UPDATE, 2:20pm PDT
RE TAILGATE LOCATION FOR AN DAY V: If you are coming to the AN Day festivities, we are now set up in the East side of Lot A, at the end of rows 12-14.
Hello AN, miss me?
Well, your vacation from lovable, furry me is over.
The A's have had a bit of a roster shake-up since last I visited and while this post will certainly touch on the recent trade I'm not gonna go all in-depth on a subject that has been ridden hard and put away wet. No, the nearly dead Staturday articles were meant to focus on the numbers... to use hard data and statistical analysis in an attempt to achieve a deeper understanding of the Oakland A's in particular and baseball in general. So today I'm going to ask you to do some heavy lifting while I'm off frolicking at AN Day V...
The A's have invested heavily in 5 guys currently in AA or above to play the 3 outfield spots in Oakland. Make that 6 guys if the A's sign Mark Ellis to an extension, thereby bumping Eric Patterson into the outfield mix.
How does that math work itself out?
I'm a stinker, aren't I? Asking a question like that and then making you jump to find the answer. Guess what! I'm not going to tell you the answer because I'm not sure what the answer is.
Travis Buck, Carlos Gonzalez, Matt Murton, Ryan Sweeney, Aaron Cunningham and maybe Eric Patterson. Any combination of the above group could be you starting 3 come Opening Day, 2009. Sure, the logjam is lessened if Ellis moves on and Patterson takes his place at 2nd base but I seriously hope the Oakland FO continues to work on an extension for Ellis. Patterson might be able to replace or even surpass Ellis' offense but defensively it's no contest... Ellis is the best in the AL and maybe all of baseball. Letting Ellis go because Patterson could replace him would be bad for the A's.
So let's assume that the A's do keep a player that most of us want to see stick around and thusly push Patterson into the OF mix. Eric has the skill set to maybe bat lead-off. Travis had a .851 OPS his rookie year. Gonzalez was the centerpiece in the Haren trade plus he's one of the most talented youngsters in the game, he's going to get plenty of chances. Murton has the most experience and bats right handed... the A's have leaned left for several years. Sweeney's played well this year and Cunningham looks to be ready for a chance by the start of next season.
So what's the answer? Well, if you had been paying attention to the top of the page you'd know that I don't have any answers! Although I admit to a buzzing in my brain that suggests a trade is on the way.
As for the whole trade thing that went down... I'll be honest with you. If someone told me the A's moved Harden for Gallagher, Donaldson and a warm body like Patterson I'd have thought that Beane had pulled off a Hell of a deal. Not quite Fucking-A quality but a definite plus. Two things bug me about the deal.
1) I don't think Murton will ever be more the an average corner outfielder, the kind of guy you're already looking to replace. I don't like Matt Murton.
2) If I see the deal as Harden for the 3 guys, then that must mean that I see the rest being Gaudin for Murton straight up. And I hate that view because Gaudin the SP is worth a lot more then Matt Murton. But Gaudin the bullpen arm (a Billy Beane creation, mind you) can only net Murton.
In my eyes the A's traded two SP and they did not get equivlent value in return. I understand Harden's health is an issue but the upside for the Cubs is two SP that they'll control for at least the next season and a half should they choose to spend the money. In that light I don't think the A's got a fair return.
But that subject has been beaten to death.
I'm off to Oakland to venture forth and mingle with the others who have left the sanctuary of their mothers' basements for the light that is the Coliseum. Today will also be my son's 1st baseball game. So have at it AN, let me hear whom you think will be the starting 3 outfielders in 2009. I won't be around to pick on you until Sunday.
Oh yeah... Go A's!
And baseballgirl rocks.