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Trading Mason Miller Would Be Such An A's Thing To Do

Mason Miller, A's, Trade, Wayne Gregoire

The Oakland Athletics are no strangers to defying the conventional wisdom of baseball. The 2011 movie Moneyball (based on the 2003 book by Michael Lewis) shows how then-general manager Billy Beane decided to use advanced mathematics to assemble a team rather than traditional scouting.

Beane refers to the team as organ donors for the rich. The Athletics are notoriously cheap when it comes to their payroll, and prefer to bring up young talent from their farm system at league minimum pay rather than sign free agents. When a young player is due to be paid, he is usually traded, or the team lets him sign somewhere else.

Athletics, Mason Miller, Moneyball, Wayne Gregoire

Oakland Payroll History

Over the last ten seasons, the Athletics have never ranked higher than 20th in team payroll. They have finished dead last in compensation three times, including the past two seasons ($77.1 million in 2023 and $75.6 million in 2024). Being cheap has shown up in their production.

The team went 50-112 last season and is currently on pace to go 65-97 in 2024. When teams are destined for the league basement, they typically sell off any players they have that a good team may be able to use. The problem with being a perennial loser is that after a while, you don't have much on your roster that anyone wants,

Mason Miller, Athletics, Wayne Gregoire

Mason Miller

Mason Miller is 25 years old, stands 6'5, sports a 100mph fastball, and has been virtually unhittable this season. In 18 appearances, he has 10 saves and a 1.96 ERA. He has struck out 45 batters and walked only 6 in 23 innings pitched. His opponent's batting average when facing him is just .202.

The best, or rather most desirable thing about Miller is that he is still under team control for six years. He currently collects the league minimum paycheck of $740,000 per year and is not eligible for arbitration until 2026. The 2021 third-round pick out of Gardner-Webb University can't test free agency until 2029.

Mason Miller, Trade, Wayne Gregoire

What Would It Cost?

According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, the A's have already been getting calls from teams in a position to win about what it would cost to acquire Miller. The team is listening to the offers and is open to trading him, but why? Why move on from a promising young prospect who is so far from testing free agency?

The Athletics have one of the worst farm systems in all of Major League Baseball. You can't be competitive, bringing up your top prospects, when you really don't have top prospects to bring up. Whoever wants to add Miller to their bullpen would have to part with anywhere from two to four of the top 100 prospects in baseball.

The Chicago Cubs could build a package around outfielder Pete Crow-Armstrong and infielder Matt Shaw. The Padres are unlikely to part with catcher Ethan Salas, but shortstop Jackson Merrill and pitcher Robby Snelling could be in play. The Dodgers, who always seem to be buyers at the deadline could offer a trade headlined by first baseman Dalton Rushing and pitcher Nick Frasso.

The possibility exists that Miller won't change teams at all. As he continues to get better, his price only goes up. Savor the flavor Oakland fans, because it won't be long until this filet mignon is on someone else plate.

Read More MLB News From Stadium Rant Here: MLB News


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