"It's an obvious area to address, and between now and the offseason, we'll have a number of conversations about how best to fill that need," A's general manager Billy Beane said.
From Slusser's latest article this morning:
Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/09/10/SP2R1FB8VV.DTL#ixzz0z9ccYUIi
The "It's" in that statement is obviously the lack of power in the current Oakland Athletics lineup. It's nice to know the problem is officially on Beane's radar. Now, let's go ahead and kickstart the "number of conversations about how best to fill that need".
I'm obviously on record as basically mandating that the A's go out and sign Jayson Werth this winter. I think that signing would do a lot of good, but it still might not be enough to make this team an immediate postseason contender next season.
I've previously thought the A's shouldn't consider trading any of their core young starters (Anderson through Mazzaro), but right now I'm not so sure. The recent demotion of Mazzaro - during September of all times - and his reaction to it have sort of sent the message that the A's aren't all that currently enthused about Mazz's state. Could he be dangled for a power hitter on the trade market and should the A's be move forward with that line of thinking?
One side of me says yes: Matt Kemp and Colby Rasmus might be available in trade this winter, and Mazzaro plus a combination of: Henry Rodriguez, Brad Zeigler, Adrian Cardenas, Michael Taylor, Rajai Davis, etcetera might be enough to get one of those guys.
In that case, the A's could roll the dice with maybe re-signing Duke for another spin in the rotation for 10 or 12 starts, sign someone like Garland to just eat innings at the backend, try-out Mortensen for an extended time or maybe even this Cramer kid coming up. Obviously, as I've mentioned before, moving Mazzaro would leave the A's rotation pretty damn shallow, but would it worth it? Let's see, for instance, if he was traded for Kemp:
1. Crisp - CF
2. Barton - 1B
3. Werth -LF
4. Kemp - RF
5. Cust - DH
6. Kouz - 3B
7. Suzuki - C
8. Ellis - 2B
9. Pennington - SS
Definite upgrade in power right there and a legitimate top/middle of the order with a little sock through the 7th spot. Without a trade for a Kemp or Rasmus, the above lineup might be changed to have Connor Jackson in the 4th spot or maybe Orlando Hudson in the 8 spot? Or maybe Carter is brought up immediately to begin next season in the cleanup spot?
What do you guys think? How should Beane address this power outage over the winter?
Two other thoughts:
- I penciled in Ellis in my above lineup rendering, because it sure seems like the team and the organization will try to find a way to bring him back. I don't think this move is necessary, but I can see the logic that the team wants to keep Rosales and Tolleson as utility men and the org doesn't think Sogard has enough power and Cardenas and Weeks aren't totally ready yet. I hope they won't pick up his $6 million option, but rather buy him out and offer him a $2 million 1-year deal instead if that's what it comes too.
- Beat writers seem to think that Jack Cust won't be back with the A's next season. I mean, there's no doubt that he's getting lucky with a .390 BABIP this season and his ISO is down for a 4th straight year...but, he's still walking a ton, creating runs and I think that given an entire year to find his groove, he'll be back up to 20+ homers next season. And he'll only cost $4 million in arbitration next season (compared to at least twice that for guys like Dunn, Pena, Berkman, etcetera). Plus, he likes Oakland. I say keep him around...