Sizemore Leaves Oakland With Third Base Wasteland

It has been a bad spring training for Sizemores. Besides Grady’s seemingly annual injury, Athletics’ third baseman Scott Sizemore fell to an ACL tear earlier yesterday and will be lost for the entire season. For as deep as the Athletics have made their outfield this winter, their infield is paper-thin. It becomes obvious as manager Bob Melvin attempts to sell his team’s depth on the left side of the diamond:

“In his absence, we feel we have some viable options in Adam Rosales, Eric Sogard and Josh Donaldson. They can all bring something to the position,” Melvin said.

Donaldson is a catcher prospect with a .795 OPS in two seasons at Triple-A. Rosales has a .281 career wOBA and is coming off a broken foot in 2011. Eric Sogard has played 25 professional games at the position and brings a similar minor league track record to Donaldson. Although the A’s could just slog their way to a third or fourth place finish with these three players, chances are they will at least take a gander outside of the organization to fill the void left by Sizemore’s injury.

The list of available free agent third basemen is just as uninspiring: Garrett Atkins, Pedro Feliz, Wes Helms, or maybe the less-than-glorious return of Miguel Tejada. Although it would probably do the A’s well to see if one of these players would have interest in a minor-league deal, they hardly present a solution of either short or long term. That leaves Billy Beane and company to troll trading blocks.

The biggest of the trade fish would be reeling in David Wright from the Mets. It is most certainly a long shot, but the $15 million price tag on Wright shouldn’t preclude the idea. The A’s payroll is down around $55 million this season after opening 2011 at $67 million. The bigger question is if the Athletics will be willing to pull the trigger on the amount of talent it will take to bring in Wright, but they have major-league ready talent to burn in the outfield and starting rotation as well as a number of solid young players in the system. Wright has a $16 million option for 2013 and could be the piece the A’s use to sell a move to a new ballpark.

The more realistic options are, as always, far more boring. The A’s have shown interest in Chone Figgins and the Mariners are hardly clinging to him. A Martin Prado for Seth Smith trade was discussed before the Rockies dealt Smith to Oakland and could be revisited with the A’s needing an infield starter more than outfield depth. Or the A’s could go younger: a few NL Central prospects with ostensible major league readiness could be available in Taylor Green, Juan Francisco and Todd Frazier.

The Athletics do not have to make a major move here — Scott Sizemore is coming off a season with a 108 wRC+ and could very well recover and become the third baseman of the future. But their complete lack of infield depth has been exposed, and with a full month of spring training preceding six months of games to go, it is a problem they will need to fix over the next few weeks.

Print This Post

Jack Moore's work can be seen at VICE Sports and anywhere else you're willing to pay him to write. Buy his e-book.

46 Responses to “Sizemore Leaves Oakland With Third Base Wasteland”

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
  1. supershredder says:

    Is there no chance that one of their prospects gets bumped up? Like some of the guys mentioned in the fangraphs top 15 prospects page (Stephen Parker, B. Vollmuth or Nunez)?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  2. swieker says:

    Somewhere, Melvin Mora is chomping at the bit.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  3. SecondHandStore says:

    I’ll trade Taylor Green for Jarrod Parker.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  4. Greg says:

    Angels trade Callespo and G. Richards (top pitching prospect) for B. McCarthy.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • ettin says:

      Way to much! You realize Richards has the potential to possibly be a front line starter right? He has a 4-pitch arsenal and, although I like McCarthy, has solid potential to be a #3 or even #2 at a very cheap price. Callaspo has a lot of surplus value as well.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Why do you call me Mr. Tibbs? says:

        Garrett Richards is considered an injury risk with his less than ideal across-the-body arm action. Some scouts still think he will be better in the ‘pen because of this same reason.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • jaywrong says:

        Richards is projected to be a 4/5.

        There is a very low chance he becomes a frontline starter, however, I could see a 3 as his ceiling.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Expos67 says:

        Low K/9 rate for Richards in the upper minors is a major concern going forward. He won’t be a frontline starter.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Richard says:

        Richards is a decent prospect, will fall in the 2/3 range if all goes well. I had the chance of pitching with him on our HS team when he was a sophmore and I was a senior. He went from throwing 85 to 95 in two years and did well at OU. His arm action is different, sometimes forced, he just needs to work on pitching in pressure. It has troubled him in his career, from hitting a guy in our HS regional to end the championship game, to his first start, against the Yankees getting chased early. If he fixes that there should be any problem with him being a 2/3 starter or potentially a late-innings guy

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • CircleChange11 says:

        he just needs to work on pitching in pressure. It has troubled him in his career

        … and he needs to make this adjustment while playing in the highest levels of professional baseball.

        If he could not make the adjustments at levels where he was more talented than the rest, how would we expect him to make the adjustment at levels where he is among the average or lesser talents?

