As an A's fan this past week has been incredibly depressing. Fan posts pointing out the doom and gloom of the franchise's barren cupboard in the minors (Trainwreck), Selig pushing us off once again, Dick Williams passing, and the hated Giants becoming part of Showtimes sultry late night offering between 2:00AM - 5:00AM.
I think it's time for Beane to shake off the dirt and get (as we all say on this board) a bat who is MLB ready/proven and under team control for the next couple years. Enough of the guys who are 2-3 years away or perhaps looking to find that magic for a late career swan-song. But I'm also realistic and I don't expect to pick up Jay Bruce or Sin Shoo Choo.
I do think we can pick up one person, and that person is Colby Rasmus.
I was hoping someone would do a post on potential trade partners, but after waiting 2 days, I have to cut through the fog of the All-Star break and just toss this up there.
NL Central Race
For the first time in about 20 years, the Pirates are in the division race turning the Central into a 4-team race, with the Wild Card race in play as well. A race for two slots. The Cards don't want to waste their last year controlling Albert Pujols with Matt Holliday and Lance Berkman providing additional fireworks.
The Brewers drew first blood by trading for K-Rod, the Pirates think they can shore up most of their team internally with perhaps the addition of a serviceable catcher, and the Cards are in need of a solid dose of pitching.
They are said to be looking for a starter and a lefty reliever – two things the A’s have - and they’re making Colby Rasmus available for the right price according to MLBTR. However they've already boosted their budget by $16MM this year above last year. Do they feel like taking on a lot of contract money? I don't particularly think so.
The Birds are righty dominant among their top relievers in closer Fernando Salas, set-up man Eduardo Sanchez, Jason Motte and Mitchell Boggs. The lone lefty is Trever Miller who currently sports a 4.91 FIP, 0.89 K/BB, and 1.63 WHIP.
The starting pitching features Carpenter, and then after that Garcia and Lohse has been good, not great. While Westbrook and McClellan have struggled. Serviceable pitching, but not a World Series rotation.
Rasmus is having a slow first half (.246/.329/.413), but it's hard to imagine him maintaining last year's very high .354 BABIP, coupled with below average defense the past two years – although he was great in 2009 – the Cards have budged and are willing to deal him. At a certain point it's potential vs. production and with enough games under his belt, he's become a known commodity.
A year or so ago, Rasmus was an untouchable, but now that he's become a bit of a clubhouse problem with his request to be traded, and a talented backup the Cards can deal him to stay in the race. Their latest talent: John Jay (.304/.352/.438 in 248 PA) in the 4th-OF position making Rasmus that much more expendable considering their needs.
Just noticed this Fangraphs article as i was picking up the numbers for Rasmus: Fangraphs Article
Rasmus hit 23 HR last year and is currently on pace to meet that again this year. At 24 he can still develop more power and I'd love to have a stable outfield with enough pop to support the pitching. With 3 more years of team control and our current outfield full of FAs after this season, I think we should ship a pitcher package for this MLB talent.
As far as lefty relievers we've got Brian Fuentes and Craig Breslow - either would be a welcomed addition to the Red Birds staff. While they might balk a bit at Fuentes' contract I think the real question is - who do we give up on the starting end?
McCarthy has been our rebound hero this year and he's a cheap addition for the Cards with his $1MM/year contract. And I'm doubtful the A's would part with Cahill, Gio, or Anderson. But beyond that we've got Tyson Ross, Josh Outman, Rich Harden, Guillermo Moscoso.
I'm not a great judge of pitchers, so I'll let ya'll fight over that part. But I'd like the A's to take advantage of the market and pick up some pieces that can be instrumental to a 2-3 year run from 2012-2014.
I'm on the east coast so i'm about to hit the metro, will be back to respond after.