The effect of constant trades/Open thread

February 23, 2012; Melbourne, FL, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher Gio Gonzalez (47) works out during camp at Space Coast Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Barr-US PRESSWIRE

A lot has been written about the A's recently, including an interesting piece in USA Today gathering players' thoughts on the constant turnover in Oakland's clubhouse and the stadium situation.

Cahill signed a five-year, $30.5 million extension in April 2011. Eight months later, he was sent to the Arizona Diamondbacks.

"Everybody always said, 'You could be gone, you could be traded,' " Cahill says. "And I was like, 'Yeah, I've seen it, but it won't happen to me.' And it did."

Cahill had three years of service time when he was dealt, Gonzalez slightly less than that. A decade ago, the A's let young stars such as Jason Giambi and Miguel Tejada play their six years in Oakland and then leave as free agents.

In subsequent years, star pitchers Tim Hudson- one year shy of free agency -Mark Mulder and Dan Haren (each with two years of club control remaining) were dealt for prospects.

But even Haren, traded in December 2007 from Oakland to the Diamondbacks, is stunned at the state of affairs.

"It's amazing that two or three years later after I left, I couldn't name two or three guys that I played with that were still on the team. The turnover is so quick."

I think it's interesting and kind of sad, both from a fan perspective and from that of a free agent or any rising prospect in the A's minor league system. Do you feel that potential free agents are scared away from signing with Oakland (well, for a variety of reasons), but one being that there's really not much job security?

It also has to be a bit unsettling for players such as Michael Choice and Sonny Gray, who might only see a couple of years in an Oakland uniform (unless this stadium decision gets majorly sped up, but who knows?).

More from Cahill regarding the trade:

"I think the A’s are going in a different direction. It seems like here they want to win now, so it is definitely a good feeling," Cahill said.

The trade, he recalled, "just happened all at once."

"I was pretty surprised. I heard a lot of other guys’ names bouncing around, but I never thought I’d be the first one to go. I definitely thought I’d be with them for a little bit longer.

"Their history -- they usually keep guys until they make too much money, and then they trade them off and get the prospects. That’s kind of the cycle they do. I think they just figured they wanted to rebuild because they are trying to get that new stadium" in the south Bay Area.

"Whatever is going on behind the scenes on that, you never know. That’s been tough for them."

Other A's news:

Manny happy, returns to baseball

The right-handed slugger, who sat out almost all of 2011 following his second suspension for a positive drug test, faced about 20 reporters with his family around him Friday at Phoenix Municipal Stadium. He repeatedly said that he has changed his life and found God since his suspension, his abrupt departure from the Rays and then, last fall, charges of domestic violence in Florida.

"At that time, me and my wife got a little problem, and I said, 'Whoa, I've got to reflect on what's going on. I just made a huge mistake with a team and with my family,' so we just fix it and I'm here."

Ramirez did have one "Manny being Manny" moment, when he mistook starter Brett Anderson for the team video coordinator.

"There's no reason he should know who I am, but it still was pretty funny - you couldn't make that up," Anderson said. "It's a good way to start off our relationship. It can only go up from here."

The Oakland Coliseum will have stricter sign/banner rules for next season

Team officials decided during the offseason to implement the 3-by-6 policy after researching restrictions at other stadiums, spokesman Bob Rose said.

Some believe the decision is intended to make messages critical of co-owner Lew Wolff harder to see.

The policy follows a 2010 episode involving a fan being ejected from the game for sheet-sized banners criticizing Wolff for his efforts to move the team to San Jose. Two of them read, "Lew Wolff lied, he never tried" and "Don't take our A's away." Such negative messages are rare in the stadium. Most signs are aimed at ballplayers, not owners.

Amanda McCarthy is on the cover of ESPN the Magazine. People say Brandon McCarthy is there too, but I couldn't find him.

Have a great weekend!

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