Hello! Welcome to another edition of the A’s beat newsletter.
The A’s knew they were taking a risk by relying heavily on a pitching staff low on Major League experience, and that danger reared its head often in what was a historically bad 112-loss season. Entering 2024, they’ll hope to avoid a repeat of that situation.
The A’s have some reason for optimism that their pitching will be improved based on the progress made by young starters such as JP Sears, Ken Waldichuk and Luis Medina. But this can’t be the sole reliance to improve a rotation whose 738 innings were the least by a staff in the American League.
During a call with reporters from the General Managers Meetings in Arizona last week, A’s GM David Forst intimated that the club is looking to bring in an experienced veteran-type starting pitcher who could potentially help ease the burden on its younger pitchers.
“I think we’re going to explore more options for bringing in starting pitching,” Forst said. “It’d be nice to have someone with experience who can throw innings. I think I’ll take the talent that we have and, hopefully, augment that in whatever way possible. But pitching is certainly a subject of a lot of our conversations happening right now.”
Given the A’s low payroll flexibility, they won’t be involved in bidding wars for premier arms. Instead, here’s a look at some free agents in the next tier who might fit that description: