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And So It Begins...

MLB: Oakland Athletics at Seattle Mariners
“I’m going for some Ginn. Oller if you need anything.”
Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Let’s face it — the only reason we had Chris Bassitt for an extra 99 days was the lockout. Key players were always going to be on the move out of town, the first domino fell yesterday, and more are certain to follow. So long as each deal includes the acquisition of one player named for an alcoholic beverage, I think I will survive it. (I’m not even picky; if there’s an outfielder named Vern Mooth that’s close enough for me.)

Personally, I’m satisfied with the Bassitt trade. I’m not especially bothered by Ginn’s TJS history as everyone’s having it these days and Ginn got it out of the way on someone else’s time. The odds of him needing a second one in the next few years are low, and the odds of him being in an A’s uniform after the next few years also low. He immediately becomes the A’s best pitching prospect, so it’s a significant get. As for Oller, his stock is on the sharp rise so while his pedigree is low (20th round pick, 27 years old) he is a bit like Kendall Graveman was when the A’s got him just after he added the cutter to his repertoire and starting having considerable success.

This is a deal that certainly has the potential to be an A’s special, a la “Mulder for Haren,” “Cahill for Parker,” “Samardzija for, well, Bassitt”. (Actually, Bassitt was the one in this group who didn’t really contribute right away.) The A’s do this well and Ginn has 6 years of contract control ahead of him.

One also has to factor in that Bassitt, while great on the mound and also in the clubhouse as well as being a terrific story, is 33 years old with one year left on his contract. He was going to net Oakland a solid return but not a bounty. Meanwhile, the trio of Bassitt-Canha-Marte is starting to make the Mets “Oakland lite” and the Mets aren’t hard to root for. The enemy of my enemy is my friend, so let’s take down the Yankees together and call it a night.

It’s going to be a crazy couple of weeks with an entire off-season compressed into March Madness. If my hunch is right (note that it never is), we still have another SP (likely Sean Manaea) and one of the Matts to brace for losing. Perhaps with the 12-team playoff format combining with the return of revenue sharing, the front office keeps alive the possibility of bouncing back to contention as soon as 2023 and keeps Frankie Montas and a Matt on the team. Or maybe all five go because A’s.

We are heavily focused on trades because so many key players are in the rumor mill, but Oakland will also be active, presumably, in the free agent frenzy if only because they need someone to literally stand in the outfield and sit in the bullpen. Identify your hidden treasures now, and remember that as recently as 2021 the Seattle Mariners demonstrated that you can assemble a great bullpen with affordable relievers no one wants.

Thoughts on the A’s return for Bassitt? On which of the less pricey free agents might be diamonds in the rough? On how ironic it is that I canceled my trip to Philadelphia and that series will now include Opening Day?

Awaits next domino...