Brett Anderson, Trevor Cahill, Gio Gonzalez and Dallas Braden. Well that figures, those four are the core to our pitching staff and shouldn't go anywhere. On the heels of Beane's comments to beat writer Susan Slusser i have decided to take a look at the rest of the roster, their trade value, and whether or not we should trade said player. Despite all this i do believe that the A's should at least gauge interest in Dallas Braden. With the SP trade market somewhat limited this off-season the A's could reel in a stud hitter for Mr. Braden. Remember i said just gauge interest and go from there.
Daric Barton: At 25 years old Barton is still progressing as a MLB player, and had a real solid 2010 season. He should have been in the mention for the AL Gold Glove, but we know the bias that exists. Barton also finished with 110 BB and a .393 OB%. We could flip Barton to Arizona (who needs a 1B), and acquire Chris Young, or Mark Reynolds in return. If the two were made available in this trade, i would strongly prefer Young over the crazy SO ratio of Reynolds. The A's would then be able to move Chris Carter to 1B. A's trading Barton= 10 percent
Mark Ellis: It is possible that we picked his option up in order to trade him. Ellis has fallen off a bit at the plate, and isn't getting any younger. Although he did put up a nice .291, .358, .739 state line in 2010. The A's could slot Adam Rosales into the 2B slot if they get a good offer for Ellis whose contract is team friendly for 2011 of A's trading Ellis= 50 percent
Cliff Pennington: Lets be serious here, Pennington isn't going anywhere. He is one of the best defensive SS on all of MLB, and has great range. Additionally, Pennington held is own at the plate in 2010 and stole 29 bases. I really like this kid, and SS is not a position we really need to upgrade. A's trading Pennington= 0 percent
Kevin Kouzmanoff: He will either be non tendered or traded this off-season, and will not be wearing the green and gold come opening day. I think the A's will look at possible suitors before "releasing" the Kouz, but i don't see us getting much more than a low level prospect because teams know he isn't in our plans. A's trading/releasing Kouz= 95 percent
Kurt Sazuki: The A's could get so much for Sazuki, but that is the reason not to trade him. He has been our most consistent offensive performer the last two seasons (i know that isn't saying much), he is under team control for a relatively cheap price and is a gold glove type catcher that handles the pitching staff with the best of them. Additionally, Sazuki is primed for a 25 HR, 100 RBI season in 2011 and is in his prime. Secretly i can see Beane listening to offers for Sazuki, but that will be more of the window shopping variety. A's trading Sazuki: 5 percent
Chris Carter: Now this is where is gets interesting. He is only 23 years old and looked MUCH better in his second stint with the A's after throwing up an 0for in his first stint. I really like the power supply that he can bring. However, the A's could get a proven power hitter for Carter because of his age and potential. I could easily see the A's swapping Carter and a couple minor leaguers to the Brewers for Ryan Braun. Milwaukee is looking for SP too so we would have to include a top and mid tier SP pitching prospect for him. I can see this trading working out for both parties. A's trading Carter: 60 percent
Coco Crisp: Not going to happen next please: 0 percent
Ryan Sweeney: I abolutely love this dude, but i don't think he fits into our plans anymore. We cannot have a starting OF consisting of DeJesus, Crisp and Sweeney; that would lack the power we so much desire. Additionally, Sweeney has been injury prone in his early career. The A's could include Sweeney in a nice package to acquire the power hitter they need (more on this later) A's trading Sweeney: 80 percent
Jack Cust: He will be non tendered if not traded, i cannot see the A's being able to pull off a trade with Cust and get anything worthwhile for him. A's trading/releasing Cust: 100 percent
Michael Wuertz: We should have unloaded Wuertz when his stock was at its highest following the 2009 season, that said we could get a lot for him as teams are in need to solid set up men. He is expendable because of Henry Rodriguez. A's trading Wuertz: 70 percent
Andrew Bailey: It appears that Billy Beane doesn't put a lot of stock in having an all-star closer (see Huston Street), however Bailey may be the exception (two consecutive all-star appearences). That said, i could see the A's trading this nearly automatic closer if the right deal comes alogn. A's trading Bailey: 50 percent
So now i am just going to throw out a couple of trade possibilities. Please keep in mind that this is just me running through options, and i have no vouching sources for these trades.
A's trade 1B/OF- Chris Carter, RHP- Tyson Ross, C- Max Stassi and a lower level prospect to the Milwaukee Brewers for 3B/OF- Ryan Braun. This trade works out for both sides. Milwaukee gets three of the A's top prospects and the young pitcher they have been looking for. The A's get a player under team control for relatively cheap salary and could flip him after a season or two for as much as they gave up in this trade. Braun has had 25+ Hr and 100+ RBI in each of the last three seasons, and is a career .307 hitter.
A's trade LHP- Anthony Capra and OF- Travis Buck to the Houston Astros for OF- Carlos Lee. I understand that Lee comes with an expensive price tag, but Houston may be willing to pay some of the contract. Additionally, Lee is on the downside of his career. However, his power stat line 24-89 would have ranked him #1 on the A's last season. We could slot him into RF until/of Michael Taylor is ready. Considering his decline in protection, contract, and age the Astros aren't really in great position to ask for a lot for him. In Capra they get a promising young pitcher, and in Buck they get an extra OF that has had some success in the Majors. This also opens up the starting OF slot for former A's farmhand Brett Wallace.
A's sign DH- Manny Ramirez or Carlos Pena to a 1Y-8MM Deal.
A's trade RHP- Michael Wuertz to the Tampa Bay Rays for RHP- Wilking Rodriguez and OF- Fernando Perez. This would restock the A's farm system a little bit and give the Rays a reliever they are in desperate nee of. By my calculations 6 Rays relievers are free agents right now, and they are not going to re-sign all of them. Additionally, the Rays are looking to contend in 2011 and that would be nearly impossible without a strong bullpen to support their good rotation.
A's sign RHP- Jesse Crain to a 2Y Contract.
A's sign OF- Marcus Thames to a 2Y Contract.
Of course this is extremely hypothetical and most of it is "unlikely" to happen, but if Beane went this road it would makes us instant contender in 2011. Additionally, i was extremely fair with compensation to the teams in the trades. For example, if appears we gave up a whole lot for Ryan Braun.
1B- Daric Barton
2B- Mark Ellis
SS- Cliff Pennington
3B- Ryan Braun
LF- David DeJesus
CF- Coco Crisp
RF- Carlos Lee
DH- Manny Ramirez/Carlos Pena
C- Kurt Sazuki
SP- Trevor Cahill
SP- Brett Anderson
SP- Hisashi Iwakuma
SP- Dallas Braden
SP- Gio Gonzalez
CL- Andrew Bailey
RP- Brad Zeigler
RP- Jesse Crain
RP- Henry Rodriguez
RP- Craig Breslow
RP- Jerry Blevins
RP- Josh Outman/Bobby Cramer/ ETC.....
C- Josh Donaldson/Landon Powell
INF- Adam Rosales
OF- Connor Jackson/ Rajai Davis
OF- Marcus Thames
What do you think? Constructive critism wanted!