Now I know what you're thinking: "hurry up and do another Dugout ripoff already!" but screw that, I have needs too: the need to talk about incredibly far reaching conspiracies that are directly connected to my own paranoias! Or maybe its just some relatively hack-y investigative journalism, I dunno, I don't have much of an ego so I'll let you draw your own conclusion there.
Look, Jose was is and will always be RIGHT about everything he wrote in Juiced. He has been 100% so far on everyone he called out for roids, and silenced many critics (who still called him a douchebag regardless, because, well, he is.). One thing that always got me was when he said he was "blacklisted by MLB because he knew the TRUTH and was about to blow it up" many thought: "Oh get out of town Jose, MLB doesnt secretly blacklist anyone, its baseball not the Illuminati!" guess what: it looks like he was RIGHT. He OPS'd 850 in his final year and wasnt looking for an outlandish contract, he was still a useful DH yet no one offered him any kind of contract for the 2002 season. I used to laugh at the WWE because of how insanely irrational and illogical and corny the storylines were, and that baseball was better to waste my time thinking about because it was real. Now after seeing the crazyness thats gone on in Jose's life, Im starting to think MLB might be just as absurd, only (sadly) this is real life.
How does this all pertain to the A's getting Adrian Gonzalez? Read on...
The newest conspiracy theory, or at least something that's going on without being talked about in detail is: how MLB is inquiring in on low spending teams such as the A's and Marlins on just what they are doing with their revenue sharing. There has been some quiet chatter/fingerpointing that certain teams are pocketing the sharing and not spending it on player personnel. The A's are one such team. Oakland lacks after this year, any players locked in on long term deal. Beane & Wolff's style flies in the face of doing anything like that, and they favor short term/high dollar deals and the all-powerful 6 years of a player they brought up through their own system (or poaching someone from someone elses). However the money they are getting from sharing isnt adding up. This is why we are hearing about expensive contract offers put out for Scutaro, Beltre, Furcal and Chapman and overpaying for Sheets and Taveras and Miles. All that being said: the A's still have the lowest payroll in the American League in 2010. (Crazy huh?)
Seeing how Beane's style doesnt mesh with revenue sharing, or just putting a lot of dollars in FA's pockets, why not find another Chavez to sign? Seeing how Beane is actively trying to spend this money, he can afford to throw it at an elite player, and Adrian Gonzalez is one such player who is available.
Beane's big post 2007 rebuild is starting to bear fruit. We are stacked all over the diamond: pitching, OFers, 1B and 2B. We just traded for a young 3B and have reason to be pretty confident with our depth at every position on the diamond expect SS. We don't really need to mess around with things too badly, so signing an elite player to a lengthy deal is strangely, the least risky thing we could do. Gonzalez is a 1B and a spectacular baseball player, however if he pulls a Chavez and gets hurt, we still have to pay him and guess what: 1B are pretty easy to come by. If he somehow flops, then great we go get a 1B from somewhere and dont really miss a beat. The flipside to that is that AG's 6.3 WAR isnt anything we can expect out of 1B anytime soon, so if he works out then he works out great.
The Padres are going to want talent, and Im not sure the Red Sox or Mariners or whoever else has been making noise about trading for AG can come close to what we can afford to give up. Here's a list of our players that I wouldnt mind trading 3 to 5 of them for AG and then signing him to a long-term deal, thus getting MLB off our backs and letting Beane still work his natural style of finding undervalued players:
There's no way in hell that talent pool can be matched or beaten by Seattle or Boston. Now feast your eyes on 2011:
1B: A. Gonzalez
2B: A Cardenas
SS: G. Green
3B: K. Kouzmanoff
C: K. Suzuki
LF: M. Taylor
CF: Weeks or Brown or Davis
RF: Brown or Sweeney or Dolittle or even FA
DH: C. Carter
Now if you read all that and hated it, guess what? Fangraphs just unveiled their splits category for individual player pages! That's awesome! There, this wasnt a completely useless read now, wasnt it?