MLB Free Agency: Assessing How Top Targets Fit With A's

Bryce Harper and Manny Machado highlight an impressive list of free agents across Major League Baseball.

Now when it comes to throwing money around, no one will confuse the A's for the Yankees, Red Sox, Dodgers, or Giants. But we thought it might be interesting to analyze how the top free agent targets would fit in Oakland on the field.

With all due respect to Josh Donaldson and A.J. Pollock, we have narrowed down the top five to Harper, Machado, Patrick Corbin, Dallas Keuchel, and Craig Kimbrel.

Bryce Harper

Somebody is going to give the 26-year-old an obscene amount of money, potentially $400 million. While the powerful left-handed slugger could obviously help any squad, he probably wouldn't be worth the cost for the A's.

As talented as Harper has proven to be, he has only hit 30-plus home runs in two of his seven seasons. He drove in 100 runs this year for the first time while slashing .249/.393/.496.

Then there are the perceived character issues. Fair or unfair, Harper has drawn questions on this front over the years. The A's may not want to mess with their unique clubhouse chemistry.

Perhaps most importantly, Oakland already has a deep and talented outfield, not to mention plenty of power hitting. They would be wise to save their money for pitching help.

Manny Machado

Speaking of character questions, Machado has faced plenty throughout his young career. The 26-year-old has admitted to not hustling in certain situations and has been called a dirty player by opponents.

That said, Machado's talent is undeniable. He's crushed 33 or more home runs in four straight seasons, slashing .297/.367/.538 in 2018. His versatility is a strength, as he can play third base or shortstop and hit just about anywhere in a lineup.

While the A's are obviously set at third base with Matt Chapman, Machado would be an upgrade over Marcus Semien, at least statistically. But similar to Harper, his attitude could cause problems in the clubhouse.

As previously mentioned, the A's have plenty of offense. Their focus should be on improving their starting pitching.

Patrick Corbin

Did someone say pitching? Corbin is the prize of the free agent class when it comes to starters.

The 29-year-old southpaw is coming off a dominant season with the Diamondbacks. He went 11-7 with a 3.15 ERA and 1.05 WHIP, notching a career-high 246 strikeouts in 200 innings.

Corbin would be a perfect fit for the A's, a team that really could have used an ace this postseason. If the A's are going to spend big money, this is where to use it.

Dallas Keuchel

After a terrific 2017 season, Keuchel got off to a rough start in 2018. He eventually recovered to finish 12-11 with a 3.74 ERA, recording 153 strikeouts in 204 2/3 innings.

The former Cy Young Award winner figures to still have plenty in the tank at the age of 30. He would undoubtedly help the A's starting pitching, but may not be worth the huge salary he is likely to receive.

If it turns out Keuchel is still available deep into the offseason, he would be worth a look at the right price.

Craig Kimbrel

Kimbrel is the top relief pitcher on the market. The 30-year-old has a career ERA of 1.91 with 333 saves in nine seasons and a ludicrous 868 strikeouts in 532 2/3 innings.

However, you may remember the A's already have a pretty good closer in Blake Treinen. Unless Kimbrel wants to accept a demotion to setup man, not to mention a pay cut, he doesn't make much sense in Oakland.

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