In a conference call with reporters Friday evening, Oakland Athletics general manager Billy Beane said he "wouldn't have done the deal unless it addresses now and the future," regarding his trade sending third baseman Josh Donaldson to the Toronto Blue Jays for third baseman Brett Lawrie, high-minors pitchers Sean Nolin and Kendall Graveman, and low-minors shortstop Franklin Barreto.
"We needed to do something that wasn't timid," he said, noting that the A's finished 11 games behind the Angels last year and needed the last game of the season to head off the Seattle Mariners. Beane sia It seemed clear that standing pat would only lead to a repeat performance or worse.
While you can only drop down from Josh Donaldson, Lawrie has shown flashes of brilliance that could continue if he can avoid injury. Beane said he would be slotted immediately into third base, and that he is expected to be ready to go full tilt when the A's open camp after missing the final two months of the 2014 season with an oblique injury. Asked about his evaluation of Lawrie's defense, Beane simply responded, "Good."
Beane also sees the two starting pitchers he acquired in trade are big-league ready, saying Nolin in particular will compete for a place in the rotation. Both pitchers have options remaining that would allow them to return to the minor leagues, and could be in the mix to tide the A's over until A.J. Griffin and Jarrod Parker are evaluated for their return from Tommy John Surgery.
Finally, asked about Josh Donaldson's comments about ownership on Twitter, Billy Beane said that this was the first he had heard of it, and that it had no bearing on his decision to ship out Donaldson.
Beane reiterated that he does not see a shortstop that he will target through free agency, leaving open trade possibilities or going with defense-first internal options Andy Parrino and Tyler Ladendorf.