Three years removed from back-to-back division titles in 2012 and 2013 the Oakland A’s have now spent the previous two seasons in last place with nearly identical seasons of 94 and 93 losses but if there’s one thing the A’s are familiar with its rebuilding.
Scrolling through the A’s roster you’ll find a few familiar names and faces; four year veteran No. 1 starter Sonny Gray is still around after missing his Opening Day start because of food poisoning, he also spent most of August and September on the disabled list with an upper back strain and a strained right forearm. After earning distinction as the ace of the A’s staff with back-to-back 14 win seasons in 2014 and 2015 and a 2.88 composite ERA, Gray struggled to a 5-11 record with a 5.69 ERA in 22 starts in 2016.
Veteran reliever Ryan Madson posted a 6-7 record with a 3.62 ERA and 30 saves and was signed to a three-year $22 million prior to the season making him the highest paid player on the team.
Journey man reliever and former bartender John Axford was signed to a two-year $10 million contract and went 6-4 with a 3.97 ERA and 60 strikeouts in 65 innings as the bullpens set-up man.
Rookie left-hander Sean “Baby Giraffe” Manaea was impressive going 7-9 with a 3.86 ERA in 144 innings spanning 24 starts. Kendall Graveman was the only A’s starter to earn wins in double figures going 10-11 with a 4.11 ERA pitching a team-high 186 innings in 31 starts.
Left fielder Khris Davis led a mostly anemic A’s offense knocking 42 home runs with 102 RBI and was a steal at $524,000 after being acquired in a trade with the Milwaukee Brewers for a pair of minor leaguers. At the time of this writing the amount of Davis’ contract had not yet been determined as he is in the first year of eligibility for arbitration scheduled to receive between $4.6 and $5 million.
Shortstop Marcus Semien hit 27 home runs with 75 RBI in his second full season and is still playing for the major league minimum at $512,000 but will become eligible for arbitration next year.
Rookie third baseman Ryon Healy made his big league debut on July 15, and hit 13 home runs and 37 RBI with a .305 batting average in 72 games.
Free agent World Series hero Rajai Davis, whose two-run homer for the Cleveland Indians in the bottom of the eighth inning turned Game Seven of the 2016 Series into an epic “instant classic,” was signed to a one-year $6 million contract.
Oakland Athletics Prospects to Watch
Shortstop Franklin Barreto hit .281 with 10 home runs and 50 RBI in 119 games at AA Midland.