Oakland Athletics: 3 Offseason Moves They Should Make

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First Move: Middle Infielders

Oct 6, 2014; St. Louis, MO, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Hanley Ramirez (13) catches a pop up by St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Matt Adams (not pictured) during the third inning in game three of the 2014 NLDS baseball playoff game at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

The A’s have somewhat of a weak spot in terms of middle infielders between Callaspo, Lowrie, Eric Sogard, Andy Parrino and Nick Punto. As mentioned before, Callaspo had a batting average .223 with four home runs, 39 RBI’s, and a .290 on base percentage, and Lowrie  had a .249 batting average, six home runs, 50 RBI’s, and a .321 on base percentage.

However, their back-ups Sogard, Parrino and Punto also lack the offensive prowess that the A’s need from their middle infield players. Sogard, who has his moments of greatness defensively, has not been consistent enough to be considered a big threat with the bat. Sogard, this past season, batted .223 with a single home run and 22 RBI’s.

The next option within the organization is Parrino who spends most of his time in the minors, but in the few games he has played with Oakland, he batted .152 with one home run and three RBI’s.

The A’s other option with the current roster is Punto, who batted .207 with two home runs and 14 RBI’s but was out for part of the year with a hamstring injury.

Aug 25, 2014; San Diego, CA, USA; Milwaukee Brewers second baseman Rickie Weeks (23) throws to first during the third inning against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

The A’s best options would be to re-sign Lowrie and let Callaspo go to try to go after a better option or two in free agency or to let go of both Lowrie and Callaspo to free up room for two new players.

The two options that the A’s are unlikely to obtain because of willingness to take less money are Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Hanley Ramirez and Milwaukee Brewers second baseman Rickie Weeks.

Ramirez could be the offensive plug that the A’s have been missing since losing Cespedes, as he batted .283 with 13 home runs and 71 RBI’s this season.

On the other hand, there is Weeks, who had a bit of an off year in terms of numbers. He batted .274 with eight home runs and 29 RBI’s. However, these two are a bit too pricey for the A’s, unless the players want to take a major pay cut in comparison to what their previous teams gave them.

Sep 16, 2014; Atlanta, GA, USA; Washington Nationals second baseman Asdrubal Cabrera (3) in action against the Atlanta Braves in the second inning at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

The more likely options the A’s could sign are Asdrubal Cabrera from the Washington Nationals and Munenori Kawasaki of the Toronto Blue Jays. The better option of these two is Cabrera, because he had a .241 batting average to go with 14 home runs and 61 RBI’s. Although Kawasaki has the better batting average in .258, he did not hit any home runs this past season and only had 17 RBI’s.

The least likely options for the A’s in terms of middle infielders are former A’s Stephen Drew and Mark Ellis, who both greatly struggled last season. Drew batted .162 with seven home runs and 26 RBI’s, and Ellis batted .180 with no home runs and 12 RBI’s.

Finally, there is Rafael Furcal who is the most unlikely choice, as the last two seasons he has been injury-prone and only had a batting average of .171 with no home runs and two RBI’s.

The best move for the A’s would be to re-sign Lowrie and go after Cabrera to play alongside him, because both players have about the same defensive skill set and Cabrera could provide some power on offense if Lowrie cannot get the job done.