Two A’s are on the ballot for this year’s honors
Voting has begun for the 2021 All-MLB Team, and there are two Oakland A’s on the ballot.
The All-MLB team recognizes the best player in the majors at each position, with a First-Team and a Second-Team that each include a C, 1B, 2B, SS, 3B, DH, three outfielders, five starting pitchers, and two relievers. The process to determine the lineups is split half and half between a fan vote and expert panel, and the fan vote will be open through Nov. 19.
There are 66 position players and 38 pitchers in the running, including a pair from the A’s — first baseman Matt Olson and starting pitcher Chris Bassitt are on the ballot at their respective positions. Olson is one of 10 nominees at first base, and Bassitt is one of 22 starters listed.
You can click here to vote. Each fan can vote once every 24 hours, and there are eight days left before the polls close.
Unfortunately, Olson and Bassitt are probably long shots to get any attention at their positions.
At first base, Olson is up against the likes of Vladimir Guerrero Jr of the Blue Jays, who’s likely to finish Top 2 for MVP, as well as Freddie Freeman of the Braves, who won the 2020 MVP and just picked up a World Series ring. Paul Goldschmidt of the Cardinals also had a big year. It’s not impossible that Olson could snag a Second-Team nod, but I wouldn’t bet on it.
As for the pitchers, Bassitt’s chances ended when he missed a month to injury late in the season. The fact that he still made the ballot with only 27 starts and 157 innings shows how great of a year he was having before he got hurt, and perhaps he could have been a serious candidate without that unfortunate setback. As it is, the favorites will include Cy Young contenders like Robbie Ray of the Jays, Gerrit Cole of the Yankees, Max Scherzer of the Nats/Dodgers, and Corbin Burnes of the Brewers.
One notable snub is Starling Marte, who didn’t make the cut for the outfield. According to FanGraphs, Marte ranked 12th in fWAR among all players at all positions (fifth among outfielders), and bWAR put him 28th (ninth among outfielders). Among more traditional stats, he led the majors in stolen bases, ranked ninth with a .309 average, and finished seventh with a .381 OBP. There are 18 outfielders on the ballot, and he really should have been one of them, with a real chance for the Second-Team.
There could also be a case that recent Gold Glove winner Sean Murphy is a better catcher candidate than Willson Contreras of the Cubs, but Contreras had a good year too and carries a strong reputation, and neither would have been likely to win a spot anyway.
Oakland A’s All-MLB Team history
This is the third year that All-MLB Teams have been named. Here’s the full list of Oakland A’s selections.
- 2019: RP Liam Hendriks (2nd Team)
- 2019: SS Marcus Semien (2nd Team)
- 2020: RP Liam Hendriks (1st Team)
Congrats to Olson and Bassitt on being nominated!