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A’s find common ground with John Jaso, Seth Smith

Jan 17, 2013, 8:25 PM EDT

Seth Smith Getty Images

The A’s cut their remaining arbitration cases in half Thursday by agreeing to one-year deals with newly acquired catcher John Jaso and left fielder-designated hitter Seth Smith.

Reliever Jerry Blevins and first baseman-outfielder Brandon Moss are the team’s remaining arbitration-eligible players.

Jaso, picked up from the Mariners in a three-team deal Wednesday, was eligible for arbitration for the first time. While the A’s obviously view him as pretty valuable — they gave up one of their top pitching prospects in A.J. Cole to get him — an arbitration process that rewards homers, runs batted in and at-bats probably wouldn’t have seen things the same way. He hit .276/.394/.456 with 10 homers and 50 RBI in 294 at-bats for Seattle last season.

Smith, acquired from the Rockies last winter, hit .240/.333/.420 in 383 at-bats in his first year in Oakland. He’d seem to be looking at a reduced role this year unless one of the outfielders ahead of him is traded. The 30-year-old made $2.415 million last season in his first year of arbitration. He’ll be eligible for free agency after the 2014 season.

  1. sebaker - Jan 17, 2013 at 10:04 PM

    Will someone explain to me how pt gets sorted out in Oakland next year? Good kind of problem to have but … note that Chris Carter’s OPS was higher vs RHB, but it’s hard not to see him at best on the short side of a platoon … and his overall OPS was something like .880! Etc etc …

    • sebaker - Jan 17, 2013 at 10:11 PM

      rhp … of course

  2. APBA Guy - Jan 18, 2013 at 10:41 AM

    Oakland is nothing if not flexible in their approach to using players. It looks like they are setting up a platoon at catcher and another at first. Last year they had a platoon in left (Gomes/Smith) but they probably won’t have that this year but they will have Smith rotate in left and right with Reddick and Crisp, depending on whether Young is good enough to play every day in center. Smith could see some time as the DH also. Since Jaso would see right-handers, he’s catch about 70% of the games, and Norris would do the other 30%. The feeling was that Reddick wore down playing so much last year, so the rotation using Smith will keep him fresh.

    The real issue for Oakland is, as always, their pitching. The kids threw a lot of innings last year. What effect, if any, will that have on their arms this year?

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