MLB free agency: 2019/2020 FAs that should be moved

Yasiel Puig: He'll be a free agent next winter. Could that make him trade bait now? (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Yasiel Puig: He'll be a free agent next winter. Could that make him trade bait now? (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
7 of 8
Next
MLB free agency
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – OCTOBER 03: Fernando Rodney #56 of the Oakland Athletics looks on against the New York Yankees during the sixth inning in the American League Wild Card Game at Yankee Stadium on October 03, 2018 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

Fernando Rodney

Nobody in baseball views relievers as fungible assets quite like Oakland A’s management. Give President Billy Beane or GM David Forst a marketable bullpen guy and they are almost guaranteed to try to turn him for what whatever he will bring.

Enter Fernando Rodney.

After being obtained in a deal with Minnesota for the pennant push, Rodney gave Oakland 20 decent innings down the stretch. But he is owed $5.25 million for 2019 – that’s big money in Oakland – and he could almost certainly bring equally promising, less expensive assets in return.

Given that Rodney has already served his useful purpose in Oakland – he did help them get into post-season play – there is little to no reason for Beane/Forst to hold on to him now.

Oakland has a strong and maturing cast of position players led by Matt Olson, Matt Chapman, and Marcus Semien. But the pitching staff needs re-enforcement. Oakland’s best arm, Sean Manaea, is out all season, and the rest of the rotation it projected to enter 2018 with is unanimously also recovering from arm problems.

So there’s a gaping need for starting help. Rodney obviously won’t bring a top-of-the-line starter, and he may not even bring a patchwork solution for 2019. But he might well bring a prospect capable of helping out in 2020, if not sooner. In Oakland, that’s called progress.