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Anderson and Crisp Options Exercised; Suzuki and Young Options Declined

November 1, 2013

Nothing particularly surprising with today’s news that the A’s had picked up the options on Brett Anderson and Coco Crisp, while also declining the options held by Kurt Suzuki and Chris Young.

Coco is someone I had complained about when this deal was initially signed but he silenced those complaints this past season putting up a 3.9 WAR year (his best season since 2007) backed by a .261/.335/.444 slash line with a career high 22 home runs and career high (for a full season) 10.4% BB%. He also had a career high 117 wRC+ to go with a solid .339 wOBA. He did all this despite a low .258 BABIP which is odd given that his speed (which resulted in 21 steals in 26 attempts) should help him manage a better mark in that regard. With just a $7.5M option for 2014, if he can put up numbers anywhere near what he has put up in Oakland  where an average season looks like a .264/.327/.417 slash line with 12 home runs and 35 steals and 2.9 WAR he will be well worth it as his value (roughly $14.5M) has been nearly twice that amount. No brainer. Now there is discussion of him possibly being considered for an extension and there I might balk given his age (34) and what should be declining range in the outfield and diminishing speed. But yes, no brainer on Crisp for 2014 at $7.5.

Anderson isn’t quite a no-brainer but at $8M (and given that it also provides the A’s access to a $12M option for 2015) it is a fairly conservative call. Rumors state that Toronto might be interested in Anderson along with other clubs, so keeping him at the very least gives the A’s options. Anderson’s value has dropped every year going from being worth $16.3M in 2009 to $9.7M, to $4.6M, to $4.1M to last year’s $1.4M. Obviously Oakland doesn’t want to pay $8M for $1.4M of production, but the hope is Anderson stays on the field. That is frankly the biggest question, can he stay healthy? The record shows the answer should be a very clear: no. Only one season with more than twenty starts (2009, his rookie campaign). Last year he was not good at all throwing 44 2/3 innings of 6.04 ERA baseball though FIP (3.85) likes him more based on his 9.3 K/9, 4.2 BB/9 and 1.0 HR/9. Can’t complain with the move.

Suzuki was never going to be picked up. Selected merely so the A’s would have more options down the stretch with John Jaso and Derek Norris injured there is no place for him on the 2014 roster and furthermore there shouldn’t be if the A’s were to pay him the $8.5M required by picking up the option. Instead, Zuk who put up a .303/.343/.545 slash line in just 35 plate appearances for the A’s in their stretch run since coming over from Washington (he had a total .232/.290/.337 between both clubs in his 316 plate appearances) will get a $650K buyout.

At the beginning of 2013 it appeared Young’s option would certainly be picked up but he had a miserable season in Oakland hitting an anemic .200/.280/.379 slash line with 12 home runs, a .289 wOBA and 82 wRC+ in 375 plate appearances. His 0.5 WAR was far off his pace from 2010-2012 with Arizona and made this an easy decision to cut him loose.

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