The Oakland Athletics entered a rebuilding process during the offseason, focusing on reducing payroll.
They let go of Mark Canha, Yan Gomes, Josh Harrison and others through free agency, and traded Matt Olson, Matt Chapman, Chris Bassitt and Sean Manaea.
Rival executives and the national media believe they have only one big business left on their roster, and that’s their opening day starter, Frankie Montas.
The 29-year-old right-hander is considered a more valuable commodity than, say, Manaea, who is expected to enter free agency after the season.
Not only is Montas a better pitcher than Manaea, but he’s also under team control for an additional year after 2022 at a reasonable price (TBD in arbitration).
Phillies score early and often against Montas
However, if the opening day is any indication, its value does not increase.
“4-0 Phillies in third. Maybe Frankie Montas is trying to stay in Oakland by depressing his own business value,” tweeted A writer Steve Berman, who covers the team for The Athletic, on Friday afternoon after Montas’ rocky start against the Philadelphia Phillies.
4-0 Phillies in third. Maybe Frankie Montas is trying to stay in Oakland by depressing his own business value.
—Steve Berman (@BASportsGuy) April 8, 2022
At the time of Berman’s tweet, the game was 4-0 Phillies.
However, as of this writing, it was 5-1 at Philadelphia, and Montas had allowed all five runs in four innings of work.
He had also conceded six hits and one walk, while putting out five enemies.
The big hits were a Kyle Schwarber home run in the first quarter and a two-run single from Rhys Hoskins in the third.
Montas, who had a very solid 3.37 ERA in 187 innings last season, is talented enough to bounce back and avoid the fate Berman jokingly referred to: staying in Oakland.
But his first start was not pretty.