Not long after we finished recording our latest podcast on Tuesday, news broke that one of the A’s free agents had found himself a new home.
Robbie Grossman made some changes to his swing over the 2019-20 off-season, working alongside another switch-hitter known to A’s fans: Jed Lowrie. The changes clearly worked a treat as he had his best season at the plate since his 2016 campaign with the Minnesota Twins.
In 2019 Robbie played in 138 games, hitting .240/.334/.348 with 6 HR and 9 Stolen Bases. Then in the shortened 2020 season he hit .241/.344/.482 with 8 HR and 8 stolen bases in just 51 games (out of 60). Whilst the batting average and on-base percentage stayed similar, there was a noticeable increase in slugging percentage as he tapped into some more power by pulling the ball more frequently.
With the Tigers still firmly in rebuilding mode, it made sense for them to bring in a relatively inexpensive experienced player or two this off-season to help bring some of the young players along.
I didn’t expect Robbie to get a multi-year contract based on how little money is being spent by teams so far this off-season, so perhaps the second year was the sweetener to get him to join a Tigers team that likely will be at the bottom of the AL Central again in 2021? It’s a good deal for Robbie though and that $10m is a nice reward for the hard work he put in.
His A’s career amounted to two seasons during which he played in 189 games, hitting .241/.337/.386 with 14 HR. He also played in 7 play-off games for the A’s, notching 5 hits from 21 at-bats.