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Target: 2011
2007-12-15 23:02
by Ken Arneson

Now that it's clear that the A's are doing a full-scale rebuilding project, what's the plan? Who do you sell off, and who do you keep?

The conventional wisdom is that the A's are trying to build the strongest possible team for the estimated opening of Cisco Field in 2011. With that in mind, I made the chart below. It shows all the players on the 40-man roster, plus a number of top prospects, in order to figure out which players the A's have control over until that magical 2011 date.

Basically, anyone above the red line is now trade bait. Unfortunately, six of the eleven players who can become free agents before Cisco Field opens are currently coming off injuries, and probably wouldn't fetch much in a trade until perhaps July, after they've proven themselves healthy. But Ellis, Embree, Blanton, Street and even maybe DiNardo should be popping up in trade rumors soon.

The chart:

Player 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Mark Ellis 5
Mark Kotsay 8
Justin Duchscherer    
Kiko Calero 2  
Bobby Crosby 4 5
Alan Embree 3 3
Rich Harden 5 7
Joe Blanton      
Lenny DiNardo      
Chad Gaudin      
Huston Street      
2011 cutoff
Rob Bowen        
Jack Cust        
Dan Johnson        
Ruddy Lugo        
Eric Chavez 11 11 12 13/3
Andrew Brown          
Travis Buck          
Santiago Casilla          
Chris Denorfia          
Donnie Murphy          
Nick Swisher 4 5 7 9 10/1
Daric Barton            
Jerry Blevins            
Dallas Braden            
Jack Hannahan            
Fernando Hernandez            
Dan Meyer            
Kurt Suzuki            
Dana Eveland            
Wes Bankston              
Jeff Gray              
Javier Herrera              
Kevin Melillo              
Carlos Gonzalez              
Gregorio Petit              
Landon Powell              
Danny Putnam              
Richie Robnett              
Aaron Cunningham              
James Simmons              
Greg Smith              
Henry Rodriguez                
Brett Anderson                
Andrew Bailey                
Corey Brown                
Trevor Cahill                
Chris Carter                
Sean Doolittle                
Josh Horton                
Jermaine Mitchell                


40-man roster
under contract
team option
minimum wage
in minors (estimated)
2007-12-15 23:30:11
1.   Ken Arneson
BTW, I may be off on some of these, particularly those with close to one year of service, like Casilla.
2007-12-15 23:44:53
2.   Xeifrank
Nice chart. Wish I could see something like this for the teams I closely follow.
vr, Xei
2007-12-15 23:56:46
3.   68elcamino427
2 I was thinking the same. That is a neat chart. It will need to be updated often based on the comments in the referenced article. Maybe the Marlins and the A's should start their own division/leauge.
2007-12-16 01:50:49
4.   Eric Stephen
Ken, this is a very cool way to present/analyze a team.

Xei, what is your email address? I have an Excel file I use to keep track of the Dodgers' payroll and prospects and, while not quite the same format as this, has the same idea in mind. I'd be happy to email it to you. I started out doing the Dodgers, and added a few teams here and there, and now I have 14 teams I'm tracking, at least from afar.

2007-12-16 05:40:36
5.   Jason Wojciechowski
I still have a hard time with baseball's service time rules. Cust playing in small portions of five different seasons prior to 2007 leaves him still under the reserve clause portion of the CBA for this year?

Also, factoring in age and position-redundance, you have to figure Cust won't make it to 2011 with Oakland.

And Dan Johnson seems unlikely to even survive spring training with the team, but for completely different reasons -- even if the A's were planning on contending, he'd be shoved out of the way by Barton.

2007-12-16 06:36:15
6.   Ken Arneson
2 4 I could probably set that data up in a Wiki (been meaning to do that for years), but it would have to wait until after New Year's before I had time.

5 I used two main sources for the service time information:

Cot's Baseball Contracts:


Cot's has a good glossary about service time rules and such:

Cot's seems to be inconsistent with its data regarding service time. Some players have been updated through 2006 and others through 2007, and it's isn't clear by looking which is which.

Cot's says Cust has accumulated a total of 1 year, 24 days of major league service time, while Dan Johnson is 1 year, 108 days. Rotoworld, however, seems to give each at least two years, so that's what I went with.

There are lots of players on this list who won't remain with the team until the end of the time period under which the A's have their rights. I was simply trying to figure out who the A's had control over by 2011 and who they didn't.

Where it gets confusing is when you combine options with service time. Options are counted in year units, while service time is counted in day units, and they don't necessarily correspond. Like Cust, you can have played parts of several seasons and used up all your options and still not have a combined whole year of service time. Or you can, like Adam Melhuse last year, been in the majors for the last four entire seasons and still have an option left.

So this chart is just an estimate, because if you throw options in there, it could extend each row to the right up to three years, depending on how many options they have left, and when they were used. And that doesn't even consider the players who aren't even on the 40-man roster, as they have an additional 3-4 years after being drafted before the team needs to add them to the 40-man roster before they are exposed to the Rule 5 draft.

I think if I tried to assemble all that information into this chart, the chart would not look quite so neat. So I just assumed that once a player is up, he's up for good, which isn't always the case, but makes for a neater chart.

2007-12-17 07:50:09
7.   Athletics for Life
Nice chart. I wonder a couple things: Could Mark Ellis end up being a Type A FA? And could Kotsay possibly be a Type B? That's probably a little optimitic, but still something to think about. I've never understood how that was figured out.

Also it makes me think Duchscherer being moved to rotation could be directly related to this.

2007-12-17 09:09:19
8.   Ken Arneson
7 The AL Elias Rankings for 2007 are here:

The formulas are different, depending on the position. But they're all calculated based on the stats of the preceding two seasons.

It's quite possible Ellis could end up a Type A. He was a Type B after this past season, just two slots below Type A. Another good year could move him up.

Kotsay wasn't anywhere near Type B, and the ranking he had (79th of 116) was only that high because of his 2006 stats. He'd have to have a very, very good year to move up to Type B status.

2007-12-17 19:14:17
9.   Jason Wojciechowski
6 "There are lots of players on this list who won't remain with the team until the end of the time period under which the A's have their rights. I was simply trying to figure out who the A's had control over by 2011 and who they didn't."

Oh, I know -- my comment about Cust and Johnson along those lines wasn't meant as a criticism of the chart, but merely as an independent comment on the roster going forward.

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