In a recent report from NBC Sports Edge, rumor is that the Oakland A’s will be shopping all-star first baseman Matt Olson this offseason. Could the Brewers get involved?
In the article, Andy Martino writes that “multiple league executives in touch with the A’s say that another reset is coming from the franchise.” This rumor confirm suspicions that many have had since it was announced the Bob Melvin was leaving the team to manage the San Diego Padres.
From the A’s standpoint, Matt Olson is their greatest trade chip this offseason. He is coming off a career season in which he hit 39 home runs, drove in 111 batters, and had a 153 OPS+. He won back-to-back Gold Glove awards in 2018 and 2019 and has been very durable throughout his career. He played all 162 games in 2018 and appeared in 156 games in 2021.
Contract wise, he is under club control for two more seasons and is projected to see a pay increase near $12MM via arbitration in 2022. This makes him a very attractive player to acquire and he will draw interest from lots of teams.
With the Brewers electing to not extend a qualifying offer to outfielder Avisail Garcia, perhaps Stearns and company have their eyes set on allocating more of their resources to first base.
If the Brewers were to make a trade happen, Matt Olson would help sure up the infield and would instantly boost the offense.
Currently, Kolten Wong, Willy Adames, and Luis Urias are set as the starting infielders in 2022. Right now, Keston Hiura, Rowdy Tellez, and Daniel Vogelbach figure to be in the mix at first base, but acquiring Olson would mean that he is the every day first baseman.
First base has been a revolving door since the departure of Prince Fielder, so Olson could help provide stability at the position for the next few seasons. Olson has two years of team control left, and won’t reach free agency until after the 2023 season.
In order to acquire those two years of Olson, the Brewers would have to be willing to part ways with several players. Perhaps the A’s would be willing to take a flier on Keston Hiura, who was an elite hitting prospect, although it’s unknown if the Brewers are willing to move Hiura. The A’s additionally currently have Elvis Andrus as their shortstop and could be looking for a new shortstop of the future, which makes Brice Turang a valuable trade asset.
The A’s also need to improve their pitching depth. Perhaps parting ways with a few of their lower ceiling players as well may be enough to get a trade done. I would not expect prospects Aaron Ashby or Ethan Small to be dealt.
If Oakland is going to move Olson, they’re going to want a lot in return. The Brewers have an improving farm system, but do they have enough in there to make the trade and are they willing to move some of these prospects to make a move like this? Only time will tell, but knowing Stearns, he’s going to be in on the conversation and checking the price.
Offensively, the Brewers are in desperate need of a power bat. They are expected to contend again in 2022 and have many elite controllable talents on the team. Adding Olson into the mix would help boost their odds of winning the World Series.