The Oakland A’s may look to offset the potential loss of left fielder Robbie Grossman with organizational depth. According to MLB.com’s Martín Gallegos, the A’s suspect 28-year-old Seth Brown could play an important role – but it’s now or never for the Oregon native. Brown’s combination of power and patience is a skill set the A’s have shown a fondness for over the years, and he played well during a 2019 call-up: .293/.361/.453 in 83 plate appearances.
From 2017 to 2019, Brown made the progressive leaps an organization likes to see as he jumped from High-A to Double-A to Triple-A in successive seasons. He earned his time on the big-league roster in 2019 after an impressive .297/.352/.634 line with 37 home runs in just 112 games at the highest level of the minors.
Grossman himself was somewhat of a late bloomer, cutting his teeth on unfortunate Astros squads of 2013 and 2014. He would be released by the Astros and then the Indians before finding a home in Minnesota. After three seasons of part-time work that culminated in a solid 1.7 bWAR season in 2018, the Twinkies cut him loose, too.
Hello, Oakland. Grossman’s 2020 output was easily the most productive season of his career, but those considering him in free agency must gauge whether his power display during the shortened 2020 season is the final step of his development or a small-sample burst. His .240 ISO this season far outpaced his career mark of .127 ISO.
All in all, Grossman’s skill set isn’t flashy, but that hasn’t stopped him from posting an above-average wRC+ in four of the last five seasons. If a market doesn’t develop for Grossman, the A’s could seek a reunion. Grossman and Brown both hit from the left side, of course, making for a ham-handed timeshare between the two.