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What’s the likeliest solution to the team’s current needs?

First off, let’s establish some current conditions:

  • The A’s currently trail the Angels by 8.5 games for the division lead, and the Indians by 6 games (and would have to leapfrog the Mariners and the Twins) for the wild card
  • All of the teams in front of the A’s for playoff spots (with the exception of the Twins) have deep pockets and/or GMs willing/able to make costly deals for “impact players” for the stretch run
  • The A’s have some significant and intractable injury/debilitation problems
  • Injuries aside, the A’s have some significant roster problems—most notably, a below-average offense and a not-so-VORP-y middle/back of the rotation [y es, I do think that, “injuries aside,” the A’s 3-5 starters (+6-7, as every team needs to be prepared for occasional subs/scrubs making spot starts) are dicey at best. I considered the A’s 1-2 from the outset of the season to be Haren and Blanton, and that it was folly to count on Harden as a consistent, healthy presence in the rotation. While Gaudin and Kennedy started nicely, their recent struggles demonstrate that they’ll likely both be pretty inconsistent. Loaiza, if healthy, would have eaten a lot of innings and pushed Gaudin and Kennedy back to more “natural” spots (and kept DiNardo in the ’pen), but he likely would have been league-average at best.]
  • The offense, while dismal only at 2-3 positions, requires more than one “big bat” to boost its performance appreciably
  • The A’s don’t really have a whole lot of trade ammunition, as the players with the most potential trade value (Haren, Swisher, Buck, Blanton) are young, healthy, and cheap enough that Beane essentially can’t trade them
  • The short-timer potential rent-a-players (Piazza, Kendall, Kennedy, Kotsay) are mostly underperforming and expensive and therefore wouldn’t bring much of value back
  • The areas where the A’s need offensive improvement just to reach league average (SS and C; CF since Kotsay is an untouchable) are tough positions to find offensive production from anyway, and are currently filled by good defenders (albeit all on downward defensive trends); and good offensive players at those positions command premium trade value
  • The areas where good offensive players are available on the trade market (corner OF, 1B, DH) are positions where the A’s already have a glut of productive and potentially productive interchangeable parts, and the marginal upgrade wouldn’t be worth the acquisition costs
  • The area where an A’s strength has taken the most significant hit in performance this year (the “late” end of the bullpen—Duke, Kiko, and Huston) is another premium-trade-value sector, and likely not worth the expense
  • Beane has never made a truly “blockbuster” trade—not in the sense of trading a player before his expense has clearly exceeded his performance value (I don’t think Chavvy’s there yet; which means that unless he really regresses at bat and in the field, he won’t for the remainder of his contract), not in the sense of trading a major roster contributor not about to walk for an overvalued contract, not in the sense of trading away 2+ major roster contributors at once or genuinely overhauling the roster, not in the sense of trading for an expensive (both salary and trade-cost) “name” player

That said, I’d look for Beane to follow three paths, either separately or in combination, between now and July 31st:

  • Remain relatively inactive
  • Acquire cheap middle-to-back-of-the-rotation pitchers
  • Acquire cheap LOOGY/ROOGY/mopup-duty/bullpen-spackle pitchers

Of course, having typed this up, I’m sure to see within 15 minutes a RotoWorld sidebar saying that Beane has finally traded Chavez, Kotsay, Kendall, DJ,and Harden to the Yankees for A-Rod and Posada … as well as to be smacked down in any number of my initial assumptions by an angry AN mob.


What do you think Beane is most likely to do before the trade deadline?

This poll is closed

  • 25%
    Stand pat and wait for players to heal
    (97 votes)
  • 25%
    Diddle at the margins and pick up more VORP- bullpen and rotation dross
    (97 votes)
  • 7%
    Fire Geren, bring back Wash, and ride a unicorn over the rainbow
    (27 votes)
  • 13%
    Trade Ginter, Perez, and Karros for Pujols
    (51 votes)
  • 6%
    Trade monkeyball to Anaheim for the Rally Monkey
    (23 votes)
  • 2%
    Engage in a ruthless Loria-esque stripping of the roster simply to maximize his franchise-value stake
    (10 votes)
  • 10%
    Fire sale, bitches
    (38 votes)
  • 3%
    Fire stale britches
    (14 votes)
  • 5%
    Fire snail snitches
    (19 votes)
376 votes total Vote Now