The Jump? I hate heights! Just click and read.
After the past few years of fire sales, we are conditioned to think selling off talent is a bad thing, and perhaps it has been, like 2010. However, this year, I think (opinion!) that it not only is plausible and likely, but it is a very good thing.
First of all, let's look at our starting offense and defense. Starting at catcher, we are set with Norris. Norris looks like a great prospect and going forward he looks to be a long-term solution. At least he does not look like a lost 4 year old in the mall at the plate like Suzuki. Moving to first, we have an adequate first baseman in Moss and the heir apparent in Carter. At second Weeks has been hit with the sophomore jinx but the team did not trade away Ellis only to trade away Weeks. He has all the potential in the world. Cliff Pennington/Brandon Hicks is an area of weakness, but what Pennington lacks with the stick he makes up for with the glove. Hicks has shown some pop in a platoon roll with Weeks and Pennington, so depth-wise we are fine. Inge has proven a stop-gap at third and is likely the only position where we could use an upgrade. He has been a welcomed addition in the clubhouse and with the glove however.
In the outfield we start to see some of why we should be sellers. I think it is no secret that the team has outgrown Coco Crisp. Cespedes needs to be in center, as his defensive numbers have suffered in left. He looks lost out there. With Coco gone, our starting outfield of Smith, Cespedes and Reddick with a back up of Gomes and Cowgill makes us better.
Next, we look at our pitching. That we have had a plug and play pitching staff and not missed a beat is remarkable, and it is this wealth of arms why I think we should be sellers. With Braden, Anderson and McCarthy all coming back in the second half, we can afford to off-load some quality pitching without affecting our overall competitiveness this season. I believe we can go forward with Parker, Malone, Griffin, Blackley and either Colon or McCarthy. This makes Colon or McCarthy or both expendable and desirable trade piece for teams in the race, while not hurting us too much. Ross could step in for a few starts until Anderson is back.
Also, we have Straily ready to go in Sacramento, freeing up Balfour. Lots of teams could benefit from Balfour's services.
Balfour, McCarthy and/or Colon and even Ross and Coco Crisp could go and net us minor league talent without much of a dent in our overall performance on the MLB level.
What do you think?