In what has become a staple in recent off-seasons, the Oakland A’s acquired yet another player only to discard them before they could ever lace up a pair of shiny white cleats.
It’s a shame really. Whenever the A’s acquire a new player, the 12 year old inside me gets all giddy at the concept of a fresh addition to my beloved team. This of course contrasts with the skeptical, bitter, over analytical adult who travels to the far reaches of internet in search of any and all pertinent information regarding said neophyte. So when a player such as Sandy Rosario is acquired and designated for assignment before they play a game, I can’t help but feel a little empty. It’s as if the player is nothing more than a ghost; a specter whom made their presence felt only to be gone in a flash.
Nevertheless, here are a few of the more memorable players who were here one day, and gone the next.
Michael Barrett: Acquired 12/19/03 from Montreal, Traded 12/23/03 to Chicago (NL)
An Oakland A for mere days, Michael Barrett was acquired from the Montreal Expos for minor leaguer Brett Price in December of 2003. At the time of his acquisition, the 26 year old was coming off a down season which saw him fall to a .208/.280/.398 batting line in his last year in Montreal. Once regarded as a top prospect, Barrett was regarded for his excellent athleticism behind the plate and cannon of an arm. As a converted shortstop, Barrett had seen time at third base periodically during the early portion of his career adding a level of versatility to his resume. With the A’s in search of replacement for the recently traded Ramon Hernandez, Barrett was merely a stand-in as he would be shipped to Chicago less than a week later for veteran catcher Damian Miller. While Miller would go on to provide a steady but unspectacular 2004 season in Oakland, Barrett would develop his talents into becoming a Silver Slugger catcher with the Cubs. He also had the pleasure of punching A.J. Pierzinski in the face during a scuffle in 2006, endearing himself to A’s fans everywhere.
Aaron Miles, Acquired 12/03/09 from Chicago (NL), Traded 2/1/10 to Cincinnati
East Bay native Aaron Miles thought he was coming home when he was acquired in the off season following the 2009 season. Unfortunately, the lifetime National Leaguer was shipped to the Reds just weeks before the start of spring training for Adam Rosales and Willy Tavares who was immediately released. With his best seasons behind him, Miles had the unfortunate distinction of failing to appear in a game with the Reds and was unceremoniously released in mid-April. Sadly after stints in St. Louis and Los Angeles, Miles would announce his retirement after 2011, never having the opportunity to play for his boyhood team.
Edwin Encarnacion, Claimed off waivers from Toronto 11/12/10, non-tendered 12/2/10
This one hurt. When the A’s claimed Edwin Encarnacion off waivers, they were taking a chance that the former top prospect would bring a source of power to a team that finished near the bottom of the league in home runs in 2010. With the incumbent third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff deemed expendable in his right, the A’s management was simple doing their due diligence to combat an obvious weakness. Encanacion, however had weaknesses of his own. Nicknamed “E-5″ in Toronto for his propensity to muff ball after ball at the hot corner, he had developed a reputation around the league as a liability on defense. Faced with a decision, the A’s decided to tender a contract to Kouz instead of Encarnacion, and the rest is history. After failing to hit in Oakland, Kouzmanoff found himself languishing in Sacramento the following season before a trade brought him to Colorado in August. Encarnacion was reborn in Toronto as a designated hitter/first baseman and now free from the shackles of defense, emerged as middle of the order threat over the past two seasons. In 2012 Encarnacion finished eleventh in the MVP voting after clubbing 42 home runs, driving in 110 RBI’s and posting a 4.6 WAR. Win some…you lose some.