A's acquire Chris Hatcher

Posted by Jason Wojciechowski on August 22, 2017 at 8:36 AM

Two links in one day. What's this blog coming to.

Smash that link, BP subscriber or no, to read Bryan Grosnick's take on the Chris Hatcher acquisition. My take is that, if anything, Grosnick is too optimistic about Hatcher's 2018 upside. His last good year was 2014; his last useful one was 2015. He's been fine in 2016 and '17, but certainly not late-inning-arm fine – more like rosterable fine. The question is less "will Hatcher be a valuable player for the A's in 2018" (answer: 35 percent shot?) and more "did the A's need to give up a goodie in order to get him" (answer: I guess it depends on what they were planning to do with that international-money slot in the first place). There are Hatchers and Hatchers and Hatchers on the free-agent market every offseason, in theory, though it's certainly nicer to go into the winter needing one of those guys and not three; on the other hand, it's also nice to be able to sign amateur talent.

I guess the weird part is the perpetual question of what this team is supposed to be in 2018. The Astros aren't going anywhere, so you're not going to slip into a division title with an 81-win team that gets lucky; you can still get a Wild Card that way, but you're competing with 10 other teams for that honor. And is there even the skeleton of an 81-win team here? With mid-rotation starters Sean Manaea and Kendall Graveman at the top of the rotation, and wish-on-a-star pitchers Jharel Cotton and Paul Blackburn and Daniel Gossett at the back end? With exactly one guy on the current roster who you could picture being an All-Star on his own merits in 2018 (Matt Chapman)?

Hatcher doesn't seem bad, as these things go; it's more that I still don't know why these things are going.