Not a Minor League Update... More Like a Preview of Things to Come

 

I am not here to start trade speculation… or to talk about the A’s farm system. (Bad, grover… I know. Does this mean I need to be spanked now?)

 

What I am here to do is assess the potential trade markets available to the A’s as they attempt to unload Matt Holliday, Orlando Cabrera, Adam Kennedy & Jason Giambi. Sure, normally I talk about A’s prospects in these weekly chats but I figure discussing the A’s prospects to acquire MORE prospects is close enough to count. Not that I intend to talk about any potential prospect packages in this write up, I feel it’s a little early to start getting into that kind of detail. Besides, I want to give other posters the opportunity to create their own fanposts about whom they’d want from whichever particular team. Designatedforassignment, for example, wrote a very solid piece discussing the New York Mets and their interest in Matt Holliday and I’d like to see him (or her?) tackle some of the teams I’ll discuss in a bit. I encourage other posters to try their hand as well. (Believe me, it’s so much easier on me if I can just comment on the work of others and not have to put in the hours of research!)

 

Just a friendly reminder… if you’ve got questions about another team’s prospects or you’re worried that your idea is too off-the-wall to avoid ridicule, my e-mail is listed in my bio.

 

So to do this right, I had to first figure out who might be a potential match for the A’s in a trade scenario. I looked at every team that (as of 6/28) was either leading their division or were within 3 games of their division leader and/or the Wild Card. That gave me 17 teams whose immediate futures are a lot brighter than the Oakland A’s. I then went through each team’s line-up and looked at the cumulative performance of their LF, 2B, SS and DH/1B types, then matched those numbers to the park adjusted numbers of the A’s players. The results were a little unexpected, as I see a HUGE potential market for Matt Holliday but extremely limited options for dealing Giambi or Kennedy. Cabrera’s actually a bit of a wild card, as performance wise his numbers are horrid but based on the scarcity of options at his position there could still be 2-3 teams interested in his services. The format I’ll use is fairly simple to follow: I’ll write the team name, the current triple-slash line for the position and in bold I’ll show the A’s player’s park adjusted numbers. A couple of the teams will have two sets of triple-slash numbers, as a team like the Cardinals are weak at both OF corner spots and I’ll let Tony LaRussa figure out how to best arrange his outfield should his Cards acquire Holliday.

 

I’m going to start with Matt Holliday… as I’ve sorta segued to him anyways and he’s the biggest trade chip the A’s have. He’s still considered the premier bat on the trade market even though he’s had a bit of a down season in Oakland thus far.

 

Seattle:   233/293/349  280/377/439 (+174 OPS)

Texas:    258/329/438  285/382/448 (+63 OPS)

Detroit:  261/323/391  288/384/452 (+122 OPS)

Toronto: 270/344/461  (244/323/372 w/o Adam Lind)  288/382/448 (+135 OPS)

NY-NL: 248/323/348 (RF)  281/358/424 (LF)  280/377/439 (+145 OPS vs. RF)

St. Louis: 258/332/395 (LF)  260/312/432 (RF)  285/382/448 (+103 OPS vs. LF)

Cincy:      240/307/403  291/387/456 (+133 OPS)

SF:           245/314/358  285/382/448 (+158 OPS)

 

Let’s talk about this a little bit. To start with, why did I split Adam Lind’s production from Toronto’s LF figures? Simply put, Lind spends about 2/3 of his time as the DH in the Blue Jays’ line up and the alternative DH’s put up worse numbers then the alternative LFers. The Blue Jays play in the toughest division in baseball and Lind isn’t a good defensive outfielder, it makes some sense that if they were going to add a bat they’d want someone who’d allow them to keep Lind at DH… thus Holliday. Texas might not belong on this list as they have the least to gain (in terms of OPS) and they expect Josh Hamilton back in the next couple weeks. They’re also hurting at 1B and DH.

 

This leads me right to Jason Giambi! (Gee, it’s almost like I planned that.) I’ll be honest, Giambi becomes much more marketable if he’d get hot over the next couple of weeks and the best chance of that happening is if the A’s make him the DH through the end of July.

 

Detroit: 257/327/394 (DH)  213/353/395 (+27 OPS)

Seattle: 242/333/403 (DH)  207/347/383 (-6 OPS)

Texas:  211/269/429 (1B)  235/299/510 (DH)  211/357/391 (+50 OPS vs. 1B)

 

Like I said, there’s an extremely limited market for Giambi but it would help immensely if he went on a tear right now. I doubt the A’s would get a whole lot for him straight up, and they’d have to kick in the cash to cover his $1.25 million buy-out in 2010, but it might be worth it to pick up a couple of low-level prospects with some upside.

 

I don’t have a clever way of getting to Adam Kennedy, then again, the A’s showed enough cleverness to pull him away from Tampa for next to nothing so maybe I don’t need a clever lead-in. Now the A’s have the chance to flip him for a prospect or two, assuming his magic pixie dust can hold out for a few more weeks!

 

Seattle: 260/300/420  301/367/471 (+118 OPS)

SF:       231/280/271  307/373/480 (+202 OPS)

 

Seattle needs a lot of help, yet they’re only 2.5 back from the Angels. Makes you wonder what might have been for the A’s with a couple more breaks. But you tend to make your own luck and I guess the A’s have only themselves to blame. Again, I doubt Kennedy would garner much in return but like I said with Giambi, even a couple of low-level prospects with upside would be a plus… especially since the A’s are essentially playing with house (Tampa) money.

 

Now to the curious case of Orlando Cabrera. He’s sucked thus far, and if he played any position other than SS he wouldn’t be under consideration for anything other than the waiver wire. As it is, St. Louis, Cincinnati and the Mets have all suffered injuries at the SS position and are looking for band-aids. The A’s would probably have to pick up the $250 K bonus Cabrera gets if he’s traded but it might be worth it just to save a million bucks on the tail end of the deal and to create a spot on the 40 man. Then again, maybe someone on AN can think of a prospect that could be acquired if the A’s kicked in some extra cash.

 

I’m not going to take the time to write about the bullpen arms the A’s could deal, save one. A lot of people seem to think that Russ Springer has no trade value. It is my esteemed opinion that a lot of people are dead wrong. Sure, his overall numbers are poor but consider what he did in April and June:

 

April: 11 G  10.1 IP  8 H  4 BB  14 K  1.74 ERA

June:  9 G  7.1IP  7 H  2 BB  10 K  1.23 ERA

 

Those are not the numbers of a guy with zero trade value.

 

Enjoy and discuss.

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