What A's Can Learn From Previous MLB Free Agency Bargains

Billy Beane and the A's have made a habit of finding productive under-the-radar free agents to sign at a reasonable price.

This past season was no different, with tremendous contributions from Edwin Jackson, Trevor Cahill, Brett Anderson, Jonathan Lucroy, and Nick Martini.

With free agency underway this offseason, we look back at five successful A's bargain deals over the last several seasons to see if there is anything to learn. We'll define "bargain" as $5 million or less, so Lucroy just misses the cut at $6.5 million.

Dec. 1, 2011: Brandon Moss

The A's signed Moss to a minor league contract after the 2011 season and he proceeded to slash .291/.358/.596 in 2012. He launched 21 home runs in just 84 games, driving in 52 runs.

Moss went on to have two more stellar seasons in Oakland, even making the All-Star Game in 2014.

Jan. 24, 2012: Bartolo Colon

Oakland signed Colon to a one-year deal worth $2 million dollars, along with some incentive bonuses. Colon went 10-9 with a 3.43 ERA in 2012 before being suspended for violating MLB's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.

The A's gave him another chance in 2013, bringing him back for $3 million, and Colon made it worth their while. The right-hander finished the season 18-6 with a 2.65 ERA and was named an All-Star for the third time in his career.

Jan. 26, 2012: Jonny Gomes

Gomes signed a one-year deal with the A's worth just $1 million and put together a strong season in 2012. In 99 games, Gomes slashed .262/.377/.491 with 18 home runs and 47 RBI.

March 19, 2018: Trevor Cahill

The A's signed Cahill to a one-year, $1.5 million contract and the right-hander proved to be a pleasant surprise in 2018. Cahill finished the season 7-4 with a 3.76 ERA and 1.19 WHIP in 21 appearances, including 20 starts.

June 6, 2018: Edwin Jackson

Oakland signed Jackson to a minor-league deal with the 2018 season already underway. The veteran right-hander was soon called up to the big leagues, where he went 6-3 with a 3.33 ERA in 17 starts.

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