In a rather surprising turn of events, after everyone had assumed the A’s were going to go with the pieces they had for the stretch run, they went out and acquired SS Stephen Drew from the Arizona Diamondbacks for a minor league SS Sean Jamieson. What this means for Cliff Pennington and Adam Rosales is unclear at the moment, but it seems hard to believe Billy Beane would go to this trouble to make the deal if the intention wasn’t for him to play the majority of the time.
After a gruesome ankle injury last year that sidelined him for the rest of 2011 and the first half of 2012 Drew has struggled a bit at the plate hitting just .193/.290/.311 in 135 AB. But much like Brandon Inge provided a huge spark for the A’s when he was cut loose by the Detroit Tigers, Stephen Drew may be able to do exactly the same thing with just a little change of scenery. He has a career line of .266/.328/.436 in 773 games since his debut in 2006, so his struggles this year are much more of the exception than they are the rule.
The hangup throughout many of the deals that were rumored to have been discussed seemed to be the asking price for those pieces, the cost for acquiring Stephen Drew now? The shortstop for the Burlington Bees, Sean Jamieson. He was taken in the 17th round of the 2011 draft and hasn’t hit much in the lower A levels. At 23 it’s quite possible that his claim to fame will be that he was traded straight up for Stephen Drew. The A’s are absorbing the roughly $2 Million owed to Drew for the rest of this season so that’s probably why he came so cheap in terms of players dealt.
Drew has a mutual option for 2013 at a fairly steep $10 Million, so unless it’s love at first sight between Drew and the A’s this will likely be a very brief stint in Oakland for the 29 year old. Nevertheless the addition of Drew proves at long last that Billy Beane and the A’s are taking this surprise contending season seriously and like him or not Lew Wolff did approve this deal that takes a precious $2 Million out of his padlocked pockets. Let’s all just pretend that the A’s didn’t lose 7-2 to the now 51-70 Minnesota Twins tonight, that Brandon McCarthy didn’t give up 6 runs in 3.1 innings, that getting past 10 games over .500 isn’t the new getting over .500. Right now let’s focus on the positive side of things.
Tomorrow will be a big day as the beginning of the rest of the season starts tomorrow as Stephen Drew will make his A’s debut, and an old friend Brett Anderson makes his triumphant return from Tommy John surgery and starts tomorrow. It will be a big game as the A’s try to avoid letting what happened in Kansas City happen here in Oakland, losing a series to a team well below the .500 mark. Should be quite the intriguing game.