Gentry and Abad were designated for assignment Nov. 20, and both cleared waivers and were outrighted to Nashville on Monday.
Gentry's projected 2016 salary comes in at $1.6 million; Abad's $1.5 million. Abad posted a 1.57 ERA in his first season with the A's (2014) before succumbing to team-wide bullpen struggles this season, compiling a 4.15 ERA with 11 home runs and 19 walks allowed in 47 2/3 innings.
Scribner surrendered even more long balls, yielding 14 homers (a Major League high for a reliever) in a career-high 60 innings. He had a 2.01 ERA over his first 27 appearances, but then posted a 6.91 ERA over his final 27 outings and missed the final month of the season with a torn right lat muscle.
Scribner, who earned Super Two status, is expected to command less than $1 million in his first year of arbitration eligibility, but he is more likely than not to be let go as the A's look to revamp their bullpen.
Doubront, meanwhile, acted as rotation insurance for a depleted A's staff down the stretch and went 2-2 with a 5.81 ERA in 11 games (eight starts) for them. He's projected to earn $2.5 million next year, a cost the A's seemingly won't pick up.
Here are the projected earnings for the A's remaining arbitration-eligible players, who are expected to be tendered contracts Wednesday: Josh Reddick ($7 million), Brett Lawrie ($3.9 million), Danny Valencia ($3.4 million), Eric Sogard ($1.7 million), Fernando Rodriguez ($1.3 million), Jarrod Parker ($850,000).