I've heard suggestions that we should give up on this year and try to trade Piazza (or various other players) for younger players with more potential. While this might mean trading for someone who's already broken in the big leagues, I am curious about those players who are still floating around at the AAA level or below. The Bartons and Meyers owned by other teams. Who is out there worth picking up?
Living way out here on the East Coast makes it difficult to follow A's minor leaguers. On the other hand, I do get to see a lot of talent from other team's systems. Both the Orioles and Braves have Triple-A teams within driving distance and there's a single-A for (I think) the Marlins just down the road. There are a lot of very talented players out here that I think would make a great addition to the A's system if Beane could acquire them.
For instance, tonight I watched Brent Lillibridge steal two bases, walk three times, and score a run for the Richmond Braves. He's a very promising prospect. Twenty-four years old, sporting a .270 average and 10-12 homer power, his OBP has fallen a lot since he got promoted from single-A, but has been climbing back up as he figures things out. He also seems like a pretty good fielder. Braves pitcher Ryan Basner also seems very talented. I don't know what it would take to acquire these guys. I doubt much that a Piazza trade would do the trick.
Who else is out there that might be available, has obvious talent, and would be able to contribute in 2008 or 2009?