Why the Bob Melvin news should interest the Red Sox

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It kind of came out of nowhere.

Oakland A's manager Bob Melvin - whose option for 2022 had just been picked up by Billy Beane and Co. - was taking the same position with the Padres. Full blessing of the A's. No compensation needed.,

Oakland was letting one of the best managers in baseball leave. But why? The consensus: Money.

The notoriously cash-strapped A's are storming toward a doozy of an offseason, with the foundation of what was an 86-win team getting raises through arbitration.

Matt Olson. Sean Manaea. Matt Chapman. Chris Bassitt. They all figure to land with deals of $9 million or more in arbitration, with Manaea and Bassitt eligible for free agency after 2022.

According to MLB Trade Rumors, the combined raises of all of the 12 players heading into arbitration potentially adds up to close to $60 million. Add in the guaranteed contracts of Elvis Andrus ($14 million) and Stephen Piscotty ($7.25 million) - along with replacing departing free agents - and things are due to get uncomfortable for an organization that has never boasted an Opening Day payroll of more than $90 million.

What this does, of course, is potentially open the door for teams like the Red Sox.

Taking runs at Manaea or Bassitt, for instance, would make some sense considering the Red Sox can free up a good chunk of their own pitching payroll by not picking up the options of Garrett Richards ($10 million) or Martin Perez ($6 million), while parting ways with free agent Eduardo Rodriguez.

It would be hard to argue with even a one-year investment in either Manaea or Bassitt considering their track records.

The left-handed Manaea is coming off a season that saw him go 11-10 with a 3.91 ERA in 32 starts (with the A's going 19-13 when he took the hill). Bassitt - who will be 33 years old on Opening Day - managed a 3.15 ERA in his 27 starts after breaking out in 2020 with 2.29 ERA in 11 appearances.

As for some of the other pieces that might be made available, Olson and Chapman each would necessitate a significant return going back to the A's, along with some creative roster juggling by the Red Sox. But, it is never crazy to entertain the idea of procuring that type of talent.

Or how about starter Frankie Montas (3.37 ERA in 32 starts) or reliever Lou Trivino (22-of-26 in save opportunities while holding righties to a .171 batting average)? Both have two more years of control remaining.

Thanks to Melvin, the message has been seemingly sent by the A's. Now we will see if the Red Sox come calling.

Featured Image Photo Credit: USA Today Sports