        His falling K-rate as he moves up levels makes me question whether he can be a mid-top of the rotation guy. My lean is toward the 4/5 SP or bullpen arm.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  5. ettin says:

    A short term solution would be for the A’s to trade for Maicer Izturis of the Angels. The Angels have Amarista ready to take over utility duties and it would clear up roster space for the Halos.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  6. Randy says:

    I heard Brandon Inge is available, and there is a recent history of A’s/Tigers trading players…

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  7. Bradsbeard says:

    They can have Blake DeWitt for pretty much nothing.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Shane says:

      That seems plausible. Something tells me Beano aint gonna break the bank to fill that hole on this team. Someone mentioned Callaspo. He’s been pretty good 2 of the last three years. Is everyone so sold Trumbo is gonna be even adequate at third. I bet the Angels would love to unload Trumbo to the A’s for McCarthy but I’m doubtful Oakland would jump at that.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  8. Tasintango says:

    I think they will go for a short term fix. I didn’t know anyone picked the A’s for higher than 3rd or 4th with Sizemore. A lot of organizations are paper thin at third.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  9. Kyle says:

    Mark Reynoldssss. Also Maybe someone like pedro alvarez

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  10. Chris from Bothell says:

    Take Figgins take Figgins take Figgins! PLEASE let them take Figgins! Judas tapdancing Priest, take Figgins!

    Let the M’s eat all the salary, throw in a Zduriencek bobblehead, promise not to let bloggers make Eric Sogard jokes for the 2012 regular season, whatever the hell it takes…

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Tasintango says:

      What? Trade their lead off hitter? haha

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Mac says:

      Will now start using the expression Judas tapdancing Priest. As an A’s fan, I almost wouldn’t mind having Figgins around. Obviously his career is heading down the drain pipe, but he can’t possibly have a repeat of that horrendous 2011. There’s a decent chance he rebounds back to a respectable major leaguer. And with fellow basestealers like Crisp, Weeks, and Pennington in the lineup, the A’s would at least be fun to watch, if not successful.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  11. Hurtlockertwo says:

    Manny can be Manny in the infield. It would be entertaining you have to admit.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  12. Henny Youngman says:

    Take Chone Figgins, please!

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  13. JCox says:

    Slight correction: Wright can void the ’13 club option if he’s traded.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  14. JCA says:

    Teahen, to complete the circle of poo.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Paul says:

      I don’t know which is more perfect, “Yuni” back to the Royals for real money and to take ABs away from a young guy they like, or Teahen back to Oakland off the scrap heap.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  15. Dizzy Valance says:

    The Reds have a bit of a logjam at 3B with Rolen, Francisco and Frazier. Rolen probably makes too much money for the A’s, and Francisco doesn’t really seem to be a Beaneball guy due to his complete unwillingness to take a walk. Frazier looks like he will be starting the season in AAA again waiting for the inevitable Rolen injury to occur. But, the Reds also have Cairo and Wilson Valdez that can play 3B in a pinch, making Frazier expendable for the right price.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  16. Ken says:

    Tigers could use Seth Smith. Any chance the A’s would deal him for Inge? Probably Inge + Dirks, but Dirks has become pretty popular lately.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  17. Moneyball Has Accomplished Nothing says:

    They may have gotten nothing in return but at least Detroit was smart enough to get rid of Sizemore before he got hurt again.

    -6 Vote -1 Vote +1

  18. Jason says:

    “For as deep as the Athletics have made their outfield this winter,”

    …sure they have a lot of outfielders, but are any of them any good? Their outfield isn’t my idea of depth. To me, depth is three good starters and a solid number 4 to spell innings and play in case of injury.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  19. Why do you call me Mr. Tibbs? says:

    Matt Dominguez?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  20. snoochies8 says:

    Wish List for options (guys with prospect status) in order

    Matt Carpenter
    Taylor Green
    Josh Donaldson
    Todd Frazier
    James Darnell
    Conor Gillaspie
    Stephen Parker
    Matt Dominguez

    getting them is a whole other story

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  21. illinibob says:

    Astros would be happy to move Chris Johnson for a prospect

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  22. jeff_bonds says:

    Uribe’s available I hear.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  23. kick me in the GO NATS says:

    poor A’s. I was thinking if their pitching came together they might surprise a few people then this happened. Oh well the only AL team I give a darn about (and that is little) is down on their luck again.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  24. John says:

    I think Matt Carpenter would be a great fit for Oakland, high OBP, good average, average defense.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  25. KJ says:

    I hope he can bounce back for 2013… shame to see him go down

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  26. Colin says:

    Ah Scott Sizemore…the player the Tigers dealt for a lousy relief pitcher, good times.

    Vote -1 Vote +1