The Oakland Athletics don’t have the largest budget to spend on players in Major League Baseball. The nine-year, $167 million contract Buster Posey signed for the San Francisco Giants simply wouldn’t happen. Therefore, budgeting money is very important to the Athletic’s organization; every dollar spent should be spent wisely, and no player should be paid more than they are worth. So, who is worth the amount of their contract and more? Let’s take a look.
The A’s have spent a lot of money on their outfield. Their starters, Cespedes and Crisp are making $36 million over four years and $14 million over two years respectively. Reddick, however, has just signed a one-year, $510,000 dollar contract, which is a mere fraction of what the other starting outfielders are making. His batting average isn’t anything special (.244 isn’t terrible, but it isn’t great), but he did bat in 85 RBIs last season. He also won a Golden Glove award last season. I think it’s safe to say he’ll bring back the same level of defense in the outfield, and if he bats the same, or even a little bit better, he’ll definitely be worth more than the contract he was signed too.
Nakajima was signed to a two-year, $6.5 million contract. At the signing of his contract there were high hopes for the player from Japan. Heck, I even considered him a candidate for the Athletic’s best offseason move; however, he has not lived up to the hopes—not even close. He’s gone a dismal .150 in Spring Training, and Bobby Melvin even reportedly broke his promise of having Nakajima as the club’s primary short stop. There is also talk that he will start the regular season in the minors after he gets off the DL. Despite his poor performance so far, don’t be surprised if he turns things around during the season. Afterall, he was an all-star in Japan, and he even had the Yankees interested in him 2011. Every player has a slump, so let’s hope that’s what Spring Training has been. Brace yourselves, though, it’s not unlikely he will continue to struggle.
Donaldson, Oakland’s starting third base, signed a one-year, $492,500 contract good through the end of the 2013 season. He batted a .241 last season, which is okay, but the thing about Donaldson is he is constantly improving. I would be shocked if he didn’t have better stats this year than he did last year, and, since he is the starting third baseman, he is definitely going to outperform his current contract.
A number of pitchers, including Parker, Milone, and Scribner have been signed to one-year contracts at about $500,000 each. These guys could see considerable game time; they are decent pitchers. They will each be worth more than their contracts this season.