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Arbitration Avoidation: Barton and Rosales

November 30, 2012

The A’s signed Daric Barton to a $1.1M contract to avoid arbitration. The contract is non-guaranteed and contains $250K in incentives. Given the non-guaranteed nature this doesn’t represent that big of a deal for the A’s, so while I am surprised he was tendered a contract, Billy Beane and the A’s brass must be figuring that this is a player who was worth as much as 5.0 WAR as recently as 2010 and is worth a shot in the spring. Since that season Barton has been exceptionally disappointing as he has been worth a combined 0.2 WAR (largely acquired via Barton’s fielding prowess). This past season Barton split between Oakland and Sacramento posting a .204/.338/.292 slash line with the big league club in 136 plate appearances and a .255/.411/.425 line in Sacramento in 336 trips to the plate.

Adam Rosales also was signed to a one-year contract though it is unclear the financial terms of that deal. Rosales too split his 2012 between Sacramento and Oakland. In Oakland he hit .222/.297/.333 with two dingers in 111 plate appearances being valued at 0.1 WAR. In Sacramento he hit .280/.340/.451 with eight home runs in 310 plate appearances. Rosales currently represents the highest player on the A’s depth chart at shortstop and projected to earn $700K in arbitration.

Meanwhile the A’s non-tendered Jermaine Mitchell who was designated for assignment on Wednesday. Given that he was not eligible for arbitration this essentially means he was released to free agency. Furthermore the Yankees claimed right-handed reliever Jim Miller off of waivers. He was DFA’d ten days ago when the A’s added players to the 40-man roster in advance of the Rule V draft.

I can’t imagine either of these players feature prominently in the A’s future. If Barton has a decent spring I wouldn’t be surprised if the A’s try to swing a trade with him, but barring injury I expect the A’s first base situation to again be a Chris Carter and Brandon Moss platoon split. Rosales meanwhile could be a utility option for Oakland, but I’d be a bit surprised even if that came to fruition as I have to think Oakland can find better options and alternatives and surely will be shopping for a shortstop this winter.

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