Over his tenure in Oakland A’s GM Billy Beane has been known for his under the radar moves that have paid huge dividends. A prime example that has quickly become a focal point in discussions regarding these under the radar moves is that of the Minor League signing of Brandon Moss. Moss signed in early 2012 to a Minor League contract and began the season at Triple-A Sacramento. After hopping around from team to team, position to position, Moss finally got his chance early on in the 2012 season and hasn’t looked back since. He has become a powerful staple in the A’s lineup and valuable personality in the clubhouse. With that being said, it is becoming the time of year that Minor League signings become frequent. Who are some players that could make an impact for the A’s on a Minor League contract? Here’s a list of some potentials.
P Andrew Bailey. Long time no see old friend. Bailey was traded to the Boston Red Sox after the 2011 season and his time in Boston was short lived. Injuries, as is the problem with a lot of ex-A’s pitchers was the main cause of his downfall and might just be on the lookout for a team to get a fresh start with. It is unlikely a Minor League contract will be what it takes to land Bailey, but certainly stranger things have happened.
P Henry Rodriguez. Rodriguez was sent from Oakland to the Washington Nationals in the 2010 Josh Willingham trade and struggled to find his footing. In another attempt to settle into a Major League role with the Chicago Cubs Rodriguez again struggled. These are the types of pitchers that thrive under the eyes of the A’s coaching staff, led by pitching coach Curt Young.
P Tommy Hanson. Hanson was once a top prospect in the Atlanta Braves organizations and pitched great in his first couple of seasons. However, he began to falter and was later traded to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim where again faltered. As with Rodriguez above he might be the type of talent the A’s could resurrect back into a top young pitcher.
OF Grady Sizemore. Sizemore was a tremendous player with the Cleveland Indians when healthy. That was his problem though. He could never stay on the field long enough to be the valuable commodity the baseball world knows he can be. Sizemore is the perfect example of a buy low option that in the end could pay huge dividends as a backup outfielder or as trade bait.
IF Brandon Inge. Inge is another former A’s player who could be a valuable voice in the A’s clubhouse or in the Minor Leagues. Back when he was with the A’s he helped now budding star Josh Donaldson and his transition to third base and also his transition to everyday player. His leadership was a key cog in getting a very young A’s team in the 2012 season.
All these players have the talent to become regular players again. They also have the talent to become valuable trade chips come July. With the A’s expected to contend for the AL West title again this season trade chips in the Minor Leagues that are not associated with prospects is a huge advantage at the trade deadline if Beane feels that they need to add a couple of pieces to put them over the top.
Tags: Oakland A's