Why talk about the past when you can peek into the future? Enjoy another front-page worthy piece by Taj. So worthy, in fact, that you can actually now see it on the front page! -67M
In my previous post of the past week, I outlined my thoughts concerning what I feel is a strategic direction the A's should take with regards to player acquisition over this off-season in anticipation of building a contending squad by 2015. This timeframe was specified in terms of preparation for the inanguaration of a new venue in San Jose, or generally just an arbitrary date for when the A's could best blend their current assembled resources together with the anticipated debut of some of the more heralded organizational prospects.
I'm glad that the thread evolved into a more general discussion about possible trades and avenues the A's could pursue to holistically revamp their talent base for greener pastures in the future. I certainly welcome the criticism/dismissal of my specific trade proposals on their own merits, so I will not seek to undertake a defense of these proposals on a case-by-case basis, but I wanted to establish this thread to address a general directional issue that I think was not fully fleshed out in that previous discussion.
Namely, I want to set-out to establish the fact that even though the A's may be building for 2015, this doesn't mean that the A's should ONLY target prospects that may be ready to debut in the majors in that exact year.
Many of you, in critiquing my trade proposals, pointed out that it doesn't make sense for the A's to acquire currently MLB-ready talent like Domonic Brown or Logan Morrison during a "rebuilding" effort, because these types of players will be into their arbitration years by 2015 and thus won't be ideal candidates for the new "core" we are all hoping materializes by that time.
I disagree with this general sentiment. I do not think the A's should use their current assets to just assemble a grab-bag of the highest-upside low and mid-level minor league prospects in the hopes that a few might develop on-schedule and ready to fire on all cylinders by Opening Day 2015 without much major league seasoning whatsoever.
From my perspective, to really ensure a viable "core" for 2015, the team would be graduating and "trialing" pieces on a near-constant basis from now until Opening Day 2015 to ensure that what constitutes the core can actually produce on a regular basis at the highest level. For every Michael Choice out there who makes us dream on the possibilities of him in an everyday role with the A's,the team will need at least one Jemile Weeks who has actually proven that he can fulfill those dreams on a daily basis.
With that being said, I'd like some of you to revisit the ideas of acquiring talents like Logan Morrison or Dominic Brown, whom, while no spring chickens in the prospect world, have proven at pretty much every level that they can produce on the offensive side of the ledger.
The next A's playoff team will likely be composed of a mixture of differently-tenured players, and will also likely require a few established relative "veterans" to lead the team into the promised land. This type of evolution won't happen if the A's just focus on acquiring pieces at a specific development-state and hope for a mass actualization of talent exactly on or nearly by Opening Day 2015.
By acquiring guys like Brown and Morrison, the A's would be bringing on-board resources who could immediately begin establishing themselves in the big leagues in a non-pressure situation. They could get their "reps" in over the next few years and the team can take the time to evaluate about whether or not they may be worth banking on during the critical focus years. If they work out, they can be treated as the "bedrock" of the core that can be augmented by guys like Choice, Green, ecetera, as the next few years play-out.
Basically...I just want to re-iterate that I think it's a good idea for the A's to be open-minded with who they may target in trades and not be prejudiced towards assembling resources that may only begin paying dividends by 2015. It would be a huge help and a big relief to us fans to know that a few players at key positions have established themselves as viable MLB options prior to a new stadium or window of contention.