I just read the comprehensive analysis of how the A's can sign a FA this off season. In that post it was Crawford as he's the most expensive so much of the analysis focused around signing him, but I can't help but to think that the A's would be better suited to sign 2 or even 3 mid-tier bats than 1 superstar like CC. 1 assumptions I'm acting under is:
The SP will improve next year in terms of consistency as the staff grows and that will be reflected by a 3-8 game increase in team wins by the starting pitchers.
I was looking at the 2010 season schedule so far and the A's have lost 13 1 run games so far this year and we all know the A's need to add a bat or three this offseason. My qualm is that if the A's pay heavily for 1 bat does that really solve the problem? Say we do at CC and he bats 3rd, don't other teams just pitch around him to get to Cust/Suzuki at 4? As an opposing manager I sure would. In an ideal world the A's go out and get CC and someone like Beltre/Dunn or Mags for some power and stability in the middle of the lineup but that's not going to happen. So, if we're limited to 1 major free agent or two to three mid tier guys is it not better to sign the latter? I think Mags can be had relatively cheaply since he's coming off the broken leg and I think Werth or Beltre would be good fits and both could be had for about what it would cost to overpay Crawford. Also, if you sign Mags first, which I think is easier than getting another major FA commitment, that shows other potential FA's that Oakland is at least trying to bring bats to complement what everyone already knows is a staff that has the potential to be the best in baseball. Another benefit is that we can sign Mags for 2 years so he doesn't eat into the payroll we'll need to pay the SP's in a couple years. Give Werth/Beltre 4-5 years and we have our main offensive FA target locked up. If we get Beltre, Kouz gets non-tendered and if we can't get a read on Beltre we go after Werth. This team doesn't need much to go from middle of the road to AL West champs and possibly much more. In my opinion all it takes is a couple of bats, not one, but a couple.