Slusser on the prospects

Posted by Jason Wojciechowski on May 23, 2017 at 7:11 AM

Susan Slusser has a look at when and how the A's are likely to start promoting their young folks from Nashville to the majors, including Franklin Barreto, Matts Chapman and Olson, and Bruce Maxwell. Barreto is the easiest: He's the best position player in the A's minors and he's blocked only by Jed Lowrie, who is a veteran, a pending free agent, and a guy whose .283 TAv to start this season could make him attractive to a team with an infield need, like Baltimore, Anaheim, or anyone whose second baseman gets hurt in the next two months.

Chapman and Olson are tougher, especially since, for different reasons, nobody's sure whether they'll hit in the majors. Also, though, the A's corners are stocked up just fine, what what with Ryon Healy, Trevor Plouffe, Yonder Alonso, Matt Joyce, Khris Davis, and Mark Canha all hanging around. The only obvious trade candidate in that group is Plouffe, though it may be tempting to try to cash in on Alonso's startling power before the league adjusts to his adjustments and it call comes tumbling back to the 102 OPS+ Alonso we've all known and loved for the last five years. But of course a team looking to buy Alonso (Angels? Yankees? Rangers? Astros?) will have the same thoughts, from the flip side of the coin; if the A's believe that what Alonso is doing is real, they can let him stick around for another year, consolidate his gains, reap the benefits for the fans of having a real first baseman with real first-base power for the first time since Brandon Moss in 2013, and still trade him for goodies if they're not in contention next year.