Alright, I'd like to start by saying that the season is less than 1/5th of the way over, and as poorly as the A's have played, Mark Ellis is set to return in 4 to 6 weeks, and Duchscherer is able to come off the DL June 4th and is rehabbing as a starter, as SuSlu reports. So there is help on the way.
I also find it hard to believe that Holliday's BABIP will continue to sit at .259 or that Giambi will continue to OPS just over .700, or that O-Cab will also continue to OPS a weak .543, because that's just ridiculous. We have good hitters on this team and I have faith that they will hit. Eventually those flyballs will start leaving the park at a normal rate.
But, because it's an off day and because off days are the bain of my existence, let's look at another scenario. Cue ominous music. I'll be looking at our trade bait, and possible scenarios that could come to be if the A's are out of the running come the deadline.
First up is Matt Holliday.
I find it difficult to believe that any A's fan realistically believes that he will stay in Oakland beyond this year, especially when it's already been made public that the Yankees want Holliday and Holliday wants the Yankees. It's like some sort of weird grade school crush...Do you like me? Check "Yes" or "No" or "Maybe".
There was, and still is, an awful lot of talk about how bad of a trade the Holliday trade was. For those of you that forgot, we gave up Carlos Gonzalez, Greg Smith, and Huston Street. Street has struggled. Smith hasn't pitched yet, but performed poorly in Spring. Patrol Craft, with his ocean of potential, is tearing the cover off the ball, albeit at Colorado Springs. No real surprises...pitchers struggling in Colorado, hitters doing well.
I don't really think any of them were huge losses. Street's alright, but he was inconsistent and expensive; Smith would be nice to have as a starter, but only because our starts aren't very good right now, and his stats were a lot better than his actual performance. Carlos Gonzalez is still a very valuable piece, even after struggling last year.
After looking at a few similar trades, it seems like our deal for Holliday is consistent with the other deals. One good prospect and then some pieces, which is exactly what Street and Smith were to us, and to Colorado.
Really, let's look at some deals that happened in similar scenarios.
Last Year's Manny/Bay Blockbuster.
Here's the deal on MLBTradeRumors. To recap,
- Red Sox gave up Manny (to LA), Brandon Moss (to Pit) and Craig Hansen (to Pit) and received Jason Bay (from Pit)
- Dodgers gave up Andy LaRoche (to Pit) and Bryan Morris (to Pit) for Manny Ramirez (from Bos)
- Pirates gave up Jason Bay (to Bos) for Moss (from Bos), Hansen (from Bos), LaRoche (from LA) and Morris (from LA)
Most A's fans probably do remember this somewhat because the A's were big players on Jason Bay at the time. Obviously, they instead traded Blanton and Harden away for prospects.
Anyways, you can kind of take Boston out of the picture because they essentially gave up Manny for Bay, pretty much because they had to do something with Manny because he was being the bad kind of Manny. The Dodgers now know something about that Bad Manny.
Basically, the Dodgers gave up Andy LaRoche and Bryan Morris for the Pirates, but the Pirates don't do the deal unless they get the pieces from Boston. And Boston gives up the extra pieces because Bay's contract didn't end at the end of the year. But, from the Pirates point of view, which is most similar to our point of view, they gave up Bay for Moss, Hansen, LaRoche and Morris.
LaRoche is the most important piece in the deal. He's underachieved on the MLB level, but sample size is still in effect as he's yet to play a full season over three years. He was on BA's top 100 every year between 2004 and 2008. This year he's OPSing .745 so he's getting there. Moss, Hansen, and Morris are those pieces I was talking about.
If that three-way trade was too confusing, here's another.
The Stupid Slegna Trade for Teixeira
Teixeira was entering his walk year and with the Braves struggling for what seems like the first time in the last gajillion years, they were looking to move Teixeira for prospects rather than draft picks. The Angels, who ended up on the outside looking in then Teixeira was traded to the Braves from Texas for a gold mine of prospects, finally won.
What made the deal stupid was the fact that the Angels were so far up in the standings and they included first baseman Casey Kotchman in the deal. Essentially, they traded a perfectly good first baseman under team control for a half year of a really good first baseman in a season where they really didn't need that much help.
As you well know, Teixeira walked at the end of the year, after the Angels were knocked out. Either way, it was a stupid deal for the Angels, but at the same time, it was consistent with similar deals for sluggers in their walk year at the deadline. Casey Kotchman was a good piece and the Braves also received minor league relief pitcher Steve Marek, good for some orginizational depth.
Sabathia to the Brewers
It became obvious last year that the Indians were not going to the playoffs and were not going to re-sign Sabathia, so they dealt him to the Brewers. At the time of the deal, Sabathia was 6-8 with an ERA of 3.83. After the deal, he put on a show, going 11-1 with a 1.65 ERA, hitting home runs, pitching every 4th day and taking the Crew to the playoffs.
The Indians received Matt LaPorta, Rob Bryson, Taylor Green and Zach Jackson, which is an awful lot of talent for half a season of a pitcher. LaPorta was a top 40 prospect, maybe even higher. The others don't really project to be stars, but all could be serviceable major leaguers.
Sabathia last year was worth 7.7 WAR, compared to Holliday's 6.2, but most of that came after the deal, so a deadline deal of Holliday could be quite similar to this. This is compared to Bay's 2.9 WAR (his fielding is awful) and Teixeira's 6.7 WAR. Teixeria's deal brought back an established good but not great major league hitter, while Sabathia's and Bay's brought back a top 40 prospect.
So basically, take your pick. Feel free to rosterbate. Discuss it below.
Here are some interesting names around the Top 40 (according to BA) for you to think about.
Eric Hosmer (24th overall) - Not performing very well so far this year, but a legit bat taken 3rd overall last year. The Royals may have finally found their niche and Greinke looks stellar. They're tied right now with the Tigers in the AL Central and if they hang around, they could be looking to go for it.
Fernando Martinez and Wilmer Flores (30th and 47th overall) - The Mets have been extremely reluctant to deal him so far, but he hasn't lived up to the hype. Kinda like Sulentic, I guess, in that he's young wherever he plays, and the potential is there, but it hasn't exploded like many have thought. Flores is a very young (turned 17 last year while playing in full season ball) and projectable shortstop who could develop and could flop, but again the potential is there. With Fernando Tatis and Daniel Murphy manning LF right now, the Mets could be looking to improve if the Marlins continue to nip at their asses.
Yonder Alonso (35th overall) - The Reds find themselves just 2.5 games out in a competitive NL Central and with a rotation of Harang, Volquez and Cueto and a good young core of players, they find themselves with a LF of Chris Dickerson and Jerry Hairston Jr. They'll be reluctant to move their 2008 first round pick but might have to when Holliday becomes available.
Austin Jackson and Jesus Montero (36th and 38th overall) - This could be a repeat of Manny's "tryout" last year with the Dodgers, when the Yankees decided to get him a half season early to compete in the ridiculous AL East. Jackson's got tools and represents a legit future CF and Montero may or may not stick at catcher but his bat is real. If he can stick at catcher, then he's pretty damn valuable and Beane would be happy to get him. And, if he can't catch, can he play 3rd?
Matt Dominguez (64th overall) - I find it hard to fathom the Marlins trading away young talent, but if they continue to compete, the Marlins are capable of anything, and with Chris Coghlan currently in LF, they could use an upgrade. Dominguez is young and far away, but is a very good 3B prospect.