So, leading up to the Holliday trade I honestly felt (whether I was willing to admit it or not) that us A's fans were likely in for another "meh" type offseason. A couple veteran additions that weren't really anything to get excited about, but that we A's fans would somehow find a way to squeeze some hope out of. I figured Street would be traded, but for a prospect or two and I was almost certain Beane would end up letting Crosby play out his last season before free agency in Oakland. I kept telling myself that one more year of mediocrity was it, then next offseason would be the time to make a move with the influx of talent from the farm. I was somewhat hoping Beane would make a play at it in 2009, but thought the chances were slim-to-none. Well, it looks like I was wrong and Beane suprised the hell out of me, and probably 95% of all A's fans. So this is my first fanpost and I know we have had a lot of Holliday threads since the news broke, but I want to take it beyond that and see what you folks think of my idea to maximize this teams potential for 2009, and hopefully beyond. Matt Holliday is now an Oakland Athletic, and unless Beane plans on flipping him before opening day the A's will try to compete in 2009. So, here's what i've come up with.
Next up it looks like the A's would like to solve the SS issue. Beane is likely looking to pull a Mark Kotsay with Crosby, and deal him to a team looking for a one year solution. His goal will be to get some kind of under the radar prospect, while unloading at least $2 million of the $5.25 million Crosby is owed in 2009. Essentially, he'll be "buying a prospect". As far as replacements go, Furcal has been a name that has come up frequently with substantial rumors to back it up. He's a solid leadoff hitter that plays above average defense at SS and has lots of speed. However, he's coming off a season in which he was off to an absurd start, then suffered a back injury that sidelined him most of the rest of the year. I personally only like signing Furcal to a shorter term deal, maybe a 2 year with an option. My main reasoning on this is probably about the same as everyone else. How bad would it suck to have $25 million, and the A's left side of the infield sitting at home watching because of injuries?? The problem is that he's rumored to be seeking at least four years, and I don't think Beane and Co. will want to take that big of a chance. I would have to agree with them on that. I think most of us can agree that Renteria doesn't exactly sound like a great option, but his name is starting to come up. My solution?? Trade Gio Gonzalez, Vince Mazzaro, Henry Rodriguez and Corey Brown to Milwuakee for JJ Hardy and minor league 3B Taylor Greene. This works for Milwuakee in many ways. They are looking for young pitching. We send Gonzalez who can be inserted directly into their rotation, and Mazzaro who isn't too far from being ready himself. They also get one of the more live arms in the minor leagues in Henry Rodriguez. The guy throws 100 MPH, and after his move to the bullpen showed that he's gonna be ready to close games in the big leagues in the near future. Mike Cameron's contract is up soon, and Corey Brown gives them a legit athletic CF prospect who might be ready by mid 2010. Hardy is set to make $2.65 million next season, and would be under team control through 2010. He's another solid RH bat who could hit in the top-middle of the order with 20+ HR's and good defense at SS. He's young, he's healthy, and would barely put a dent in next season's payroll. It would give time for one of our younger SS prospects like Coleman, Christian or Leyja to step up and be considered for a starting job in a couple years. We would definitely be giving up talent, but would still be holding onto our "elite" guys like Anderson/Cahill/Carter/Cardenas. Greene would add depth at a position that we are very thin at, and he happens to be a solid prospect himself.
Next up I think the A's have to add another starter. Behind Duke we have a bunch of solid guys, but none with much experience. Obviously guys like Sabathia and Burnett are gonna command too much, so the A's will have to set their sights a little lower. My solution?? Sign Brad Penny to a 2 year/$16 million dollar deal. He was hurt last season, so he should come at a discout. He has always reminded me of a harder throwing Joe Blanton, and would be a solid guy to have towards the top of the rotation. The rotation is one of the biggest questions for the A's, and the young guns are not quite ready so a solid veteran is needed IMO. A rotation of Duke, Penny, Eveland, Gallagher and Outman isn't going to set the world on fire, but backed with a solid bullpen the staff has a chance to be pretty good.
Don't worry, i'm almost done. After the Holldiay trade, with Street, Smith and Gonzalez coming off the books plus Crosby's part the payroll should be sitting at around $47-48 million give or take. I don't have the exact numbers, but it should be within a couple million. After adding Hardy and Brad Penny the A's would be adding about $11 million to 2009's payroll raising it to the neighborhood of $59 million. It's been said before that this years payroll could reach the $80 million mark, but i'm thinking it'll be closer to the $70-75 million mark leaving a little room for Int'l signings, draft picks ETC. So lastly, as far as major moves are concerned, I would sign Adam Dunn to a 4 year/$56 million dollar deal. I know all the arguements here, and yes we already have Jack Cust but there is nothing wrong with two Jack Cust's in the middle of a productive, solid hitting team. He brings big power and patience, and would bring better defense at 1B then Jason Giambi. He was tried there last season, and although he wasn't a gold glover he was far from a disaster. We would be taking a hit defensively at 1B, but it would be a HUGE offensive upgrade. Barton could be sent to AAA to work on playing 3B, and if Chavez isn't healthy at any point Barton can take his place.
1. Sweeney CF
2. Buck RF
3. Holliday LF
4. Dunn 1B
5. Hardy SS
6. Cust DH
7. Chavez 3B
8. Ellis 2B
9. Suzuki C
The payroll wouldn't be too high and not only is that a team that I would do battle with, it would be pretty solid post Matt Holliday. Thoughts??