Dec 5, 2011; Dallas, TX, USA; Oakland Athletics general manager Billy Beane on the MLB network set during the MLB winter meetings at Hilton Anatole. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE

Billy Beane Holds Cards as Trade Deadline Passes


Stephen Drew is not an Athletic, neither is Yunel Escobar or Jimmy Rollins.  Same goes for Rafael Betancourt.  Billy Beane didn’t give in to the Padres high demands for Chase Headley.  All the A’s did this year during the days leading up to the trade deadline was acquire DFA’d catcher George Kottaras from the Milwaukee Brewers for Fautino De Los Santos.

I’ve gone back and forth in my head about what I wanted the A’s to do this year, with a clear opportunity to make the playoffs well within their grasp it’s hard to resist wanting to go for it all.  But that certainly can come with consequences in the form of losing top prospects.  Nobody wanted to see 2012 breakout prospect Dan Straily moved out of the organization, or top draft picks Michael Choice, Sonny Gray, or Grant Green either.  And none of them were.  It appears to me that Billy Beane’s strategy coming in was to try and improve the team now, if and only if he could do so without mortgaging the future.  The market dictated that was not going to happen, so Billy kept quiet.

There’s no telling what kind of deals nearly came to be like the Hanley Ramirez deal that almost was.  But as the Texas Rangers, in perhaps a moment of extreme panic with the knowledge that Neftali Feliz is having Tommy John surgery traded a top 100 prospect in 3B Christian Villanueva for Chicago Cubs starter Ryan Dempster who for a week seemed destined for Los Angeles, and the Los Angeles Angels acquisition of Zack Greinke from the Brewers over the weekend, the two main rivals of the A’s made moves for the here and now.  Those moves do not scare me.  Besides Billy Beane has two aces up his sleeve perhaps in the form of rehabbing starters Brandon McCarthy and Brett Anderson who should be activated within the month of August.

The A’s do not have the perfect roster by any stretch of the imagination, as evidenced by last night’s horrific lack of contact in racking up 21 K’s against the Tampa Bay Rays.  But they somehow managed to win that game.  That’s what they’ve often done over the last month or so.  Perhaps a deal could still be in the works as the month of August plays out though, it just becomes a little bit tougher as players have to pass through waivers to be traded.

I think the possibility of picking up someone like Jimmy Rollins would still remain a distinct possibility.  Given the fact that Rollins is in the first year of a 3 year contract with the Phillies for a pretty hefty salary it seems almost guaranteed that he’ll go through waivers untouched.  He’s certainly not the player he once was, but I find it hard to imagine he wouldn’t be a significant upgrade over the Eric Sogard/Brandon Hicks tandem the A’s have right now.  Cliff Pennington has been lost all season and there is serious doubt now that he is actually the A’s SS of the future.  There remains some question as to whether Rollins would allow himself to be traded to Oakland in the first place (The opportunity to play alongside Nate Schierholtz is pretty enticing), but one would really have to think he’d be intrigued by the idea of playing in his home town.  It seems like a crazy idea for the cash strapped A’s to take on a player like Rollins, but aside from the money he really shouldn’t cost much of anything.  Rollins may be the perfect solution as he can help the A’s now, and not risk the bright future of this organization.

We’ll just have to wait and see as all the frantic wheeling and dealing get’s started up once again as the dog days of August roll on.

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Tags: Billy Beane Brandon Hicks Brandon McCarthy Brett Anderson Chase Headley Cliff Pennington Dan Straily Eric Sogard Fautino De Los Santos George Kottaras Grant Green Jimmy Rollins Michael Choice Neftali Feliz Oakland Athletics Rafael Betancourt Ryan Dempster Sonny Gray Stephen Drew Trade Deadline Trade Rumors Yunel Escobar Zack Greinke

  • gabe

    Great write up. I think you nailed it. The market was essentially dry and we were in a vulnerable position without leverage. I think the offseason is a time to make a huge move, not during the deadline. Beane understands that this is only the beginning for this team and there’s no sense in rushing into anything drastic. By the time the offseason rolls around, the price on these players will significantly drop.