Because I like ridicule, I wrote a fanpost this past winter headlined by a picture of Walter Bishop (Fringe anyone?) about a bizzaro world where Beane kept trading his major league players for younger pieces. Some of them actually might have looked pretty smart now (I traded Cespedes for Taj Walker, etc...and Brett Anderson for living people), but as I said it was more about following Beane's previous formula than being smart and making shrewd moves.
But this isn't meant to be a retrospective, or an "I told you so" (Bauer is still currently sucking a fat one anyway), I just want to continue to present contrasting ideas to the A's current course.
I think one of the funnest aspects of having good players is trading them. That sounds pretty cold, but 1) it's better than having smelly players no one wants and 2) it allows you to make bold, roster adjusting strokes.
If I were Beane I'd look at my minor leagues and I'd see Gray and Russell, and not much else that's fun and cool (except maybe Bostick). Choice is good, but he's got glaring contact issues and his defense doesn't profile out well in CF, and is most likely a corner outfielder. He strikes me as one of those really good minor league players, that turns out to be only a good fourth outfielder or a really fringy starting OF in the major leagues. That of course is just my uneducated, mainly gut feeling about him, so it's probably wrong, but for purposes of understanding the corresponding moves it's probably helpful.
I'm also one of the few Weeks supporters left (there's dozens of us! dozens!), and think he deserves a roster spot over Green because of his handedness flexibility and his late inning pinch running abilities. Basically I just think he fits the right handed compliment to Sogard role better. It's not really a referendum on Green's talent, but if both players are gonna be league average players or slightly better, I'll take the guy who can run faster.
99% of the time I would say don't trade for a reliever, let alone 2, but I guess the way I reconcile this in my own mind is: these two are really good at baseball. Perkins is cost controlled beyond this year, which is also fun, and Casey Fien might be one of the most underrated players in the game. Plus he's throws a sick cutter, and it's fun to dream about the other guy with a good cutter. But also, as I said before it's based on my belief that Choice is overrated, and that we basically have another Green in our farm system. So maybe the Twins like Green and Choice like most people and see a real opportunity to upgrade their young core or position players.
Second move I make, is in the vein of when BB traded Kenny Rogers away, and then a few weeks later traded for Kevin Appier. I'm trading Grant Balfour to the Red Sox for Garin Cecchini and Matt Barnes.
This is probably the least likely in terms of just pure value, but I love both these guys. Cecchini is a bonafide Billy Beane cream dream (check his slash), and Matt Barnes is having a fantastic season - although none of the standard periperhals show it - so perhaps he could be had for a little less than what he's worth. This is also very unlikely because Ben Cherington has probably learned his lesson about trading for a closer from Oakland.
Scribs was lights out up til this past Sunday, but even then his season line is pretty devestating at AAA and Ryan Jackson seems to be forever in Mozeliak's doghouse so maybe this makes sense. Cards also seem to forever be looking for bullpen help, so...yeah. Ryan Jackson can play SS, which is at this point an amazing feat and that would be a nice stash at AAA.
Maybe Tim Hudson is available, maybe he is not, but the Braves have always been a cash conscious team despite having a decent sized payroll. The move would make sense with the news that Alex Wood might be promoted to the rotation, compounded on Brandon Beachy's impending return from TJ. And I think the Braves needing a left handed reliever is something I read once. Based on your responses the first time I proposed this acquisition in another thread, I'll just move on now.
Finally, I'd use Straily, Barnes, Granier, and some others, and see if that triplet of three very young promising starters would entice a team from giving up a stud like Samarzdjia, Sale, or someone else that I haven't thought about yet.
Try a rotation of this in the playoffs: Mystery Stud, Colon, Parker, Huddy
And a bullpen that is anchored by Perkins, Fien, Cook, and Doolittle.
And although you've traded quite a few prospects you still have a very strong core with Russell, Gray, and (now) Cecchini.
Just like the parallel universe offseason, it's never gonna happen, but playing "what if" is really fun and I also enjoy ridicule.