So we've hashed, rehashed, and served as hash browns, how useless Patterson and Fox are and how hamstrung the A's roster is having two players on it who can't field and don't hit. They're both out of options and apparently, for this reason alone, the A's keep these two to represent a full 8% of their roster.
I want to make a point about this that I actually haven't seen made. It's not that Patterson and Fox suck -- the A's think they might be not terrible, I get that. And it's not that they would pass through waivers unclaimed -- the A's think they wouldn't and they probably know better than I do on that.
Here's the thing. EVEN IF these guys have something to offer a major league team. EVEN IF they were to be claimed off of waivers and Oakland were to lose them. Think Lenny DiNardo. Think Chad Gaudin. Think Kirk Saarloos. What do those guys have in common? The A's let them go, and then eventually got them back.
Patterson and Fox, like DiNardo, Gaudin, and Saarloos, have limited skill-sets that make them fringey players. You pick them up because at the moment they're available you have a need that they fill. You let them go because there are too many things they don't do well. Jack Hannahan and Dan Meyer were DFA last week and anyone, including the A's, could have had them cheap.
If the A's like Patterson and Fox so much, they should stop worrying about losing them because even if they do those guys will become available again. And again. And again. That's what happens to these guys. And the A's really need to stop wasting roster spots on two players who keep hamstringing the team because they have so few skills and those skills don't include playing solid OF defense, playing solid infield defense, getting on base, playing a decent 1B...
Landon Powell (decent bat, can play 1B) and Matt Carson (platooning with Gabe Gross) would be more useful players on this team right now and they're not that great. It's not just that Patterson and Fox aren't very good, it's that the number of things they're especially bad at is so abundant, and so when you really just need someone who can __, you look down the bench at the 24th guy on the roster, then at the 25th guy on the roster, and you still can't find anyone.
You know that saying? "If you love someone, set them free. If they come back they're yours; if they don't they never were." Let them go, Billy. They may never leave and even if they do, they will come back someday if you really want them.