2021 Roster Review: Oakland Athletics

86-76 (3rd in Division; 13th in MLB)


SP Wins: 57 (6th)

RP Wins: 29 (25th)

Saves: 39 (18th)

1+ Save: 5 (Lou Trivino 22, Jake Diekman 7, Andrew Chafin 5, Sergio Romo 3, Yusmeiro Petit 2)

100+ Ks: 5 (Frankie Montas 207, Sean Manaea 194, Chris Bassitt 159, Cole Irvin 125, James Kaprielian 123)

.260+ AVG (min. 350 PA): 2 (Tony Kemp .279, Matt Olson .271)

65+ Runs: 3 (Olson 101, Mark Canha 93, Matt Chapman 75)

65+ RBI: 3 (Olson 111, Chapman 72, Jed Lowrie 69)

10+ HRs: 8 (Olson 39, Chapman 27, Seth Brown 20, Canha, Sean Murphy 17, Lowrie, Ramón Laureano 14, Mitch Moreland 10)

5+ SBs: 5 (Starling Marte 25 [total: 47, led MLB], Canha, Laureano, Elvis Andrus 12, Kemp 8)

BEST BUY: Mark Canha

He is a free agent, but unless he signs before I finish these (and with a remaining team), then I won’t get to write him up.

Canha’s hip injury seemed to linger and really undercut his season as he posted just a .659 OPS with 6 HR and 5 SB in 300 PA after returning. Prior to that, he had an .826 OPS with 11 HR and 7 SB in 325 PA which was in line with the guy he had been in 2019-20 (.876 OPS in 740 PA). The sneaky speed has sustained his value and made him a very valuable player. He ranked 126th this past year even with the weak second half and yet he is being drafted at pick 276 so far. He will likely jump a bit when he signs, but that would be a round at most so there is room for the 33-year-old to regress some and still be a plus buy in the draft.

BUY LOW: Matt Chapman

I created this category just to discuss Chapman, but maybe it should’ve been a part of all the Roster Reviews. I’m not quitting Chapman. In a seemingly devastating season, he was still a league average bat (101 wRC+). He hit .210/.314/.403 with 27 HR in 622 PA. He was coming off a significant hip injury and while he was healthy enough to play a full season, I think it’s fair to say he was compromised at the dish. He still smacked the hell out of the ball at his peak with an 89th percentile Max Exit Velo and 86th percentile Barrel Rate, but he struck out a ton (32%) and just couldn’t get out of that hole. I’ll buy the dip here and take my shot on getting a .250/30 at a great price. I wonder if it will be in Oakland.

ON THE RISE: Frankie Montas

The breakout finally happened! I have been a Montas fan for quite some time and it was great watching him enjoy a career year, posting a 3.37 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, and 19% K-BB rate in 187 IP. He might be dealt this offseason but he isn’t a product of pitching in Oakland so I think he is here to stay as a top 3 starter in fantasy rotations.


It has been a tumultuous road for the 27-year-old lefty. Once a premium prospect, he is now coming off a dreadful 2021 (6.10 ERA at AAA; 6.08 in MLB) and his future is an open question. Oakland seems to be done trying him as a starter – he had 4 starts, but his longest was 4 IP – but even in relief he was too hittable while still walking too many. He is still throwing 96 mph from the left side and things can come together quickly if he finds some health and tightens up the command then all of a sudden he is closing for the A’s.

HOT TAKE: Matt Olson hits 50+ HR…

…for a different team. He smashed 39 HR in an excellent career year and if he holds those strikeout gains (career best 17% K rate; 31% career mark), he might have another level to his power output. Oakland is a mess right now, on the verge of another sell off and this is a clear sell high for them.

ICYMI: Lou Trivino had 22 SV! Does that shock anyone else? He was essentially a pretty firm closer until September and I guess I just didn’t realize that. His month-by-month saves were 4-3-6-4-4-1. The 30-year-old righty might actually be the guy to start 2022 with the September SV leaders no longer around (Andrew Chafin, Sergio Romo).

Paul is the Editor of Rotographs and contributes to ESPN's Daily Notes. Follow Paul on Twitter @sporer and on Twitch at sporer.

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7 months ago

Thoughts on Kaprielian? Is he what he is at this point? Will he improve vs lefties?