So there you have it, one of the dullest trade seasons in recent A’s history. The deadline has come and gone and all Oakland has to show for it is a lot of rumors that never came to pass, a Rich Harden deal that fell apart, and a minor move to send Brad Ziegler to the Arizona Diamondbacks for a couple of spare parts.
I guess this speaks volumes to the quality of players that the A’s made available for trades and the rest of the league’s take on what general manager Billy Beane was asking for in return.
The A’s player who seemed to have the most value on the trade market was Josh Willingham and I’m sure his seemingly endless string of nagging injuries scared off most teams in search of a slugging outfielder. At this point it looks like the A’s will either get some draft picks for the Hammer if he leaves as a free agent or they might be able to sign him for a few years at a fairly reasonable price if the rest of 2011 goes to everyone’s liking.
The Harden trade apparently fell apart when Boston got a closer look at his medical report which leads me to believe that he’s even more likely to break down over his next few starts than usual. All the A’s lost in that failed deal was first baseman Lars Anderson and a player to be named later and I don’t see that as a major loss. Anderson’s star seems to have faded dramatically over the past few years as his power has tapered off. If Beane really has the hots for Anderson I’m sure he can work something out with Boston in the offseason.
The only thing Beane has to show at the trade deadline is Allen and reliever Jordan Norberto. It’s certainly not a terrible haul for a veteran sidearming relief pitcher but my enthusiasm is tempered for the moment.
Allen seemed to become Arizona’s answer to Chris Carter: A young slugging first baseman who seemed to be trapped behind other players and the front office’s tepid response to his minor league numbers. Playing time at the Major League level seemed to come reluctantly from the Arizona front office which is something Carter can relate to.
Allen now gets to settle into the Oakland organization where he has the potential to get stuck behind Carter and a lot of other warm bodies Beane and Co. deem more worthy of Major League at bats. Welcome to the ballclub kid. I’ll believe he’s going to be a regular contributor to the middle of the lineup when I see it.
I assume there might be a couple of minor deals down the line in August if Oakland can pass some guys through waivers but that won’t bring back any hot prospects in return.
It looks like the big league roster is basically set for the rest of the campaign so A’s fans might as well get comfortable and see what these guys can do now that all the trade rumors can be put to bed and everyone can just settle in a play baseball for the next couple of months.
Personally, I was hoping to see a lot more trades by the A’s if for no other reason than to open up playing time for the likes of Carter, Michael Taylor, Adrian Cardenas, etc. as Oakland finishes up this lost season.
In the end it looks like this season not only failed to produce a playoff contender but it also failed to produce any exciting prospects at the trade deadline. All in all a thoroughly disappointing turn of events.
Hopefully manager Bob Melvin can get the best out of this roster and set a positive tone from here until the last day of the season so Oakland can head into the winter on a winning note that the franchise can build on in 2012.