For all of us who have suffered through the loss of home-grown stars here in Oakland; Giambi, Tejada, Hudson, Mulder, Zito--just to name a few--we can certainly empathize with the Minnesota Twins as they make the difficult decision of trying to decide what to do with their superstar, who is pretty unanimously considered the best pitcher in baseball.
The A’s have been forced to make the same choices over the years, hamstrung by the label and the finances of a small-market baseball club; one that is able to train, support, and market superstars, but are unable to keep them once they reach the pinnacle of their career.
It’s not an easy decision; and a lot of factors must go into making it. Do you break the bank and possibly tie up multiple years of your team’s finances in order to sign one single player? Do you trade early, before the last year, in hopes of getting the very best possible return from a big name team? Do you start the season with your player and make the decision at the halfway mark--if you are winning, keep the player and go for all the marbles, or make an immediate trade to perhaps an unlikely contender?
The Minnesota Twins might be well-served to look at the road already paved by the Oakland A’s; we have lost our superstars in a variety of ways. If the Twins management wants to know what to expect from every possibly scenario of trading a superstar, just take a look at the last six years of the A’s history. But beware; as we know all too well, short of winning a World Series as a direct result of a trade, it will never be a ‘good’ trade. Losing a superstar, no matter how necessary, is no cause for celebration.