I believe he sold Donaldson, at least 1-2 years too quick.
For the 2015 Season:
2015 Payroll will be sans Cespedes and Jim Johnson as they are off the books at $10M a pop in 2014 ($20M total). Donaldson's Arb1 wouldn't have been that spendy (~$4.5M-$8M).
For the 2016 Season:
Donald's Arb2 (~$8M-$12M) would be comparable to Coco Crisp and Kazmir who are playing 2015 at $10M-$13M, thus coming off the books is $23M in those two players.
The puzzling parts when you're trying to 'off salary'.
Brandon Moss cost $4.1M in 2014 and for 2015 will be a Arb3 player...he'll cost ($7M-$11M) and provide 1/3 the WAR (2-2.6) as Donaldson (7.4-8).
Add to the fact, it seems every year Beane just throws away $10M at someone.
Recent ones include:
2014 - Jim Johnson (RP) - $10M
2013 - Chris Young (OF) - $8.7M
2010 - Ben Sheets (P) - $10M
So who's Beane's candidate for 2015? I don't believe he's signed that $10M waste just yet, however, let's go with what we have. Let Billy Butler be presented as exhibit A.
Butler will cost $6.7M, $11.7M, & $11.7M each of the next 3 years. Butler is at best, a 2-3 WAR player with no Def to offer in sight. He had a NEGATIVE total WAR in 2014. He'll be 29 next year and his affinity for Dunkin Donuts isn't getting any weaker. Donaldson is 7-9 WAR for the same cost for the next two seasons. Year 3, he'll cost more than Butler's $11.7M. But my argument was 2 years, not 3. I would look to trade Donaldson, in year 2 at the All-Star break (if not competing) or Winter 2016.
Here's two articles making some guesses on salaries for the A's Arb eligible players:
Edited by twinsfan34, 29 November 2014 - 01:08 PM.