How Coghlan will help the A’s compete in the AL West
On Thursday the Oakland Athletics added some serious depth to their roster when they traded 25-year-old right hander Aaron Brooks for Chris Coghlan of the Chicago Cubs. Coghlan can be considered an almost Ben Zobrist-like player as he can play virtually any position on the field and his left-handed bat hits right-handers quite well.
Originally a left fielder and the 2009 NL Rookie of the Year Award winner with the then-Florida Marlins, Coghlan spent five seasons in Miami where his numbers dropped off from his rookie year slashline of .321/.390/.460. He signed as a free agent with the Chicago Cubs in January 2014 and has somewhat of a renaissance over the past two seasons.
He played primarily in the outfield with the Marlins but in Chicago he played at first, second, third and every outfield position. He batted .283/.352/.452 with nine home runs in 2014. In 2015 his batting average dropped to .250 but he hit a career high 16 homers and was still getting on base at a .341 clip.
However, the A’s roster seems pretty full with what one might call a logjam in the outfield, but it seems that there is already somewhat of a plan in place to make sure that Coghlan is in the lineup on most days. General manager David Forst has put forth some ideas over the last couple of months that with the addition of Coghlan, will make it easy to give infielders like shortstop Marcus Semien, second baseman Jed Lowrie and third baseman Danny Valencia the occasional day off. He’ll also likely spend a day in center field here and there splitting time with Coco Crisp to give Billy Burns a day of rest from time to time.
Even assuming everyone stays healthy, there will still be plenty of playing time for Coghlan and also for first baseman/left fielder Mark Canha. Canha hit 16 homers in his rookie seasons in 2015 and Forst has said on multiple occasions that Canha will get the at-bats he deserves.
For exactly how the A’s plan to make this all happen you can read the rest of my column on Today’s Knuckleball by following the link below:
What the addition of Coghlan means for Oakland