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Ross D. Franklin / Associated Press

Reviewing the 2022 Oakland A’s Trades: Sean Manaea

Manaea
Ross D. Franklin / Associated Press

Reviewing the 2022 Oakland A’s Trades: Sean Manaea

The A’s had an amazing rotation in 2021 led by Chris Bassitt, Frankie Montas, and Sean Manaea. Just like the rest of the team, it was torn down and all three went their separate ways. Manaea was sent to the San Diego Padres for two minor leaguers just days before Opening Day, reuniting with former A’s manager Bob Melvin.

The full trade looked like this:

  • Padres get: SP Sean Manaea
  • A’s get: SP Adrian Martinez, INF Euribiel Angeles

The Numbers

The A’s didn’t get a big package for Manaea, and that has to do with his inconsistency. His struggles with velocity and the ability to locate have made his career a rollercoaster. This year with the Padres was bad, finishing with a 4.96 ERA in 158 innings. His strikeout percentage was down, dropping from 25.7% in 2021 to 23.3% in 2022. Despite being a sinker-heavy pitcher, his groundball percentage suffered as well. It was 41.8% in 2021, and here in 2022, it dropped to 37.4%. Of course because of that, his flyball percentage went up to a career-high 30.7%.

Manaea has a four-pitch mix, consisting of a sinker, changeup, slider, and curve. The sinker has always been his number one pitch, but hitters were able to hit his offspeed a little better this year which left Manaea with his struggles. His changeup for example was hit hard this year, as batters hit .301 against it. The average on both the changeup and sinker was 90 mph, much higher than normal for him. His postseason numbers are even worse. It’s only three games, but a 33.75 ERA is not what you want with your season on the line. His most recent postseason performance was in the NLCS against the Phillies, where he only lasted 1 1/3 innings, giving up five runs on four hits.

Manaea finds himself a free agent for the first time, and at 30 years old with his struggles, he isn’t going to land a big contract.

Adrian Martinez

Making his debut in 2022, the stat line for Martinez is a bit deceiving. A 6.24 ERA in 12 starts is pretty bad, but the 25-year-old has very good pitches that if developed correctly can turn him into a good starter. What killed Martinez this season was his sinker. he threw it 50.3% of the time, with hitters batting .338 against it. It also had a Whiff% of just 13.5%, the lowest on the team among pitchers.

What’s saving Martinez is his changeup. It generates the most vertical movement in baseball at 9.8 inches and produced a 31.1% Whiff% in 2022. Batters only hit .233 against it compared to how well they hit the sinker. Martinez needs to go into 2023 not being as reliant on his sinker and trusting his offspeed. He’s only 25 with above average stuff, he just needs to learn how to put it together.

Euribiel Angeles

The 20-year-old product can hit no question about it. In 2021 with the Padres organization, Angeles hit .330 with a .393 OBP. He transferred that to Single-A with the A’s organization, batting .278 with 32 RBIs and 19 doubles in 97 games. He’s going to be the standard small contact-hitting guy who will bat at the top of a lineup. He’s played short, second, and third, which helps build his case to be on a major league roster. The A’s have good middle infield depth, but if Angeles can continue to hit how he has been than the A’s will find a spot for him.

This deal was more of a salary dump. Manaea didn’t have much value but the A’s needed to get rid of him to save money, but it remains in the A’s favor. It’s unlikely Manaea returns to the Padres, and if he does he’s just too inconsistent. Martinez could pan out if he can turn to his offspeed pitches more. Angeles has proven he can hit, and if he can continue that throughout the minors the A’s will have a very nice piece to go atop of their lineup.

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