With the A’s trading for Washington Nationals relief pitcher Fernando Abad, as mentioned by Swingin’ A’s Editor Sean Davis, earlier this week the need to add to the bullpen has diminished. With a couple of weeks leading up to MLB’s GM Winter Meetings the A’s are pretty well set at almost every position. Thus, the A’s could be in line for a quiet offseason this year, quite the contrary to previous offseasons. However, with things relatively quiet on the A’s home front could something big be in the works? Let’s take a look at recent history to see if there is a pattern.
Last season the A’s made a major trade when they acquired shortstop Jed Lowrie from the Houston Astros for Chris Carter, Max Stassi, and Brad Peacock. This was an even smaller offseason (in trade terms) than the crazy month of December 2011. In that month the A’s traded away Gio Gonzalez, Trevor Cahill, and Andrew Bailey, for a bunch of prospects and back ups. In 2010, the A’s acquired outfielder Josh Willingham from the Washington Nationals in exchange for two prospects. In 2009 the A’s made multiple minor trades, some which would impact the team for years to come.
So what should an A’s fan be prepared for? Anything frankly. There’s been known interest in Nelson Cruz and Bartolo Colon. This is not even to mention the pitching and infield depth the A’s have that make them attractive trade partners in a particularly expensive free agent year. Free agents costs have sky rocketed this year for a multitude of reasons making the trade market a much more practical route to take. This is particularly true for the smaller market teams, such as the Kansas City Royals, Tampa Bay Rays, Cleveland Indians, etc. The Royals in particular are interesting trade partners with their lack of pitching but depth of offense. Someone like Billy Butler, who could fill in for the absence of Chris Young and play first while having Brandon Moss switch off between first base and the outfield would be a great addition.
With history proving that each season under GM Billy Beane could be an exciting one A’s fans should be ready for anything. With players such as Josh Donaldson, Jed Lowrie, Dan Straily, amongst others being at the peak of their value do not be surprised to see one or more of them move onto to a different team while the A’s fill their voids in house.