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A’s Tender Contracts to All Arbitration Eligible Players

December 13, 2011

Can’t say I am entirely thrilled with this. The A’s arbitration eligible Athletics who were tendered contracts for 2012 were:  Andrew Bailey, Daric Barton, Dallas Braden, Joey Devine, Gio Gonzalez, Brandon McCarthy, Landon Powell, Adam Rosales and Ryan Sweeney. I felt that only Powell and Rosales were legitimate non-tender candidates though included Barton on that list too. It is those three (Barton, Powell and Rosales) who all signed one-year deals today with Joe Stiglich of the Bay Area Newsgroup reporting that he was

“told Barton’s one-year deal is for $1.1 million plus incentives.”

In a week when lots of A’s fans are upset about the obvious larger move that took place – and I think they are wrong-headed to be upset but that’s another issue – I am very upset by the tendered contracts to Powell and Rosales.

Powell is nothing short of terrible. While terms of his contract are not yet available he will be getting more than the league minimum and was projected to earn $700K through arbitration.  Any more than the league minimum seems like too much for Powell who in three seasons with Oakland has amassed a .207/.284/.328 line in 406 plate appearances. To go with that he has a .276 wOBA and a microscopic 68 wRC+. On top of that he has gotten worse every year:

  Slash Line wOBA wRC+ WAR
2009 .229/.297/.429 .315 90 0.7
2010 .214/.305/.304 .281 73 0.1
2011 .171/.246/.225 .220 34 -0.2

While backup catchers can be tough to find, Oakland has two available in Josh Donaldson and Anthony Recker. Even if these guys are horrible, they still likely aren’t Powell bad and if they are they are being paid the league minimum. For what it is worth Recker (mind you in only five games) beat Powell in every category on that chart in 2011, granted most players did – after all of the 425 players who equaled or exceeded Powell’s 122 plate appearances only eight had lower wRC+ numbers. That this is someone we felt worthy of a roster spot in 2012, is alarming.

Rosales meanwhile at least has shown glimmers of hope unlike his counterpart Powell. While he “led” the A’s in negative WAR at -1.0, he has in the recent past (2010) achieved a number as high as 1.6. It has to be noted however that during Rosales’ parts of four seasons in MLB 2010 marks the lone year he featured positive WAR. With all his other clunker seasons his career WAR mark is a paltry 0.3. Rosales who is perhaps best known for having MLB’s fastest home run trot, hasn’t shown that much of the stick with a career .226/.293/.337 mark. The 2010 season really stands out, as he hit .271/.321/.400 that year which is completely out of whack with his other seasons in which he has posted a cumulative: .191/.255/.335. That is not quality and there are other guys who can get a shot.

These minor moves are so infuriating because we have all these kids who we are trying to see how they can perform in the Majors, we are rebuilding, why clog the roster with people who have no future with us and just block people from getting a shot? Not a fan of these moves – hope I am proved wrong.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. December 13, 2011 4:52 am

    I think that’s a tad harsh on Powell—given his miniscule playing time, of course his average isn’t going to be that good. Suzuki catches some of the most innings of any catcher around.

    If he actually got in there regularly, he’d have good enough numbers. The other catchers with a similar # of ABs are a mixed bag (Kottaras rocks, others moderately better), so he’s lagging a little there…

    …but Powell’s also caught a perfect game. I believe he still catches most or all of Braden’s games. What’s that worth? Game calling doesn’t fit into a WAR, but for such a pitching-oriented (and soon to be even younger) team, it’s significant.

    • December 13, 2011 2:22 pm

      I liked your comment enough that it generated a post. Will be up later tonight so stay tuned!


  1. Is Powell Better With Pitchers? « The Todd Van Poppel Rookie Card Retirement Plan
  2. Landon Powell Released « The Todd Van Poppel Rookie Card Retirement Plan

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