FanPost

Tom Tango Asks an Interesting Question


Over at insidethebook, some interesting thoughts about Evan Longoria and his ridiculous contract. Tango suggests that perhaps half the teams in the league would win by trading their entire farm system for Longoria, and that the list might expand to all teams with the addition of a "protect one player" clause.

Just a refresher for those who don't want to look it up. Longoria is perhaps the best third baseman in the game (he's certainly in the discussion), is an all-star with the bat alone and adds to that far above average defense, is 24 years years old, and has the following remaining on his contract (via Cot's):

2010: $0.95 million
2011: $2 million
2012: $4.5 million
2013: $6 million
2014: $7.5 million club option ($3 million buyout)
2015: $11 million club option
2016: $11.5 million club option

If the Rays called up Beane and asked him for the entire system in return for Longoria, should he take the deal? Let's say that includes everyone who's not on the big-league roster right now. How about if the A's were able to protect one player, whom I assume would be Chris Carter?

The A's could then put the following lineup on the field in 2011 without making any further moves besides picking up options:

C Kurt Suzuki
1B Daric Barton
2B Mark Ellis
3B Evan Longoria
SS Cliff Pennington
RF Ryan Sweeney
CF Coco Crisp
LF Conor Jackson/Rajai Davis
DH Chris Carter

Kouzmanoff could be packaged with, say, Cahill in an attempt to start restocking the farm system, and the A's could sign a couple of veteran pitchers to round out the rotation. There would be tens of millions of dollars left over in the payroll for that.

With the caliber of pitching the A's have, that actually looks something like a playoff-bound lineup. There would be problems down the road, of course, but in return you'd have one of the best players in the game locked up at an incredible bargain through 2016.

So, what do you think? If not the whole system, how many players would the A's have to be able to protect to make this a fair deal?

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