The Oakland Athletics, arguably the smallest of MLB’s small-market teams, have done it again. In a practice once celebrated as “Moneyball,” but now widely mocked around the baseball world, Oakland continued with its latest teardown of a once-successful roster to rebuild with prospects.
With the trade of Sean Murphy to the Atlanta Braves for another handful of magic beans, the Athletics have engineered the departure of nearly the entire starting lineup of a team that went 86-76 in 2021. Only Ramon Laureano remains.
With a cycle becoming almost as regular as Earth making one trip around the sun, the Oakland Athletics have become adept at the art of ridding themselves of any player coming close to making a standard big-league salary.
While the Athletics and MLB continue to hope for a stadium solution to replace the old and decrepit “RingCentral” Coliseum, as it is now known, with a modern baseball park, baseball fans the world over just want the madness to end.
Major league fans certainly have ideas of where the Athletics should move when they pick up stakes and leave Oakland, the city that the team has called home since 1968. Many of these ideas have the Athletics following in the NFL’s Raiders footsteps to Las Vegas.
Murphy’s trade to Atlanta did not come as a surprise. Now arbitration eligible, he is anticipated to make over $3 million this coming season. While that’s peanuts compared to many All-Star caliber players, it would account for ten percent of the Oakland Athletics’ projected 2023 payroll of $30,013,492. Murphy’s salary is expected to steadily grow from there.
While the Murphy trade did bring back some well-regarded prospects, Oakland Athletics fans are once again scanning the sports pages to figure out who their new favorite player might be yet again.