The A's always seem to try and get a jump on the trading deadline. Today is no different. The A's decided to acquire Scott Hairston from the San Diego Padres today for Ryan Webb, Craig Italiano and a PTBNL.
I like this deal a lot. It gives the A's a very good outfielder under control until 2011. It also affords the A's the flexibility to move Matt Holliday when the time and the right deal comes along. And if it doesn't come along, then the A's can take those draft picks and know that they have someone in the outfield to replace Holliday when he walks.
At the same time, there have already been quite a few who have speculated that the A's are trying to make a Holliday deal even more attractive for someone else by throwing in Hairston in a deal with Holliday. But Hairston seems like one of those guys who was probably on a Billy Beane most wanted list and that often means that he's going to keep you until he can't afford to anymore.
Hairston looks even better if he can play center field for the A's. Then again, the A's have put Ryan Sweeney out there a bunch this year and I could see Hairston actually being an upgrade over Sweeney at that position, both with the bat and the glove.
Paul DePodesta weighs in on the deal here. Here's an excerpt:
While trading Scott is difficult and not without risk, especially given his excellent production this season, this move provides us with some young power arms with big upside - a real need for us - while also allowing for other young players to continue to amass Major League at-bats in our outfield.
I wouldn't be surprised at all if that PTBNL is Sean Gallagher. And if it is, then I still think it's a good trade. Gallagher had a lot of potential, but the A's are chock full of young arms with a lot of potential. They need to get a right-handed stick that is under salary control for a while who can provide good defense. This finally plugs that hole and the A's clearly didn't have a lot of faith in Gallagher. We'll see though. It also wouldn't surprise me to see it be someone like Henry Rodriguez. But we'll just have to wait to find out.
Gas Lamp Ball doesn't like the move at all, calling it throwing in the towel on the season.
I understand the Padres have absolutely no chance of doing anything this year, hell everybody knows that except Heath Bell. The problem is that with Hairston gone, the chances of the Padres threatening to score has just been reduced.
The white flag of surrender is being flown above Petco Park. I see it now, the invitation for other teams to rape and pillage. Come one, come all.
I just think ultimately you can never predict what Beane and company are going to do. You expect them to be announcing deals where they're moving Holliday, Orlando Cabrera and Adam Kennedy and instead they come out and acquire someone who helps immediately but also will help for two more years down the road. Beane always talks about being both a buyer and a seller at the deadline with every move.
That's exactly what he was here.