Ive Been thinking about the A's recently, while watching the playoffs, and I had a bunch of random thoughts.
1. Daric Barton aint dead yet
Ok, he had a terrible year. But there is precedent for a bounceback. At the beginning of last year, the Toronto Blue Jays' to prospect was Adam Lind, a left handed hitter who the year before had blazed through the minor leagues and had a successful cup of coffee with the big league team, hitting .367. There was a every reason to think that he'd do well. He didnt. He batted .238 on the year, going on a hot streak towards the end to lift it that high. He did show a little bit of power, (11 HR's), but otherwise, it was pretty bad. This year though, he seems to have bounced back, hitting .282 with 9 HR's in 326 AB's, after a little bit of a struggle early on. So, yes, Barton had a bad year, but I think there's precedent for a bounceback. And after all, there were plenty of encouraging signs if you looked for them. He had 65 walks, saw a lot of pitches, did well towards the end, and let's remember, hes only 23.
2. Trade for Alex Gordon
The A's farm system right now is deep at pretty much every position except 3B. Eric Chavez does not appear to be the answer next year. We need a young 3B who can play there when Chavez is on the DL. In other words, we need an everyday 3B. Jeff Baisely does not look like the answer there, as he seems like more of a bench bat. Jack Hannahan didnt do well in his trial. So I think the A's should go after ALex Gordon. Formerly the top prospect in baseball, Gordon has not exactly performed up to expectations for the last two years, but is worth a gamble, as there are encouraging signs all over, from his patience at the plate (66 BB's), to his doubles which could turn into HR's (35 this year, in 493 AB's), to his age (24). So would the Royals give up on their former to prospect? It's not as crazy as it seems. The Royals' top hitting prospect is Mike Moustakas, who has been switched from SS to 3B, which does not indicate that they're so happy with Gordon. They can't move Gordon to 1B, because they have just drafted Eric Hosmer. It seems that Gordon does not exactly fit in the Royal's long term plans. So what would the Royals be looking for in exchange for Gordon? With the departure of Miguel Olivo, the Royals are in need of a catcher, and being that they're thr Royals, they'll take whatever they can get in other areas. This will require some creativity, as Kurt Suzuki is not tradeable, Rob Bowen doesn't exactly make GM's salivate, and Josh Donaldson wouldn't be MLB ready. What we do have, however, is a bevy of left handed starting pitchers, an OF logjam, and a capable closer we could use for trade bait. The Royals have Joakim Soria, so they don't need Street, but they could flip him to a team that has catchers. So, were I to be Beane, I try sending Gio Gonzalez, Huston Street, and Matt Murton to Kansas City for Alex Gordon. The Royals then move Mark Teahen back to his original position, third base, and put Murton in the OF. Then they flip Street to the Rangers for Jarod Saltamachia, one of teh Rangers surplus of catchers and a guy Royals GM Dayton Moore has liked since he worked in Atlanta. The Royals basically upgrade their offense with Salty and Murton, and their rotation with Gio, for their 3B they gave up on. The A's in turn, get an everyday third baseman who can contribute to their great young core, and the Rangers get a good closer for an excess catcher. I think it might work.
3. Sell high on Ryan Sweeney
Yes, I understand that hes big, hunky and the girls love him. But he's a guy limited to a corner OF position who projects to hit maybe .290 with 10-15 HR's a year. That's not a playoff-caliber starting outfielder. That's a fourth outfielder, maybe. Thing is, a lot of teams will overvalue him, because he's huge and just looks like he has 30 HR's locked in him. But he doesn't. Beane should try and swing a trade to net a good young infielder. Maybe to the dodgers for Ivan DeJesus Jr., its not like we're giving up Ryne Sandberg for him...