Cristian Pache was having a pretty strong spring, carrying a .302/.362/.419 slash-line in 47 PAs, all the while showing off his still elite CF defense but that wasn’t enough for him to break camp with the Athletics. Unfortunately for Pache, he is also out of options which means he’ll either be traded very quickly (like…today), or head to the waiver wire. If Pache passes through waivers, he’ll head to Oakland’s AAA affiliate.
Pache made his professional debut way back in 2016 with the Braves Rookie League team, Danville. He carried a strong OPS despite the fact that he had very little power (granted, he was only 17). It took him over 180 games in the pros before he hit his first home run. From there, he bulked up a bit, found his power stroke, and his SLG from 2018-2022 in the minors was in the mid-400s. Unfortunately for him, the added bulk cost him stolen bases, a big part of his game when he was younger.
Pache was ranked as high as #7 in Baseball America’s prospect rankings with “the defense will always play” as the reasoning. That might’ve sounded true then, but in an era that will likely go down as the greatest collection of OFers to play the game at one time, Pache and his MLB career OPS of .439 just isn’t playable for even one of the worst run franchises in baseball.
Would AA try to reacquire Pache before he hits waivers, DFA him, and hope that he sticks around at AAA? With Michael Harris II stationed in CF, that’s highly unlikely, but maybe Pache would like to try to “get right” in an organization he already knows well.
For personal reasons, I would love to see Pache back. He’s a really nice kid and was heartbroken when he left Atlanta. Work it out, Beane. Send him home.