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A’s Off-season Involves Bullpen, Chemistry Upgrades

  • Signed Henderson Alvarez (Starting Pitcher) to 1 year/$4.25 million ($1.6 million in additional incentives)
  • Traded 3B/IF Brett Lawrie for 2 minor leaguers
  • Signed John Axford (Relief Pitcher) to 2 year/10 million
  • Traded Evan Scribner for minor leaguer
  • A’s signed Ryan Madson (Relief Pitcher) to 3 years, 22 million
  • Acquired 1B Yonder Alonso and lefty reliever Mark Rzepczynski in exchange for Drew Pomeranz and Jose Torres
  • Acquired Jed Lowrie in exchange for a minor leaguer
  • Acquired Reliever Liam Hendriks in exchange for Jesse Chavez
  • Signed Rich Hill, Left Handed Starter

The A’s off-season begun with promoting Billy Beane to Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations and David Forst to General Manager.  The team went into the offseason with the key goal of trying to improve chemistry and bolster a bullpen that led to a 19-35 record in 1-run games and was 28th in MLB with a 4.63 ERA. The health of closer Sean Doolittle should be step one in a resurgence for that unit but adding Hendriks, Madson, and Axford can’t hurt as well.

Chemistry is something that Billy Beane has frequently said was created by winning. The A’s chemistry was so bad in 2015 that even for Beane it was a focus. The club brought back Mark Kotsay as a bench coach, traded for Jed Lowrie and jettisoned Brett Lawrie with chemistry in mind.

2015 was a disappointing year after the A’s came so close in recent years. It stung for Oakland fans watching Josh Donaldson and Yoenis Cespedes lead their clubs deep in the playoffs. Oakland goes into 2016 with a much improved minor league system (Top 10 Prospect List) that should have reinforcements on the way. The team also made a number of moves that should make the A’s more watchable, at least in 2016.

ZIPS 2016 Projections for Oakland Athletics Newcomers:

For those unfamiliar an ERA- of 100 is average, and below that is good. 86 is 14 percent better than average, and 110 would be 10 percent above average. ZIPS likes Madison and Hendricks quite a bit but is far less optimistic on Hill, Alvarez and Axford.

 ERA ERA-
Rich Hill 4.29 110
Henderson Alvarez 4.13 106
John Axford 4.12 106
Ryan Madison 3.34 86
Liam Hendricks 2.88 74
AVG OBP SLG OPS
Jed Lowrie 247 315 384 699
Yonder Alonso 268 333 375 708

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